Kerala wakes up to rice cooked in different forms. Appam is one of Kerala’s favourite breakfast dishes. These are paper thin crepes with a lacy edge and spongy centers cooked in a curved pan. Appam is an easy to digest morning energizer. It is served mostly with potato or meat stew.
Making appam is a very tricky affair as it has to be done with precision. The 3 important aspects of appam making are its fermenting, control of heat while cooking and texture. In the beginning, I have encountered several problems like improper fermenting, appams sticking to the pan when I used the traditional appachatty (Not anymore! All hail the nonstick pans!) hard texture and white appams with no browning (my husband hates them for some reason).
The following is my recipe for homemade appams
- 2 cups raw rice
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- water for grinding
- Soak raw rice in the morning and grind it in the evening adding grated coconut and cooked rice. Grind these to a smooth paste.
- Take 1/4 glass of warm water and add sugar and mix well.
- Add yeast to the warm water and allow it to activate. It will foam and rise to the top of the glass.
- Pour this into the ground rice paste and mix it adding water to make it a batter of pouring consistency.
- Allow it to ferment overnight in a warm place.
- When it is frothy and fluffy, it is ready. Add salt and mix gently.
- Heat an appachatty or a non stick pan on medium heat and pour a big ladle of batter in the center.
- Lift the pan from the stove and rotate it so as to make the batter move around as a thin coating inside the pan. Let the excess batter settle in the center.
- Cover the pan with its lid and cook till the edge browns.
- Remove the cooked appam by easing out with a wooden spatula. A perfect appam should hold its bowl like shape after it is removed from the pan.
- Serve it hot with potato stew.
- 3 medium potatoes
- 2 green chillies
- 1 large onion
- a small piece ginger
- curry leaves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
- Boil the potatoes and cube them. ( Sometimes I steam the cubes or microwave on high for 4 minutes adding enough water.)
- Divide peeled onion into two halves and slice them length wise.
- Slit the green chillies lengthwise and chop ginger.
- Heat coconut oil and add sliced onions, chillies, ginger and curry leaves and fry until onion softens.
- Add the cooked potato cubes and mash them a little with the back of the ladle.
- Add coconut milk and salt and mix well.
- Allow every thing to boil after adding enough water.
- Garnish with fresh curry leaves.
The boiling stew spreads a very inviting aroma from the kitchen and there arises no need to call everyone to the table. This stew is dedicated to Aruna as I mentioned that I would post my version of Istew. Here you go!
Appams can also be served with egg curry or kadala curry (Black chick pea curry) or coconut chutney. My family prefers Appam soaked in fresh milk with a sprinkle of sugar. At least one appam should be presented in this fashion to make it dessert-like.
I love Kallappams that are fermented using toddy, which is a local alcoholic brew got from coconut trees. But I have to wait till I get to my village to taste it.