Sarah’s Yeasted Appams

Appam is one of my husband’s favorite breakfast items. I always made it by grinding raw rice with some coconut and letting it sit overnight to ferment, the way my mother makes them. But, with weather in the northwest being very unpredictable, the time the batter takes to ferment, is never guaranteed. So, I couldn’t really make it very often, or make it when I have company.

So, I was really surprised, when our friend Sarah served us this appam when she had us over for dinner. I asked her for the recipe, and I was surprised at how simple it was, and the fact that used yeast. I decided to give it a try and I fell in love with it. It is so easy, that I soak the rice the previous night, grind the batter in the blender in the morning, and get it working with the yeast. And the batter is fermented and ready in time for dinner. Easy…peasy..

Authentic appams were originally made with kallu, or toddy – fermented coconut palm juice. Yeast lends this authentic taste to it, and an aroma. Plus, it makes the appam spongy and with beautiful bubbles on it. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

5 cups rice
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup grated frozen/fresh coconut(thaw if frozen)
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Soak the rice for at least 4 hours. I do it overnight. Grind it with the cooked rice, grated coconut and salt in a blender until smooth. Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and add the yeast to the sugar mixture. Set aside. The sugar mixture will become frothy in about 5 – 10 minutes. Add this to the ground batter, and set aside. If letting it sit for a long time, you can refrigerate it. It stays for up to 3 days.

To make the appams, heat an appam pan(this looks like a small wok or kadai). Add a ladlefull of batter. Swirl the pan, similar to how you would do for a crepe. Close the pan with a lid. Appams are never turned over. The steaming action from the lid, cooks the top part of the appam. Remove with a spatula. Serve hot with condiment of choice.

We usually serve appams sprinkled with sugar and doused with cardamom spiked coconut milk. But if you are a fan of savory toppings, you could use either a veggie or a meat stew. This time, I made a chicken salna, to go with the appams.(Recipe coming soon.)

Verdict: Crispy on the outside, spongy in the middle…wonderful appams…and if you are interested in taking this a step further, break an egg in the middle of the egg, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve it sunny side up. 🙂 Yumm…

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    • for this recipe no urad dal or coconut. Usually I add cooked rice, but this time I didnt have any. so, I tried without it. It came out fine.

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