Soft and melt-in-your-mouth appams are a popular breakfast dish in Kerala & Srilanka, served with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries. Appam, which can be referred to as “laced rice crepes,” goes well with any kind of curries, whether it’s made with chicken, beef, mutton, or vegetable korma. As a kid, my sister loved pouring coconut milk over the appam and then sprinkling it with sugar; now, her 4-year-old daughter loves it just as much. Like mother, like daughter 🙂
To make appam, rice, and fresh coconut are ground together with coconut milk to form a batter. The batter is then poured onto a specially designed appam pan, resulting in a soft crepe with crispy edges and the characteristic lace-like appearance.
Appam or Kerala’s Laced Pancake
Pan for making Appam
Batter poured into the pan
Soft laced appams
- White rice- 1 cup ( Sona masoori, Ponni rice or Basmati rice)
- Grated coconut- ½ cup
- Cooked rice (Rosematta rice or Kerala red rice) or Ponni rice- ½ cup
- Coconut milk, thick- 1½ cups
- Water- 1 cup, to grind
- Instant yeast- 1 tsp
- Salt- ½ tsp
- In a bowl, soak the rice in water for at least 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, rinse the rice taken in a strainer under running water till the water turns clear.
- To a blender jar, add the rice, grated coconut, cooked rice, coconut milk & ¾ cup water, grind till a smooth batter has formed.
- When the batter forms a smooth paste, add yeast to it and grind the batter for a minute.
- Pour the batter to a large bowl, rinse the blender jar with ¼ cup water and pour the water to the batter.
- Ensure the batter is not too watery.
- Keep aside the batter overnight for fermentation.
- In warm places, batter can be kept on the counter-top overnight for fermentation.
- In cold places, can be kept in the Instant Pot or in the oven.
- Instant Pot fermentation: pour the batter to the stainless steel pot, place it in the main pot, close with the lid. Select Yogurt setting, set the time to 8 hours. Keep it at night so the next morning the batter will be well fermented.
- Fermentation in the oven: Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature for 5 minutes, turn off the oven & keep the batter in the oven overnight for fermentation.
- The batter will rise to double the original amount, so use a large bowl to hold the batter.
- Add salt before making the appam & combine well.
- Place the pan for making appam over medium heat, let the pan turn hot.
- Grease the pan with little oil to avoid the appam from sticking to the pan.
- Pour a large spoonful of batter onto the pan.
- Swirl the pan so that the batter spreads evenly onto the pan and forms a thin layer.
- If the batter is too thick it won't spread well onto the pan, so add water accordingly to thin it down.
- Close with the lid and cook for a few minutes till the ends of the appam turns crispy and the center of the appam turns soft and cooked well.
- Before making the next one, wipe off any crispy appam particles stuck onto the pan using a paper towel.
- Enjoy appams while they are warm along with your favorite curry.