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Ottappam or Ottada Recipe- Made In A Clay Pan (Rice Pancakes) | Thiruvithamcode, Tamil Nadu Speciality Food


Soft and fluffy Ottappams made in a clay pan…

Allow me to introduce this amazing dish, which is popular in my mom’s hometown- Thiruvithamcode (a small town located in the Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu). My grandmom, my mom & my aunts are all experts in making this. My mom introduced this to my dad’s family in Kerala & whoever tasted this instantly fell in love with it- the texture of the ottappam is incredibly fluffy, soft & airy. This is like a pancake made using rice flour batter. It’s actually a savory dish, served for breakfast or dinner, usually enjoyed with chicken or mutton curries in my family. Certain dishes are not enjoyed with vegetarian or fish curries, this is one such dish.

While serving to kids, pour some coconut milk & sprinkle some sugar on the ottappam, tastes delicious, kids will love this. In fact, I love this combination better than having ottappams with curries.

Making the perfect ottappams needs some practice & there are a few requirements we need to follow.

1- This can be only made in a clay pan (refer to the below clay pan picture). In fact, whoever makes ottappam will have a clay pan exclusively for making ottappam. Unfortunately, ottappam wouldn’t turn out well when made in a non-stick or cast iron pan- holes will be formed & it will turn thick.

2- If you are using a new clay pan, you need to season it before making ottappam. Firstly, pour some water into the pan & heat the water so that the hot water would remove any smell in the pan. One of the ways to season the clay pan is by rubbing egg shells on the pan, keep doing this everyday and then try making the ottappam. For the first few days, ottappam will stick to the pan after the pan has been used a couple of times it gets better & will be seasoned well. That’s the reason, I just took my mom’s ottappam clay pan that was already seasoned.

3- Clay pan has to be placed on a flame burner stove top as the pan has to be evenly heated & the pan has to turn very hot. Unfortunately, Ottappam wouldn’t turn out well if clay pan is placed on a coil, glass top, or induction cooktop.

If you can get hold of an ottappam clay pan, do try this recipe. Now, whenever I visit my mom (in Kerala) she makes ottappam for me & I’ll be seen enjoying the whole process of ottappam making & I absolutely adore the texture of ottappam. I haven’t come across any food that’s so fluffy & soft, beyond spectacular it is!


Cooking Video: How to make Ottappam

Preparation Pictures

Clay pan for making Ottappam

clay pan for making ottappam

Making Ottappam in the clay pan

making ottappam

Ottappam or Ottada recipe- Ottappam made in a clay pan (Rice pancakes)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Indian
  • Roasted rice flour- 2 cups (rice flour for making idiyappam can be used)
  • Eggs- 2
  • Water- 1¼ cups + 2 tbsp
  • Salt- ½ tsp
  1. You have to use a clay pan to make this. My grandmom, mom, aunts & everyone who makes this in my family has a clay pan that's used exclusively for making ottappam.
  2. This cannot be made in a non-stick or cast iron pan.
  3. Clay pans are widely available in South India.
  4. If you are using a new clay pan, season the pan well before making this; rub the pan with egg shells & keep the pan for a day, the next day rinse with water & pat dry the pan. Don't use oil.
  5. The more times you make ottappam in the clay pan, the clay pan will be well seasoned. So, it's better to steal your grandmom's or mom's ottappam clay pan (that's what I did :P)
  6. For making the batter, roasted rice flour has to be added. Rice flour that's used for making idiyappam will be ideal.
  7. To a blender jar, add the flour, eggs, water and salt, grind to a smooth paste.
  8. For making the perfect ottappam, batter must have the right consistency. It shouldn't be too thick nor too thin.
  9. For 2 cups rice, I've added 1¼ cups + 2 tbsp water to get the batter consistency right.
  10. The clay pan has to be placed on the flame burner stovetop, the pan has to be heated well.
  11. If placed on a glass top or induction cook top, ottappam wouldn't turn out well, unfortunately.
  12. Place the clay pan over medium high heat.
  13. The pan has to be very hot for making the perfect ottappam. It won't come out well in medium or low heat.
  14. Pour a spoonful of batter onto the pan, using the back of the spoon spread the batter to thin small round shape. Don't pour too much batter.
  15. Immediately, holes will start to form in the middle of the appam, this is a good sign. It might take a few turns to make the perfect ottappam.
  16. It will cook very fast so watch out, cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the center has cooked well & has turned fluffy.
  17. Using a spatula, take the ottappam off the pan & transfer to a plate.
  18. Don't grease the pan with oil, if any particles left in the pan use a kitchen paper towel to wipe it off.
  19. Take a moment & just enjoy the fluffy & soft texture of the ottappam, it's beyond amazing.
  20. After you are done making the ottappams, don't keep the hot clay pan in cold water (it can crack), let cool down completely before you rinse it in water.
  21. Ottappam is usually served with chicken or mutton curries, can also be enjoyed with vegetable stew or korma.
  22. For kids, pour some coconut milk over the ottappam & sprinkle some sugar, combine well, tastes absolutely delish. I actually love this combination.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...