Cooking time (approx.): 3 minutes each
Style: South Indian (Kerala) Vegetarian
2 cup(s) raw rice soaked for 4-5 hours
4 cups coconut shavings
1 cup(s) cooked rice
1 cup(s) coconut water
½ teaspoon(s) yeast granules dissolved in some coconut water or little hot water
salt and sugar to taste
Drain the soaked rice and grind it along with the coconut shavings and cooked rice to a fine thick paste. Coconut water may be preferably used instead of water for grinding. Add the yeast and mix lightly. Mix in the salt and sugar to taste. Allow to ferment at room temperature for at least 6 hours.
Heat a small non-stick wok. Pour approximately half a cup of batter and quickly but gently swirl the pan around such that only a thin layer of the batter covers the sides and a thick layer collects at the bottom. Cover with a lid and cook each appam on medium heat for about 3 minute(s) or till the edges have become golden crisp and the centre is soft and spongy. Another sign of doneness would be when the edges start coming off the wok.
In case coconut water is unavailable, water may be used instead. However, coconut water is preferred since it acts as a fermenting agent.
Coconut water should not be thrown once the coconut is broken. The coconut can be cracked over a bowl to collect the water. Coconut water is very nutritious; hence, one can drink it or use it in stews instead of water. In this recipe, it has been used for grinding the coconut and rice since it acts as a fermenting agent. This will make the pancakes fluffy and spongy.
A special traditional metal wok called ‘appam chatty’ in Kerala is used to cook the appams. Oil is a must in these woks. Nowadays a special non-stick ‘appam chatty’ has replaced the metal one giving oil-free appams. Any small non-stick wok can be used for this purpose.
A well-fermented batter will form small holes (like a lace) all over the appam while cooking. This makes the appams very light.
Serve hot with : recipes such as
Mixed Vegetable Stew (Kerala Vegetable Stew),
Goan Vegetable Curry, and
Vegetables in a Spicy Gravy (Sabzi Kurma).