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- Duration: 15 minutes (plus soaking-time)
- Serves: 8-10 people
Spice Level: Low
Usually, the Appam is cooked in a vessel called the appachetty, which is essentially a rounded iron pan with a wooden handle and an accompanying lid, much like a kadhai. It is available in Kerala specialty stores. It gives the dish its required texture and cooks the Appam evenly. You may use a similar type of non-stick pan with a lid.
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Appam, also known as the 'Queen of Kerala', is made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is also popular in Tamil Nadu and Odisha where it is called Chitau Pitha. Versions of Appam exist in Sri Lanka as well, where it is referred to as Appa in Sinhala. The anglicised name of the Appam is Hoppers. In Burma, it’s a lunch staple and is known as Arpose. However, it’s Kerala that lays claim to the origin of the dish, which over the centuries, has emerged as the distinct food identity of 'God’s Own Country'. It is generally eaten for breakfast.
- Rice, preferably Sona Masuri (1½ cups)
- Coconut, fresh and grated (¾ cups)
- Rice, boiled (2 tbsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Sugar (2 tsp)
- Water (2 cups)
- Wash and soak the rice for 4 hours. Drain and grind it along with about ¾ cups of water, the grated coconut and the cooked rice in a grinder to make a smooth mixture.
- In a deep-bottomed pan, add ¼ cup of the batter and ¾ cup water. Place the pan on a low flame and cook, stirring continuously till the batter begins to thicken and becomes translucent. Turn off the flame and allow this cooked batter to cool.
- Once cooled, add this cooked batter to the rice-coconut batter and mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
- Add half a cup of water to make the batter of pouring consistency, but ensure that it’s not too runny.
- Cover the batter and let it ferment overnight. By morning, you will find that it has risen to become double the original quantity.
- Just before preparing the Appams, add the salt and sugar to the fermented batter and mix well.
- Heat the appachetty or non-stick pan on medium flame for around 2 minutes. Put 3 drops of any vegetable oil and wipe the pan with a moist cloth. (Appams are made without oil and are never flipped on the pan.)
- Lower the flame and pour a ladleful of batter in the centre of the pan.
- Lift the pan off the flame and twirl the appachetty in such a way that the batter moves in clockwise direction to spread out in a circular shape. Do the twirling twice and let the remaining batter pool in the centre.
- Place the pan back on a low flame and cover. After 2 minutes, check to see whether the edges of the Appam have become crisp and are beginning to come off the sides of the pan. The centre should be soft, fluffy and cooked through like an idli.
- Lift the Appam out of the pan with a wooden spatula and serve it hot with vegetable stew.
- You can refrigerate the leftover batter for up to two days but not any longer as it will spoil.