Appam is a South Indian pancake dish that is made of fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is pretty common in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the island nation of Sri Lanka. With that said, many Malaysians also share this love for light and soft snack. Appam is a local favourite as you can have it sweet or savoury, for breakfast or dinner as well. The appam can be eaten with a creamy coconut milk layer in the centre or with a sunny-side-up egg. Here’s a recipe to show you how to make your very own appam from home!
Origin of Appam
A few theories were found when it comes to the origin of the appam. The most popular theory is that the word ‘Appam’ was mentioned in the Tamil Perumpanuru, otherwise known as an ancient Tamil poem; dating back to 300 BC. KT. Achaya, a food historian, also states that the appam was established in ancient Tamil country in the last published book of his lifetime.
The appam was established as a staple food there and spread throughout the rest of India and later to places like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. Another theory besides this is that the Jews brought the Appam recipe to Kerala as one of the region’s earliest settlers.
Appam Recipe: How to Make Authentic and Tasty Appam
Some of you might be shocked to see how long the prepping time is. Don’t worry; it is a normal process to go through as you need time for the rice to ferment. After all, it will be worth going the extra mile for an authentic homemade Appam!
8 to 10 hours
11 to 15 minutes
1 cup of rice (soaked)
½ cup of fresh coconut
½ of cooked rice
3 slices of bread
½ tsp of oil
Salt (to taste)
Water (as needed)
- First, soak the bread slices in the water for a little while. Then, take the bread out and squeeze them to remove the excess water. Set it aside.
- Next, drain the soaked rice and grind them with water until a smooth paste is formed.
- Transfer the smooth paste into a deep bowl and set it aside. After that, grind the cooked rice, coconut and bread with water until it becomes a fine paste.
- Then, add this mixture into the smooth rice paste and stir well.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it to ferment overnight.
- On the next day, heat the appam chatti or non-stick Appam pan. Wipe the pan with a lightly oiled cloth.
- Take the batter that was left overnight, and add water to it until it is of pouring consistency. Then, add salt to the batter and mix.
- Next, sprinkle some water onto the appam chatti. Then, pour a ladle of batter in it and spread it around. Make sure the edges are thin, and the excess batter is collected at the centre.
- Then, cover the chatti and leave it to cook until the edges are crisp and red, while the centre is soft. Gently drizzle some oil around the edges and take out the appam.
- Your appam is ready to serve!
If you don’t have an appam chatti, you can also use a regular non-stick pan.
Ways to Enjoy Appam
If you’d like to spice up your Appam snack, well the best thing to pair this dish with is a bowl of Kadala curry or chickpea curry and with some vegetable stew. The appam also goes great with something light such as coconut chutney. For a sweet version of this snack, try pairing it with sweetened milk or sweet coconut milk!
Find more Malaysian food recipes here at Lokataste Recipe!