Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen - Appams

Blog-checking lines: Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

What a fun and tasty challenge this was!  The appams need to ferment for 8-12 hours, so I made the batter on Saturday and cooked/served them for Sunday dinner.  Hilary and I were a bit concerned when I started to cook them because they smelled so sour and yeasty!  I forged ahead and cooked the first one.  It bubbled up like all the pictures I had seen, got lacy around the edges and generally looked great.  So we tasted it.  Hmmmm..... not bad, but it had a slightly sour taste to it.  Hilary then dipped her piece into one of the curries that I had made to go with them.  Her eyes lit up!  The sour/yeasty taste combined with the spicy curry taste is  phenomenal!

This is definitely a dish that is worth the time and one that we will be sure to make again.

Servings: Makes about 15. I find 3-4 are enough for a serving


  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
  • ½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
  • About ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)


  • Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours. You can soak it overnight, although I did not try that.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
  • Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed, but I did not. Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well. You can see that it is not completely smooth, but very thick—that’s about right.
  • Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry--they are mild tasting when cooked!
  • Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. Notice how it bubbles after you add the coconut milk. I recommend test-cooking one before thinning the batter.
  • Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.
  • Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.
  • Make another, and another.  

  • Serve with curries of your choice - I served mine with a lamb ishtew and a sambar vegetable curry


shelley c. said...

Your appams look great, and I agree - they are even better with the curry! Wonderful work on the challenge.

Mary said...

I like the appams on their own if they are not sour, but they really are at their best dipped in something tasty and saucy. Great job and thanks for participating!

Renata said...

I had quite the same reaction when I first tried it, but I loved the appams on their own. Your appams and curry look delicious :)

Anonymous said...

That was my exact reaction..I was really worried about the smell but the end result was really good
great job on this month's challenge

Makey-Cakey said...

Fantastic - what a great challenge - they look delicious!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Your appams look absolutely perfect! Wow.

Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said...

mmmm. Love the look of your appams and vegetable curry!!!

chef_d said...

I agree, the appam and the curry tastes so good together, great job!

4pure by Andrea said...

You're appams look great and I love you're filling.

Unknown said...

Your appams and curry look great.

Leandra said...

You appam looks great!

I need try again.

Oggi said...

You appams look perfect and the curry yummy.:)

Lisa said...

Your appams are so lacey and perfect. If you think the taste was sour initially, before the curry dip..imagine it after fermenting 3 days lol Thankfully, it did not translate too much into my cooked appam, and also tasted great with the curry. Fantastic job!