Appam or lace hoppers is a popular Kerala breakfast dish made with rice and fresh coconut. Appams are a variety of rice pancakes with thin, lacey edges and fluffy centers. Traditionally rice is soaked and ground along with coconut and fermented using palm toddy. Palm toddy can be replaced with yeast and it will yield the same results.
While the traditional method definitely gives you superior results, the instant powder route I decided to take wasn’t bad at all. Many of you might wonder what is there to write about something made with instant powder available in grocery stores. I thought the same until I started to make them. I bought a bag of Avee’s instant appam powder at the Indian grocery store and trust me if I had followed the instructions on the package, I would have ended up with a gooey mess. After a few frantic calls to my mom who has had similar experiences with instant appam powder, I got the consistency right and that’s when I thought this is definitely worthy of a post.
Making appams is super simple with this instant powder and we liked our pillowy goodness with kadalai curry, you can also serve this with egg curry or lightly sweetened coconut milk. You can use a special appam pan or use a non-stick or cast iron wok with a tight fitting lid for making appams.This vegan dish has almost no oil, is super healthy and delicious.
1 cup+2 tablespoons instant appam powder
1 teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1.5 cups coconut milk( I used Trader Joe’s light coconut milk)
1. Place yeast and sugar in a bowl and add 1/4 cup warm water. Mix well. Let it sit for 15 minutes. The yeast should be frothy at the end of 15 minutes, if not, discard the yeast and start again.
2. Take 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring it a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of appam powder and cook on low heat stirring continuously till a thick mixture is formed.
3. Place the remaining appam powder in a large bowl. Add yeast and the thick mixture from the previous step. Add coconut milk and warm water, about 1cup slowly till a dosa batter like consistency is achieved. Add salt and mix well.
4. Let this sit in a warm place for 6-8 hours. The batter should have doubled by this time. Add more warm water if required and mix the batter well.
5. When you are ready to make appams, heat appam pan or a wok. Add a few drops of oil and grease the wok with a paper towel.
6. Pour 1/2 cup of fermented appam batter into the pan and swirl it couple of times till the batter spreads evenly to the sides of the pan.
7. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
8. Appams with spongy centers and lacey corners will start to come off from the sides of the pan when they are fully cooked and ready to eat.
9. Repeat steps for remaining batter and serve warm with a side of your choice.