Appam and chicken stew for breakfast needs no special description. I have spoken about it in one of my previous post of Kerala style rice pancakes- the Kallappam or the Vellayappam. When I had posted this recipe I received requests to post a simpler version recipe of the Paalappam or the Rice Lace Hoppers. Since then I took it up as a challenge to create a simplified version. My Last Appam recipe was tried by many followers and they have successfully made it part of their kitchen routine. It was very encouraging to hear from a few of them who tried and loved the recipe.
For all who are new to this dish, let me share that it is a combination of a crepe and a pancake. It is the unusual blend or flavors or textures that makes these appams unique and delicious for a satisfying breakfast. A perfect hopper or appam is usually a lace like thin crispy edge and a slightly substantial center with bubbly pores perfect to soak up any accompaniment. There is also a Sri Lankan version to the hoppers, that an egg is cracked into the pan while its cooking. It’s called an egg hopper, where the simple hopper is topped with a runny just done egg on top, usually accompanied by a spicy sambal.
Developing a recipe for me is like research and testing in my home kitchen. This process is incredibly creative and sometimes it is quite challenging when I have to go in-depth into the technique to keep it classic. I have done quite a few tests on this particular recipe where ingredients were increased, decreased and even taken out of the spot. I have planned it well and changed it as needed. After all the evaluation and making it quite a few times, I was very convinced and confident to put it up on this small space.
I tried my best to keep it as simple as possible even removing an ingredient which didn’t affect its texture or taste. I tried it with yeast and without yeast but the one with yeast stood out perfectly. Then I had been working on the different types of rice whether to use it by grinding or use it as a flour. I tried using many brands and ended up using a very local rice flour brand from my local supermarket. The recipe was well simplified and perfect in every way. I wanted an instant way or a short cut but later realized that fermenting is highly essential to give it a nice texture. I had gone through a handful of recipes and ready instant mixes where the flour is cooked into a pasty mass and added to the batter to accelerate the fermentation process making the process tedious.
This easy batter should be used just after fermentation and the leftover can be stored in the refrigerator. The center of the appam is soft while the sides turn crisp and golden if you are patient and cook it longer. I love the soft white appams and that is totally my personal preference. You can cook this in a cast iron small kadai or a nonstick appam pan. These Appams or hoppers perfectly goes well with a nice chicken stew or a vegetable stew and even with a good egg curry for breakfast. I just love to have the leftover appams by simply sprinkling some sugar that works like some magic on my palate, leaving me content. Whatever the choice of accompaniment these appams are sure to appease anybody’s taste senses. I am sure this recipe will help you making tasty appams.
- Raw rice flour- 2 cups
- Beaten rice (poha)– half cup (1/2)
- Instant yeast – half teaspoon.
- Coconut milk powder –2 tbsp. (optional).
- Sugar to taste -1 tablespoon (approx.)
- Salt to taste.
- Water as required- (2 cups approx.)
- Take beaten rice or poha in a small bowl and soak by adding little water. Once the beaten rice is soaked well, blend it into a smooth paste by adding little sugar, yeast and coconut powder.
- Add this mix with the rice flour. Blend in by adding water in a blender or use a whisk or spatula to combine to a smooth batter.
- Mix well until all well combined. It should be a slightly thick free flowing batter.
- Keep it aside in a warm place for at least 8-9 hours. Once fermented well check for the consistency of the batter. Mix well again, add in salt and more water if required to form a smooth flowing batter.
- Warm and oil the appam pan. Pour in a ladleful of batter and swirl once. Cover and cook on a slow flame till done.
- Gently remove and let it cool slightly on a flat surface before transferring to a serving plate.
Notes to follow before preparation: –
- Use only raw rice flour. Check the packets to see if its mentioned roasted or raw. Do not use roasted rice flour, the batter will not come out well and will not stick to the pan. Try preparing using half the measure to check the quality of the rice powder. All rice flour available in the market are not the same type.
- If you don’t have rice flour, you can make it at home by soaking rice for 4 hours, then draining and drying well before powdering them into a flour.
- Use only white beaten rice or poha, you can also use leftover cooked rice in the same quantity.
- This batter should be allowed to rest or ferment for 6 to 9 hours or overnight. Even if you see the batter has risen during the fourth or fifth hour, still let it rest for a minimum of eight to nine hours. You can continue to rest it longer if the climate is cooler. The yeast risen will still remain active.
- The water can be increased or decreased to make the batter as it is totally on the type of flour used.
- Add salt only after the batter has risen well and just before preparation of the appams.
- Always cook the appams on a low flame.
- Addition of coconut powder is totally optional. You can always skip it; it will not affect the taste or texture of the appams, it’s always a personal preference.
- The appams can be cooked longer for a browner crisper side.
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