In Kerala, India, almost everything is made with some form of coconut. My wife and I love this as a snack or breakfast, whatever time.
Appam is like a pancake with a thick, fluffy, soft center and thin, crispy edges.
2 1/2 cups dry white rice soaked 3 or 4 hours in water
1.5 cups FRESH grated/ground coconut (won’t work with desiccated coconut or confectioners coconut)
1/2 tsp active yeast
1/4 cup sugar -more if you like it sweeter
1/4 tsp salt
water as required for grinding
coconut oil as required for cooking.
In India everyone has something they call a Mixie. It is like our blender, but it has an attached grinder. Here in America a vita-mix is just as awesome. A regular blender will work if it has a good motor and blade.
Grind the rice and coconut into a runny/soupy paste, adding water as required. If you buy a fresh coconut (recommended) you can use the water inside and that is usually enough.
Add the yeast and sugar and cover it with a towel. Let that sit over night in a warm place in your kitchen.
Next day the volume will have tripled. Add salt and stir it up a little. Now you have ‘maavu’, or batter.
Traditionally appam is cooked on a ‘appam chatti’, or appam ‘pot’. It looks like a small shallow wok with two handles and a lid. They aren’t too hard to find in the US and they are not expensive at all.
with a paper towel, coat a hot chatti with coconut oil and pour in some maavu (batter) and pick up the chatti and swirl the batter around the pan coating the whole thing in a thin layer on the sides.
Set it back down on medium heat and cover it for about a minute or so. Your done! Don’t let the pan get too hot.
The center should be thick and fluffy and the edges should be thin and crispy.
Some people like to put an egg in the center and let it cook slightly while covered. Most just like it plain maybe with a spicy or savory chutney to dip it in.
It takes practice to get it right, but even imperfect appam are delicious. The first time I made these not a singe one made it on a plate. we just stood at the stove eating them as they came off.