I’ve been fascinated by Kerala cuisine ever since I first discovered it. My juvenile self wanted to be adopted by Malayalees and for a while I pretended to be one! My cooking as readers of this blog may have noticed is nothing traditional. I have evolved my own mix and match way of arriving at a dish or replicating a recipe I’ve read or tasted.
Appam is something that has intrigued me for a very long time. A friend of mine once mentioned that she never makes dosa batter at home, only Appam batter as that is so much easier. I wanted to bow and kiss her hands and put her on a pedestal. I was that much in awe! Sometime ago, K’s family were coming over for lunch and I wanted to make Appam with Ishtu as my FIL loves it. I turned to twitter and asked a gorgeous friend S to give me a dummy proof recipe. She texted me the measurements and waited with bated breathe for me to report. I was happy to tell her that if I could make it at one shot, anyone could!
This is a classic breakfast, eaten best with a nice spicy curry or vegetable stew (pronounced as Ishtu) or even this spicy mushroom curry. I will be blogging another recipe for the vegetable stew next. In the meanwhile, try out this Appam, its delicate crisp edges and soft as a pillow middle will leave you wanting for more.
I was confused about yeast being allowed in Vegan food, a little research online said it was, so here is the recipe.
Kerala Paalappam (With Rice Flour) ~ Makes 7-8
Rice Flour – 2 cups
Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Rava (Semolina) – 2 tbsp
Thick Coconut Milk – 1/2 to 1 Cup (I use Canned Coconut Milk)
Water – As needed
Salt – to taste
Mix together the semolina and 1 cup water and cook on a low flame, stirring continuously till it thickens in a thick bottom pan. Set this aside to cool.
Mix together the rice flour, sugar, yeast and 2 cups of water to make a thick batter. Mix the cooked semolina mixture, cover and set aside for about 6 hours or overnight for the batter to ferment and rise.
When you are ready to make the appams, add the coconut milk, stir and add salt to taste.
there is a special kind of shallow pan that is available to make these appams, if you do not have it, use a regular non stick kadai and apply some oil, wipe and heat on medium heat.
pour one large Ladle of the batter into the pan, hold it on both sides and rotate to spread the batter. this should give you a thick center and thin sides. cover with a lid and cook for about 1 minute, check to see if the sides of the appam are turning golden and crisp. Check with a skewer if the middle is cooked. Ease it out of the pan and place on a plate.
Appams are best eaten hot, when the edges are crisp and the middle is soft.