Appam Recipe (Hopper) – Kerala Cuisine

One of the the yummiest flat breads to come out of India is the Appam, native to the state of Kerala. Made from rice and coconut that is fermented with yeast, appams are soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness. They are perfect to enjoy along with Potato Stew, Avial and Kerala style chicken, among other dishes. Try this very simple recipe for Appam.

Prep Time: Inactive (4 hrs soaking + 8 hrs fermenting); Active (5 minutes grinding)
Cook Time: 2-3 mins per appam
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

Raw Ponni Rice – 2 cups, washed and soaked for 4-5 hours
Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Fresh Shredded Coconut – 1 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Water – 1/2 cup, warm
Yeast – 1/4 tsp
Sugar – 1 Tbsp + 4 Tbsp
Water – 1 cup + 1/2 cup (divided)

Method:

1. Mix Yeast and 1 Tbsp Sugar into Warm Water. Cover and set aside until foamy.
2. In a blender, grind Cooked Rice and Coconut using the Yeast Water.
3. Add raw soaked rice and salt to the blender and continue to grind using additional 1 cup of water (little at at time). Batter should be absolutely smooth.
4. Remove batter into a large container with a lid and keep it in a warm place to ferment for about 8 hours.
5. Add additional 4 Tbsp Sugar and 1/2 cup water and mix well.
7. Heat Appam Chetty or non-stick skillet until water droplets sprinkled on evaporate immediately.
8. Pour a ladle full of batter into the center of the skillet.
9. Pick up the skillet and twirl it around so that the batter swirls all the way to the edges of the pan.
10. Cover the skillet and allow the appam to cook for approx 2 minutes.
11. When edges are brown, gently lift the appam from one side and move the skillet so that the appam moves freely.
12. Slide appam off the skillet onto a plate and serve immediately.

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65 thoughts on “Appam Recipe (Hopper) – Kerala Cuisine

  1. Hi , thank you so much for the recipe! It turned out great. I used basmati rice and it was fine. However I think it’s a bit too sweet. What can I do to reduce it?

    1. Hi Poorvi,
      Appams do have a hint of sweetness due to the coconut milk and that is one of the reasons it is paired with spicy and masaledaar food.
      You could do that or just add a dash of lime juice to tone it down a bit.
      Happy Cooking!

  2. Thanks a lot! I took it out n let it sit on the counter for an hr, but it was not risen, i added water n sugar and do it as follow yr method, It turned out yummy with a bit of sour taste, could be over ferment… Next time shall i try when it is reaching the peak before it collapse, it took about an hour time, i wonder if i had putting too much yeast? And, i think my batter was a bit thick that the edges was not thin enough, shall i put more water, and when i stir in the water n sugar, the batter will become smooth or still sponge like? Appreciate and thx in advanced..

  3. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    I am Chinese lived in tropica country, Malaysia. I would like to know what if the appam batter ferment too fast, in an hour time, i was thinking to ferment it start from 11.30pm and ready to eat the next morning, but within an hour it rise more than double and begin to colapse? Can i pop it into the fridge to slow down the process?

    1. Hi Lee,
      Yes, that would be the best solution. Store it in the refrigerator and then take it out and keep it at room-temperature about an hour before you are ready to make them. The batter will rise again and your appams will be light and spongy.
      Happy Cooking!

  4. Its me again. Just wanted to add further comments today…I made the Appam following your recipe…but turn out very dry…like as though plain rice flour was pour into the pan. I didn’t miss out anything but I add more yeast compared to you n I did try to diluted the batter hoping it will help…but all not fruitful. I have eaten the appam in restaurant..,and usually moisture inside…very fluffy n crispy outside. My batter got fermented well n risen so much.

    Can you pls tell me what went wrong?? I even bought ponni raw rice just as you suggested.

  5. Great tips….I’m single so was excited to know that I can freeze the batter and keep it for months without further fermentation. Can I freeze only the dosa and rava batter. How about this Appam batter? And also can I know what’s the correct way to defrost the batter when I want to reuse the batter? Can I put it in microwave and use defrost function ? Wouldn’t it spoil the texture of batter…..please reply me…..love you all,,,

  6. Hello Hetal/Anuja,

    Could you pls let me know why the appams I make do not turn out be crispy in the edges? Neither do they get the golden brown colour, both on the edges and the bottom. Does the variety of rice used in the preparation matter? What should be exact consistency of the batter? Very earnestly look forward to your reply. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Alka,
      Yes, you can – but take it out and allow it to sit on the counter-top and come down to room-temperature before you get ready to make them πŸ™‚
      Happy Holidays!

  7. After it is fermented you have added 4 tbsps of sugar and half a cup of water. can this be added before we keep it aside for fermenting?

    Thanks

  8. Over the last 25 yrs. I’ve tried out so many diff recipes for appams, have never been truly been happy with any of them. I’ve tried out your recipe more than twice and the appams have come out so nicely, my family has fallen in love with appams. Thank you for this perfect recipe.

  9. I must congratulate you both for your demos and recipes.I looked all over to buy an appam chatti you used. No avail.I live in the UK.I would appreciate your advice.
    By the way you mentioned toddy canbe used for the appam recipe.Toddy is not fermented coconut water. Toddy is obtained from the coconut flower during its bud stage,through a special process,called toddy tapping, which is done in Sri Lanka (where I come from).I am sure it is done in Kerala too.They use it for Appam there and gives a lovely flavour.Hope you did not mind my mentioning this.

  10. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I am from Tamil Nadu and my mom makes appam using wheat flour. To wheat flour, you add jaggery, banana and elaichi and just fry it in oil like vadas (without holes) or there is a special vessel to make it to in round balls. Appam is a famous desert in Tamil Nadu.

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Appam looks yummy!!! I want to try..but I done have yeast. so can I use backing powder or bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast?

  12. Thanks for the reply Hetal.

    We did this for breakfast today and it was
    totally delicious,soft very tasty to have with coconut milk.
    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with
    perfect measurements.

  13. Just made this for breakfast πŸ˜€ was awesome! thank you so much for this post! The yield was 11 appams πŸ™‚

  14. We tried this recipe on sunday.
    It came out super soft and excellent taste.
    Thanks to you both for sharing this lovely recipe.

  15. Hi hetal and anuja!

    Wonderful recipe and detailed explanation by you both and I like to
    make it.
    Cooked rice you were using is ponni raw rice or ponni parboiled rice
    or idli rice.Please let me know.Eagerly waiting for the reply to make
    it.

    Latha

    1. Hi Anuja,
      This time i made the batter thinner with less yeast, it turned up superb with unnoticeable sourness. And i also make it with malaysia version, cracking two egg into yr batter before cook, it created excellent aroma!
      Thanks again for yr recipe and god blessed…

  16. Hi hetal and anuja!

    Wonderful recipe and detailed explanation by you both and I like to
    make it.
    Cooked rice you were using is ponni raw rice or ponni parboiled rice
    or idli rice.Please let me know.Eagerly waiting for the reply to make
    it.

  17. Great recipe. Made it last weekend. Came out really well except was whitish in color…taste was great. How do I get that golden color? I made it on an elec stove. DO you think thats why??

    1. Hi Sharm,

      Hmmm…the stove shouldn’t really make a difference for this recipe. Maybe its the type of pan you are using?

  18. Ladies,
    I have read many recipes of Appam. But your presentation and contents are awesome.Thank you very much.A small question.Now a days in our city(in india) boiled rice is not available.So if we use idali rawa,what should be the quantity?

    1. Thank you Shrikant! For this recipe, we used Raw Ponni rice, not boiled. Idli rawa is boiled rice. You can use regular basmati rice if you cannot find Ponni.

  19. I’m from Srilanka and we make this alot back home.
    This receipe is just perfect, came out really good.
    For cooked rice I used red rice. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I’m from Srilanka and we make this alot back home. This receipe is just perfect, came out really good.
    For cooked rice I used red cooked rice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Kruti,

      Yeast is readily available at most stores. We know that originally people used to use fermented coconut water in place of yeast, however, we have not tried it. Sorry.

  21. As a Keralite, just wanted to point out that Appam and avial is never a combination found in any household. Avial is always eaten with rice. The accompaniments with Appam is usually a stew (vegetable, egg, chicken, mutton or beef), or a curry like green peas, chicken curry, some even have it with fish curry like fish moilee

  22. As a Keralite, just wanted to point out that Appam and avial is never a combination found in any household. Avial is always eaten with rice. The accompaniments with Appam is usually a stew (vegetable, egg, chicken, mutton or beef), or a curry like green peas, chicken curry, some even have it with fish curry.

  23. Scratch that!

    they were so delicious my husband and I ate them all!

    WOW, amazing

    simply DELISH!

    we at it with your Malabar chicken recipe tonight

    1. Add sugar to taste and raisins and cashews–and place in greased baking dish. Put this in a steamer and steam until cooked. Will be fluffy and sweet cake, perfect with coffee or tea…called Vattayappam. Can also steam cook in a Idli steamer and make individual cakes too.

  24. Hi dears,

    Try adding thin poha soaked while grinding instead of yeast for that fluffy texture!! Comes out wonderful and also ferments faster!!

  25. Awe inspiring video of making Appams.Will try and get back with the result.Thanks Hetal and Anuja.Your beautiful smile makes it so much more interesting to watch.

  26. Great episode. I learned how to make this when I was in Kerela years ago, and bought the cast iron pan to make them. You’re video has given me the inspiration to break out that pan and make some.

    Thank you so much for all the great videos.

  27. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    This is definitely one of the sought after breakfast. Thanks for posting. Also you guys should add puttu recipe to list which is another v tasty recipe from south.

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