Appam & thengai pal such a heavenly combo and makes me so nostalgic. Appam is a rice pancake that is lacy and tender, very filling and usually famous as a South Indian Breakfast special. Even since I can remember we have been having appam and thenga pal at home once a month. It takes loads of patience and a good recipe to make fool-proof appams. Who other than our mother's can get the equation right? There are tons of appam recipes that are flooded on the internet. I am sure each one has a unique and distinctive taste and texture. Let me tell you the appams I have seen in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are so different. The ones in Tamil Nadu are soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, whereas in Kerala majority of the places I have visited appams are fully white tender and lase like. Both kinds I enjoy as long as I have a good cup of coconut milk to accompany with. In TN we have Nallas Appa Kadai taking the honours of making appams from scratch and does make people lazy to prepare them at home. Nevertheless a good excuse to step up for a meal ;-)
Today I will sharing with you the Tamil kind of appams that are soft and tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, they go well with stews, kurma, coconut milk and any non veg curry. At home we make appams for breakfast and rarely for dinner unless we intend to indulge. The batter is used upto 3 times and if you are planning to try this recipe for the first time. I suggest that you half the proportions.
Recipe Source - Amma
Soaking time - 3- hrs
Prep time (grinding) - 20-25 mins
Fermentation - overnight
Serving Suggestion - along with thengai pal (coconut milk-check for the recipe below), veg stew or any non veg curry
To Soak & grind
Pachaarusi/ Raw Rice - 2
Par boiled rice - 1 cup
Urad dal (whole & skinless) - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 10 no
Shredded Coconut - 1 cup (use only freshly grated)
Coconut water - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
1. Wash and soak both raw, par boiled rice along with urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for 3-4 hours.
2. Using a grinder grind the soaked rice and dal for 10 minutes slowly add the shredded coconut and coconut water along with water to help grind the batter.
3.Make sure the batter is in an almost smooth paste not in a super smooth consistency.You may have to adjust your grinding setting accordingly.
4. The batter should be thin (more liquid compared to dosa batter consistency) now transfer the batter to a large storing vessel, mix in the salt and sugar let sit in room temperature overnight to ferment
5. In the morning you will see a slight rise in the batter break it down by mixing well. In a small bowl add 1 tbsp of water and mix the cooking/ baking/ appam soda to it dilute it and add to the fermented batter. Set aside for 10 minutes undisturbed
6. Heat the appam pan on the stove top in medium heat, once it gets hot reduce to low, using a brush/ cloth knob dip it in oil and rub onto the pan (this helps appam to release from the pan & take care not to burn yourself)
7. Drop 2 dollops of batter in the centre of pan and holding the handles of the pan do a swirl of the pan to spread batter to appam. Cover with a lid to let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
8. Once the sides of the appam change colour/ start to turn golden and the centre is cooked remove from pan.
Serve hot with coconut milk (thengai pal-see the recipe below)
Do not over soak the rice and urad dal. Plan ahead and prepare the batter. Since this is a no yeast method it takes time for the batter to ferment naturally. Depending on weather conditions the batter may not ferment too so don't worry the baking soda/ cooking soda/ appa soda will do the job. Do not add the soda powder directly to the batter it may not spread evenly do always dilute it and then add. This is an age old tip passed to me from my mom
Adding coconut water enhances taste. You can skip if you do not have coconut water
This appam can be served along with any veg stew or kurma, chutney too
Do not make the batter too smooth, let it be partially smooth and the consistency should be more liquid compared to dosa batter
This appam is soft in the centre and crisp on the sides not like the Kerala soft appams (fully white and soft)
COCONUT MILK / THENGAI PAL FOR APPAM RECIPE
Shredded fresh coconut - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - as required for sweetness
In a mixer grind the shredded coconut in batches with water. Using a fine sieve/ strainer extract maximum coconut milk. Add the cardamom powder, sugar and mix well to dissolve.
Serve along with appam