Appam is a quintessential Kerala breakfast and can seem quite tedious to make, especially if you are new to to the process. I love Appam and have had years of success with this quicker version of making appam with rice flour instead of grinding raw rice to make a batter, etc.
A few key things to remember when making appam using rice flour
- The rice flour needs to be plain rice flour. No need to buy appam powder or any other ‘special’ kind. I’ve had success with pretty much all brands I’ve tried
- The recipe calls for yeast. Use good quality, instant yeast. The kind you use for bread is perfect
- Coconut milk is another key ingredient. I use full fat coconut milk which I thin down with some water. If using homemade coconut milk, add to the batter and thin down as needed with water
- An appam pan is necessary to get perfect appams. These are typically round bottom pans or kadai and traditionally come in iron. Non-stick is available too. Use what works for you. I have the Nirali brand appam pan.
- Using the right temperature to cook appam is critical. Check notes below recipe to learn more
Appam with rice flour, an easier and more fail-proof recipe to make spongy and soft Kerala appam recipe. Serve with Kerala egg roast for a perfect meal.
- 1.5 cups + 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- Add 1 tablespoon rice flour to 1 cup water and cook in medium flame until thick and glossy – about 3-5 minutes
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool
- When cool (or lukewarm is fine too), add the remaining rice flour and yeast and mix with fingertips gently
- If the mixture is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time and mix together to form a thick yet soft mixture
- Cover and set aside in a warm place for 8 hours (see notes)
- After 8 hours, add coconut milk to this mixture and gently mix it in. The rice flour mixture will be thick and may form lumps, just gently break with a spoon or fingertips
- Add water or thin coconut milk to bring it to a pouring consistency, like that of dosa batter
- Mix in salt and sugar
- Set aside again for 1-2 hours
- The mixture should bubble up and get much lighter and watery
- Heat the appam pan and add 1/4 cup batter to it (use a large round ladle to pour)
- Holding the appam pan by the handles on both sides, gently swirl the batter along the edges. This video is helpful to see this in action.
- Cover and cook on medium heat until the centre is cooked and the edges are drier and start to peel off from the pan, or turn a light orange brown
- Gently start to remove from pan along the edges and transfer to a plate
- Serve warm with sweetened coconut milk and Kerala egg roast
- Make sure the heat is maintained at medium. Too hot and the sides of the appam will get burned and centre will remain uncooked., Too low and you won’t be able to make an appam shape hold while swirling the pan.
- If you plan to cook appam with rice flour for breakfast, start the prep the night before, add the coconut milk in the morning 1-2 hours before you need to serve breakfast. If you want to make appam for dinner, then start prep in the morning.
- There should be minimum 1 cup thick coconut milk in the batter for this quantity of rice flour. If using homemade coconut milk, you can add remaining water to thin the batter or thin coconut milk (second milk, etc)
- Test salt and sugar in batter and adjust to taste. The batter should be slightly sweet. This feeds the yeast and also lends a better flavour to appam
- Leftover appam batter can be stored for 12 hours in fridge and used to make more appam
- Fermentation will depend on room temperature and other factors. These are the timings I use in Singapore which is a warm place. In Kerala, it ferments faster
- Always remember to use good quality yeast that’s active and check expiry to ensure it will work
Keywords: Kerala appam recipe with rice flour
Step by Step Pictures to make Appam with rice flour
Mix 1 tablespoon rice flour with water and cook in medium flame until you get a thick paste
Add remaining rice flour and yeast to this
Mix gently with fingertips and add more water as needed to make a soft yet firm dough. Cover and set aside to ferment for 8 hours or so.
After fermenting (the batter will have a fermented yeast-y smell), add the thick coconut milk and some water / thin coconut milk to get a pourable batter
Add salt and sugar to this. Mix well and keep covered for another 1- 2 hours.
The batter will bubble up in this time.
Gorgeous bubbles that will ensure super soft appams
Pour a ladle-ful into appam pan and swirl to make appam. Cook covered until done.