There are variations of these enjoyed across South India, and actually even Sri Lanka where they are called hoppers. This batter keeps well in the refrigerator for four days; I have not tried keeping it longer because of the fresh coconut. If refrigerating, bring it out for about 30 to 40 minutes before using allowing the mixture to begin frothing. Traditionally these creations are cooked in a special appam pan, that is essentially a shallow wok, since I do not have one I have done the best I can here on a regular pan. They tasted just fine.
Appam – Lace Rimmed Rice and Coconut Pancakes [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
14-15 6" pancakes
- 2 cups of rice
- ¾ cup freshly grated coconut
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil for occasional lining of the pan
- Soak the rice for 6 to 8 hours.
- Place the rice with the coconut and salt in a blender with about 3/4 cup of water and grind to a relatively smooth and thick batter (about the consistency of a thick batter.
- In a small pan, take about ¾ cup of this prepared batter and cook on low heat stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and turns almost translucent. This is essentially forming a starter that helps with fermentation.
- Cool this mixture and add into the remaining batter mixing very well.
- Cover and set aside in a warm place for about 12 hours or longer.
- Add in the sugar into the warm water and the yeast, set aside for 10 minutes until frothy and stir into the batter and leave aside for 40 minutes until the batter is a mass of bubbles.
- Heat a heavy skillet (preferably one with an indentation, I use my chapatti skillet).
- Add a little oil just to moisten the surface, and pour a ladleful of the batter swirling to spread the edges leaving the center thicker. Cook gently cover the pancake for about 3 to 4 minutes, the edges should be turning crisp and the center should be just set.
- Remove from the skillet, this should come off very easily and set aside keeping it warm as you continue.