Appam is a fermented rice pancake, and like bread made from simple, whole ingredients – flour, water, salt, and yeast. Its spongy texture is similar to injera and it is just as effective in mopping up stews.
Whether the bread or pancake is made from wheat, rice, or teff flour, it is that combination that starts the natural chemical process of fermentation. The gas bubbles that come to the surface are responsible for the sour smelling batter. Chemistry aside, the resulting bread or pancake has a light and airy texture. The unhurried (10-12 hours) fermented batter gives the bread its delicate flavor. While rice and teff flour (used ininjera) are naturally gluten-free, slow fermentation breaks down the gluten proteins more effectively even with wheat and rye flour. This makes the bread easier to digest.
Appam (Rice Pancake)
Rice Flour – 1 cup
Yeast – ¼ tsp
Sugar – 4 tsp
Coconut Milk – 1 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
- In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1 tbsp of water until it dissolves.
- Add the sugar, salt, and coconut milk and stir until well mixed.
- Add the rice flour and ¼ cup of water to make a batter.
- Keep the batter aside in a warm place, about 12-14 hours or overnight.
- Just before cooking, add water to the batter as needed, for a pouring consistency.
- Heat a small non-stick wok.
- Drop 2 tbsp of batter into the center of the wok.
- Pick the wok up (with oven gloves) and swirl it gently, letting the batter come up the sides.
- Cover with a lid and place it back on the heat. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Remove the lid. The pancake should have a crispy brown lacy edge and a spongy center. Repeat for 8-10 pancakes.
- Pancakes can also be made on a griddle or the batter can be steamed to a bread-like thickness.
- Serve with stew or curry.