This is a delicous South Indian breakfast dish. It’s made of fermented rice batter. It has a bowl-like shape, with a thick center and crispy edges that curl up. To make it, you need a special pan. The appam pan looks different than other pans with a unique concave shape, which creates the bowl-like end result. Appam is traditionally only made with this pan, but you can also make appam in whatever pan you have – you just won’t have the shape (it’ll still taste just as delicious though!).

To make the batter, people use different fermentation methods. Traditionally, my mom made it from toddy (கள்ளு) from palm or coconut tree and freshly powdered rice flour. That’s how I learned to make it too, but when I moved to the U.S., I began making the batter with fermented coconut water instead, because we can’t get toddy here. It’ll write another blog post about other ways of making appam batter, but in this post, I’ll show you how I prepare it with fermented coconut water.

When it’s ready, there are many ways you can eat appam. For example, one of my daughters likes eating it sweet by drenching the appam in sweet, fresh coconut milk. My other daughter likes eating it savory by eating the appam with various chutneys and vegetable curries.

Appam Pan


  • Raw rice —————————– 2 cups
  • Grated coconut —————– 1/3 cup
  • Cooked rice ———————– 1/3 cup
  • Urad dal —————————– 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds ————— 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh coconut water ——— 1/2 cup
  • Sugar ———————————- 1 tsp
  • Pinch of salt

Making fermented coconut water

  • In the fresh coconut water, add a teaspoon of sugar and mix it well and keep this for 24 hours in room temperature.
  • Once it is fermented, you can store it in the fridge up to three weeks.

How to prepare the Appam Batter

  • Sock the rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for 4 to 5 hours
  • Grind the soaked rice, grated coconut, cooked rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds using a grinder or blender
  • While grinding, add the fermented coconut water
  • Grind it into a fine batter
  • Keep the batter in a warm place for overnight
  • It will take 10 to 14 hours to ferment (depends on your weather)
  • In summer months it will take less time but in winter months it takes long time
  • When you are making the appam add pinch of salt to the batter

Making Appam

  • Now take the appam pan and keep in medium heat, once the pan gets hot add two ladle of batter
  • Turn and tilt the pan, so that the batter spreads in the pan
  • Then close the pan with lid
  • After 2 to 3 minutes, the appam will be ready to take
  • Now it should be ready to serve
  • You can eat this with different side dishes like coconut milk, vegetable stew, chicken curry, potato stew, egg curry, etc.

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