Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Âppam (ஆப்பம்)

Âppam is a typical South Indian breakfast delicacy and it used to be an everyday breakfast item in our friends’ homes. Though âppam does not belong to traditional Brahmin cuisine, we became fond of ‘âppam’ as we were offered this delicacy very often by friends. I learnt the recipe from a neighbour in my native place decades ago. This recipe works very well for me and ‘âppam’ is a very popular dish in my house.

Âppam batter is different from dosa or idly batter. Traditionally, baking soda or toddy is used for fermentation. I prefer the natural fermentation process, which yields equally good results. Traditionally âppam is served with ‘coconut milk’. However, it goes well with any type of chutney, sambar or even boiled milk with sugar.
Âppa kadai

Âppam is made using an ‘âppa chatti’(ஆப்பச்சட்டி), which is a shallow kadai with a lid. Nowadays, non-stick ‘âppa kadai’ is available in the market and is very useful. You can easily make ‘âppam’ at home following the step-by-step instructions given below.

Ingredients:
For the batter:
Raw rice – 1tumbler or 200ml measure
Par-boiled rice or Idly rice – 1 tumbler or 200ml measure (புழுங்கல் அரிசி/ இட்லி அரிசி)
Urad dhal – 1 small hollow ladle or 50ml measure
Methi seeds – 1 teaspoon
Spread the batter around by rotating the kadai
Salt – to taste 

For making âppam:
Oil – for making âppam

How to prepare the batter: Wash raw rice, boiled rice, methi seeds and urad dhal well and soak in 2 liters of water for 4-5 hours. Later, wash the ingredients once again and grind them in a wet grinder into a smooth paste. Add salt and mix well. Allow the batter to stand overnight or at least eight hours. Next morning, mix the batter well. If required, add water to make the batter into pouring consistency. You may refrigerate the batter and use it to make âppam as needed.

Âppam with crispy edges and spongy center
How to prepare Âppam: Mix the batter well before using. Heat the âppa kadai on medium flame. Once heated, smear a few drops of cooking oil on the cooking surface. You need to do this only once to prime the kadai. Now add 1 big hollow ladleful of batter in the center of the âppa kadai. Holding the handles of the kadai with your hands, gently tilt the kadai in a circular motion using your wrists and spread the batter all around the kadai, little short of the edges. (See the picture above).  

Pour a teaspoon of oil around the âppam. Cover and cook for a few minutes.  Once cooked the edges of the âppam will separate from the kadai. Now you can easily remove the âppam using a long flat spoon. Proceed with making the next âppam. Âppam has crispy edge and soft spongy center. Serve hot with chutney, sambar, coconut milk or milk & sugar.
Âppam served with chutney
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