indian recipes

What is Aapam ?

What is Aapam?
Written by Husband Can Cook

What is Aapam?

Aapam (also spelled as Appam) is a popular South Indian dish, particularly in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Sri Lanka. It is a type of soft and fluffy pancake made from a fermented batter of rice and coconut milk. Aapam is commonly eaten for breakfast or dinner and is enjoyed with various accompaniments.

The traditional method of preparing aapam involves soaking raw rice and sometimes parboiled rice, along with grated coconut, for a few hours. After soaking, the mixture is ground to form a smooth batter. This batter is then left to ferment overnight, which gives aaam its distinct flavor and light, airy texture.

To make aapam, a special round-bottomed pan called an “aappachatti” or “appam pan” is used. This pan is similar to a small wok or kadai with a shallow, curved depression in the center. The pan is greased with a little oil or ghee to prevent sticking.

To cook the aapam, a ladleful of the fermented batter is poured into the center of the pan. Then, the pan is gently rotated in a circular motion, allowing the batter to spread thinly and evenly across the surface, leaving a slightly thicker, spongy center. The lid is then placed on the pan, and the aapam is allowed to cook on low heat until the edges turn crisp and lacy, while the center remains soft and fluffy.

How to Cook Aapam ?

Cooking aappam requires a special pan called an “aappachatti” or “appam pan,” which is similar to a small wok or kadai with a shallow, curved depression in the center. If you have the pan and the ingredients, follow these steps to make delicious aappam:


– 1 cup raw rice (you can also use parboiled rice for a softer texture)
– 1/4 cup grated coconut
– 1/4 cup cooked rice (leftover rice works well)
– 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (for fermentation)
– Salt to taste
– Water, as needed
– Oil or ghee (clarified butter) for greasing the pan


1. Soak the Rice:

– Wash the raw rice thoroughly and soak it in water for about 4 to 5 hours. If you are using parboiled rice, 2 to 3 hours of soaking should be sufficient.

2. Grind the Batter:

– Drain the soaked rice and add it to a blender or food processor.
– Add grated coconut and cooked rice to the blender.
– Grind the mixture to a smooth batter, adding water as needed to achieve a thick, pourable consistency.

3. Fermentation:

– If you are using active dry yeast, dissolve it in a little warm water and add it to the batter. Mix well.
– Add salt to the batter and mix again.
– Cover the batter and let it ferment overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. The batter should rise and become slightly bubbly.

4. Prepare the Pan:

– Heat the aappam pan on medium heat.
– Once hot, grease the pan lightly with oil or ghee.

5. Make Aappam:

– Pour a ladleful of the fermented batter into the center of the pan.
– Immediately, lift the pan off the heat and quickly rotate it in a circular motion, so that the batter spreads evenly across the surface. Tilt the pan to ensure the edges are thin and lacy while the center remains thicker.
– Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes until the edges turn golden and crispy, and the center is cooked through and fluffy.

6. Serve:

– Once cooked, gently remove the aappam from the pan using a spatula.
– Serve aappam hot with coconut milk, vegetable stew, chicken stew, or kadala curry.

Enjoy your delicious homemade aappam! Remember that the first couple of aappams might not turn out perfect, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of spreading the batter evenly in the pan.

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