Oct 15, 2011

Paal Appam ( Coconut milk Hoppers)

Appam (Hoppers) served with Potato stew or Egg curry has been one of my most favorite breakfast dishes.
It tastes so damn good that my mouth is watering just writing about  it.

Appam is made with a Rice flour based batter, fermented using yeast ,sugar and salt . ( Source: Wikipedia)
The name Paal Appam (also called VellaAppam in some parts of Kerala) just means that coconut milk is added to the batter which provides a sweet coconutty flavor.
This was one of the 1st recipes from my mother's hand written list of homemade recipes that she gave me before my wedding which I consider as the best wedding gift and the guide to my world of cooking.

I prefer making the Rice batter from scratch than using Rice flour or the ready to make packets found in Indian grocery stores.
Also to make PaalAppam  you will need an AppaChatti ( Pan in which Appam is made) which is a small round pan with a round bottom and wide oval shaped sloping edges.

Note: If you don't have the right pan you can also use any nonstick kadai (Non Stick vessel) which has a round bottom and sloped or oval sided edges.

Paal Appam Recipe
Recipe Source: My mom

You'll Need:
For Rice batter
Rice ( Idli rice or Basmati rice ) - 3 cups
Water (for grinding) - 2 cups ( can adjust as per the grinder requirements)

For Semolina kurukku (semolina pudding)
Water - 1 cup
Semolina (Cream of wheat) - 3 tbsp

Other Ingredients
Yeast - 1 tbsp
Water ( to soak the yeast ) - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Coconut milk - 2 cups
Salt - 1 tsp

Preparation method:
Rice batter :
Soak the rice in water for atleast 4-6hrs.
Drain the water in which the rice is soaked and grind the Rice by adding little water at a time until a smooth yet slightly thick batter is obtained.
For an easier version: Use 3cups of  powdered Rice flour and mix it with water until a smooth yet thick batter is obtained.

Semolina kurrukku ( semolina pudding) :
Boil 1 cup water and when it starts to boil add the semolina and keep stirring until a thick pudding like consistency is obtained and let it sit to cool.

In a small bowl mix 1 tbsp yeast with 1 tbsp water and let it sit until the yeast starts to foam. ( I have heard adding warm water helps in this process)

Now in a large bowl mix together the rice batter, semolina pudding , yeast , sugar , coconut milk and salt and stir or whisk it all together.
Once the coconut milk is added the batter will become slightly thin  , which is why the rice batter should be a bit thick initially.
Note: The bowl used should have some space left over after the batter is filled as the batter will rise due to fermentation and if enough space is not there it will spill over.
Stir the batter well and keep it covered , place it at room temperature and let it sit for 6-8hrs. I prefer to keep it overnight ( I leave my batter in the Oven if the room temperature is cold , but make sure the Oven is switched off )

Making Paal Appam:
1. The batter should have nicely risen by now. Give it a good stir before making the Appams.
2. Heat the Appachatti by rubbing or spraying a little bit of cooking oil . ( You'll need to rub oil on the pan only for the first Appam made if using a non-stick pan)
3. Heat the pan on medium heat initially, otherwise if the pan is too hot, the batter will roll off the pan.
4. Using a ladle pour 1 scoop of the batter into the pan and holding the sides of the pan rotate the pan such that the batter spreads evenly around the pan.
Yo'll notice a nice thin outer crust with small holes almost like a lace and the center will accumulate the remaining batter.

4. Cover the pan, turn the heat to Max and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, cooking only on one side. (Its best if you do not open the pan in between)
5. You'll know its cooked when the centre portion of the batter domes up a bit and does not stick to a spoon but is firm and spongy.
6. Its best when served hot .

Serving Suggestions: Paal Appam goes well with Potato stew, Egg curry , Chicken or Beef stew , Beef Olarthiyathu (Beef fry), Spicy chicken curry , Kadala (black chickpea) curry etc.

I will try to post these recipes as soon as possible so that you can enjoy Paal Appam even more.
Hope you'll enjoy making this recipe and its good as a Breakfast item or can be enjoyed for Dinner.

I'm planning to join the fun at the Kerala Kitchen Event this month being hosted by Khushi of A Girl's Diary. Why don't you come join me too ! :-)

- Manju


  1. wow Manju... this looks yummy!! and is making me hungry!! :)...Should try it sometime!!


  2. Well explained :) Now, i want appam and potato stew! :)

  3. i tried ur recipe,its perfect & delicious.thank u so much.

  4. How to grind the rice?

    1. I use a mixer grinder. A blender would work as well, but may not grind the rice as smoothly.

  5. Thanks for the recipe, btw I saw your appam photo in a youtube video when looking for recipes. According the person doing the video, he has no idea how to make appam, but has used your image to promote his video.
    I tried to make a comment on that video but he will only approve comments after checking them. Please check this channel to see if he has used more of your photos. He is a cheater and use images of other people in his videos.

    Below is the video of that cheater.

    This is his fake cooking website. cooking1on1.com

    Please take some action against him.

    1. Thanks a lot Vasanthi for notifying me of this issue. I will do the needful. Again, thanks a lot!

  6. Winnie JayaprakashMarch 17, 2015 at 12:16 AM

    Hey Manju,
    Just tried this recipe. And guess what , it was perfect !!! Now on will keep making this for friends and family when they come home ;-) Thank u for posting this wonderful recipe and will save it in my favourites.

  7. hi manju, tried this today morning. delicious, but i might need to add more sugar. lol but its lovely. thank you for recipe.

  8. Hi, superb recipe! came out really great.


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