Appam (Indian Rice Pancakes)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 15 rice pancakes
Recipe from Aparna at My Diverse Kitchen
Equipment required:
  • Large bowl for soaking rice and fermenting batter
  • Blender or wet/dry grinder or mortar and pestle
  • Sieve
  • Small ladle
  • Small frying pan/skillet (preferably non-stick) with a lid
  • Small heatproof spatula (I used a small offset frosting spatula and it worked great!)
Rice Pancakes
  • 1½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice
  • 1½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
  • 1½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
  • ½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
  • About ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)
  1. Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours. You can soak it overnight, although I did not try that.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.
  3. Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed, but I did not. Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well. You can see that it is not completely smooth, but very thick—that’s about right.
  4. Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry, they taste mild when cooked!
  5. Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. Notice how it bubbles after you add the coconut milk. Mary recommends test-cooking one before thinning the batter.
  6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.
  7. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.
  8. Keep making until you use up all the batter. I (Lisa) messed up the first few, so I only got 10. Can be refrigerated, wrapped tight, for two days.
  9. If you're going to make my blintzes, stack each Appam pancake between cut sheets of parchment paper immediately after removing it from pan. Weigh down parchment stack of Appams with a plate for 10 minutes until edges are soft- then take out one Appam at a time, keeping others covered, to roll each curry blintz.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at