Appam is a South Indian basket shaped pancake like dish. It is a very popular breakfast dish in Kerala and is specially prepared in a kadai called appachatti /appam pan. It is a thin, lacy paper like hopper that is soft and fluffy in the centre and thin and crisp on the edges. It is prepared from grinding and fermenting rice, urad dhal and coconut. It is light on stomach and is very easily digestible. Appams are usually served with vegetable stew or kadalai curry or vegetable kurma or sweetened coconut milk.

Traditionally in Kerala, the batter is fermented using a local alcoholic drink called Kallu or Palm wine.

My recipe for appam today is not by the Kerala method. I have followed exactly my mom’s recipe and the fermentation is done by natural method just like we do for regular idli/dosa.

Appachatti /apam pan is a kadai/ frying pan that is rounded at the ends and shallow in the centre. It has handles on both ends. These handles are convenient so as to swirl and spread the appam batter in circle. The appachatti comes in both non-stick and cast iron forms.

If you do not have an appachatti /appam pan, you can do the same appam in a flat dosa pan. I have given instructions for both ways.


Raw rice 1 cup
Idli rice1 cup
Urad dhal3 tablespoon
Shredded Coconut1 cup
Saltto taste


  • Soak the raw rice, idli rice and urad dhal in water for about 6 hours.
  • In a mixer /grinder, add 1 cup shredded coconut and grind it. To this add the rice and urad dhal (after draining the water) and grind it to a fine batter using water just like you do for idli/dosa batter.
  • Add salt to the batter.
  • Ferment the batter for about 8 or more hours. The batter will rise and double up after fermentation.


  • Mix the batter well with a ladle. Take a portion of the batter and dilute it with water to get a thin liquid consistency. The consistency should be like free flowing and pouring, similar to rava dosa batter.


  • Using Appachatti: Take an apam pan and drizzle some oil. Now pour around 1 1/2 to 2 ladles of batter on the centre. Hold both the handles and lift the pan from the stove and swirl and tilt the pan on all sides so that the batter can spread evenly in circle to all sides. The centre of the pan should have a little bit thicker batter than on the edges. Drizzle some oil on top. Close with a lid.


  • Using Flat dosa pan: Take a flat pan, drizzle some oil. Once the pan is warm enough, pour the thin batter in circles just like you do for rava dosa. Using the handle tilt the the pan sideways so that batter spreads evenly to all the sides. If there are bigger gaps, fill the holes by pouring small amount of the batter, making sure it is uniform everywhere. Smear some oil on top. Close the pan with a lid and let it cook.


  • Once you see some golden colour on the edges, remove the appam from the pan.
  • Serve it with vegetable stew / Kadalai curry / Vegetable kurma/sweetened coconut milk.


  • If you do not have shredded coconut, you can use the store bought coconut milk and add it to the batter before fermentation.


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