1. Idli rice – 3 cups (You could also use long grain or sona masoori rice)
2. Tender coconut flesh – 1 (or 1.5 cup grated coconut/Around 1 cup thick coconut milk)
3. Sugar – 1/4 cup
4. Yeast – 1/2 tsp (Combine sugar and yeast in lukewarm water(around 1/2 cup) and leave aside to rise. If you wish to add tender coconut water, add only a pinch of yeast to rise. If you wish to use toddy, you don’t need to add tender coconut water and yeast. Just add 1/4 cup toddy.
5. Salt – To taste
1. Soak the idli rice in water for at least 4 – 5 hrs.
2. In a bowl mix the tender coconut water with a pinch of yeast and 1/4 cup sugar. Keep aside to ferment. OR If you are using toddy, mix it with sugar and keep aside to rise. OR If you are using only yeast, mix 1/2 tsp yeast with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lukewarm water and leave aside to rise.
3. Grind the idli rice to a fine paste adding sufficient water. Reserve 3 tbsp of this batter, now add in the tender coconut flesh ( or grated coconut / coconut milk) and the sugar-yeast mixture and grind again to a very fine paste.
4. Heat a pan and add the 3 tbsp reserved batter or 3 tbsp rice flour (pacha aripodi mixed in around 1 cup water) and stir it for a few minutes (pavu kachuka or kappi kachuka) until you get a thick paste. This is done to make extra soft appams. Leave aside to cool. When it is completely cooled, mix it well with the batter. Allow it to ferment in a warm place ( You can keep it inside your oven after heating it for 20 – 30 seconds or leave the oven light on) for at least 6 – 8 hrs. Remember to transfer the batter to a large container otherwise it may overflow. When fermented, the batter will almost rise double. If the yeast is of good quality, fermentation might take place in lesser time. Before making appams, add little salt and check for sugar. If it is thick, dilute it by adding milk or coconut milk. We need a loose batter .
5. Make palappams using appachatti.
Heat the appachatti at medium flame and pour a ladle full (thavi or around 1/4 cup) of appam batter into it. Remember to smear the appachatti lightly with oil if its not nonstick. Hold both the handles of the appam chatti, lift from the stove and gently swirl it to spread the batter around, in one direction. You need to swirl it only once for a thin lace on the edges. Now bring down the flame and cover with its lid. Cook until done on one side only. It will take around 2 – 3 mts at low flame. Remove and repeat until the batter is finished. Serve warm with any stew/kadala curry/vegetable korma/ egg curry/ fish moli or any curry of your choice.
1. Instead of using rice flour or the ground idli rice batter in step 4, use 3 tbsp semolina. Add around 1.5 cup water to it, bring it to a boil, lower the flame and stir continuously until it becomes thick at medium flame, cool down completely and add it (kurukku) to the ground idli rice-yeast-sugar batter.
2. Palappams can be made without coconuts too and there are several ways to make the palappam extra soft. Click here for the tips.