Aapam aka ‘lace hopper’ is a Kerala specialty and has place anytime with ishtu or korma as side dish. Ad and G are not particularly fond of aapam but Ar and As love it. Sr does not mind it occasionally. Aappam made with yeast has a very characteristic flavor and one has to develop a taste for it. Aapam made without yeast is equally good and thanks to Nags from Edible garden I found the term used to make the gruel added to the batter for fermentation. In Malayalam the process is called ‘kappi kaachunathu’. In a place like Chennai where it is warm and humid through the year one can do away with yeast and also soda that is generally used in the batter for fermentation. Spongy aappams have the knack of disappearing asap they are made 🙂
Raw rice 2 cups
Parboiled rice 1 cup
Urad dal 3 tbsp (1 tbsp for one glass of rice)
Fenugreek seeds ½ tsp
Grated coconut 1 cup
Sugar 1 tsp + 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Baking soda ½ tsp or ½ eno salt (optional)
Cooked rice ½ cup
Coconut water 1 cup (optional) or water
Coconut oil 2 tsp (to smear the pan)
- Soak the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds for 3 to 4 hours.
- Drain the water and transfer the rice to a blender and grind to a coarse paste adding coconut water/water intermittently. Add the cooked rice and coconut to the batter and blend to get a smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl and add remaining coconut water to get a batter of pouring consistency.
- Now to make kappi: Transfer 4 spoons of batter and one spoon of sugar to a small pan and add equal amount of water to make batter of watery consistency. Cook this mix on a low flame to get a gruel of translucent color and gooey consistency 🙂 Cool this kappi to room temperature and add it to the batter.
- Add salt to batter and mix well and let it ferment for about 6 hours or overnight till the batter rises.
- Add 2 spoons of sugar and soda (optional) to the risen batter, mix well, and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
- Smear the aapam pan with a little oil and when the pan is hot enough pour a ladle of batter and twirl the pan such that the batter coats the sides of the pan as a thin layer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low flame for 2 or 3 minutes. When the aapam is cooked it leaves the sides of the pan and the center looks fluffy and lacy with bubbles on the surface.
- Remove the aapam from the pan with a spatula and serve hot with korma or stew.
Chef’s note: DO not flip the aapam to reverse side and cook only on one side. In case you want to use only raw rice add another cup of raw rice in place of parboiled rice.
Addition of coconut milk or more sugar makes the aapam too sweet. Decide based on how sweet you like your aapam