Palappam will be the most preferred breakfast of every Keralite. It has got its name everywhere among the non-Keralites as well. Palappams are tasty pancakes or hoppers that are made from fermented rice and coconut batter. Their texture is soft and bouncy in the middle and crispy on the outer part. The preparation of this unique piece of food is similar to that of dosa batter; requires a little bit of beforehand work.
Traditional palappams consist of another legendary ingredient called “toddy” or “kallu”. Toddy is an alcoholic drink from coconut flower or palm flower, found readily in the inner parts of Kerala, with which the fermenting process of the batter is done. The fermentation process took a slight new-age deviation as the toddy is quite difficult to lay hands on in urban life. Instead, we can use the much easier and quicker version of dry active yeast or instant yeast. The fermentation time with instant is faster when compared with dry active yeast. Instant yeast is added directly to the batter and dry active yeast is first mixed with lukewarm water and then added to the batter later on.
Palappam, usually comes with the side of vegetable stew or non-vegetarian sides like mutton stew, chicken stew, chicken curry, fish molly, egg roast, and whatnot?
The ingredient list of appam is quite a simple one; rice, sugar, desiccated coconut, instant or dry yeast and salt.
The original grinding for the batter of palappam requires rice, boiled or cooked rice, and coconut; these ingredients are then blended together with water to form a soft batter. Water should be added in small quantities till a smooth batter is formed. Add the yeast and sugar and keep for fermentation at least for 8 to 10 hours. Keeping it overnight is the best option. After the fermentation is done, add a little bit more water to make the consistency of the batter a little loose. The batter is now set to make sweet, fluffy and other worldly “Palappams”.
Tips For Making Tasty and Soft Palappam
There are some quick tips that can be followed to make soft and tasty palappam:
- Make sure to use first-quality rice for the texture, and colour and to enhance the taste of the palappams.
- It is necessary to wash and soak the rice for 8 hours before grinding it into the batter.
- While grinding the batter use coconut water instead of the normal plain water. If using coconut water, reduce the amount of yeast added to the mixture.
- Adding fenugreek powder to the batter will affect the colour and texture of the palappams. Use it only if you need that flavour.
- Refrigerating soaked rice can give you soft appams.
- Adding cooked rice in the batter preparation can enhance the softness of the appams.
- While pouring the batter into the vessel for fermentation, make sure to leave a little space so that the batter doesn’t ooze outside after the fermentation is done.
- The quality of the yeast used decides the fermenting time.
- Do not stir the batter after fermentation.
- The batter sits well for a day or two in the fridge. Do not keep it for more than two days as it has coconut.
- There’s no need to flip the appam and cook on the other side if cooked using appam chatti or special Kadai used for making appams.
The easier version of making palappam is available in the market which saves you time from grinding and messing with rice. It gives you directly the benefit of easy palappam with the powder consistency which has to be made into a batter with water or milk and yeast for fermentation.
Have fun cooking the most elegant food in Kerala!