Appam Recipe from South India - Ingredients: Water, Daal, Methi, Salt, Oil


Appam Recipe from South India - Ingredients: Water, Daal, Methi, Salt, Oil
Region / culture: India, South India | Preparation time: 7-8 hours (including fermentation time) | Cooking time: 1-2 minutes per appam | Servings: 4-6



Appam, a type of pancake, is a beloved dish in the southern part of India, particularly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and parts of Sri Lanka. This recipe offers a delightful blend of fermented rice and coconut, creating a unique flavor and texture that is both light and satisfying. Appams are known for their soft, fluffy center and crisp, lace-like edges, making them a versatile accompaniment to a variety of curries and stews.


The origin of Appam can be traced back to ancient times, with references found in Tamil literature as early as the 1st century AD. It is believed that the recipe was influenced by the food habits of ancient settlers and traders in the region, including Arabs and Portuguese, who introduced new ingredients and cooking techniques. Over the centuries, Appam has evolved into the popular dish it is today, with variations found across different communities.


  • 3 cups of rice (soaked in water with daal)
  • 1 cup of urad daal dhuli (soaked for 4 hours)
  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp of methi dana
  • 1 tsp of salt (or to taste)
  • An appam maker or a small, shallow kadahi (6”-8” diameter) with oil for cooking

How to prepare

  1. Drain the water from the daal mixture and grind it together with the coconut and salt.
  2. Allow the mixture to ferment for 6-7 hours, or overnight.
  3. Once fermented, add enough water to achieve a pouring consistency.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a kadahi or appam maker, swirling it around to coat the surface.
  5. When the oil is hot, pour about 1 cup of batter into the kadahi.
  6. Swiftly turn the kadahi around to let a thin layer rise up and cover the sides as well. The center should be thicker.
  7. Cover the kadahi, reduce the heat, and cook until the edges start to lift (approximately 1 minute).
  8. Uncover the kadahi, carefully remove the formed appam, and transfer it to a serving plate.
  9. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  10. You may need to grease the kadahi again after making 3-4 appams.


  • 1. Brown Rice Appam: Substitute white rice with brown rice for a healthier version.
  • 2. Egg Appam: Crack an egg in the center of the appam as it cooks for added protein.
  • 3. Jaggery Appam: Add jaggery to the batter for a sweet version.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Ensure the batter is fermented well to achieve the perfect texture.

2. Use a non-stick appam maker or kadahi to prevent sticking.

3. Swirl the kadahi immediately after pouring the batter to get thin, crisp edges.

4. Cook on low heat to allow the appam to cook through without burning.

5. Adding a little sugar to the batter can enhance the golden color of the appams.

Serving Suggestions

Appam is traditionally served with coconut milk, vegetable stew, or chicken curry. It can also be enjoyed with sweetened coconut milk for a dessert variation.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making appam is the fermentation of the batter and the swirling motion used to spread the batter thinly across the pan.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. Rice Flour: Can be used instead of grinding rice for convenience.

2. Coconut Milk: Can be used in place of grated coconut for a different flavor.

3. Yeast: Can be added to the batter to reduce fermentation time.

Make Ahead Tips

The batter can be prepared and fermented overnight, making it easy to cook appams for breakfast.

Presentation Ideas

Serve appams in a traditional banana leaf with sides placed around it for an authentic presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Appam pairs well with spicy curries, such as chicken curry, mutton stew, or vegetable korma, balancing the flavors beautifully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover appams in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a microwave or on a pan over low heat until warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single appam contains about 150 calories, making it a light yet satisfying option for meals.


A single serving of Appam primarily provides carbohydrates, with approximately 30 grams per appam. The main source of these carbohydrates is the rice and urad daal used in the batter, which are excellent sources of energy.


Appam is relatively low in fats, with about 5 grams per serving, mainly coming from the coconut and the oil used for cooking. Using a minimal amount of oil for greasing the pan can help keep the fat content low.


Each appam contains approximately 3 grams of protein, derived from the urad daal and coconut. While not high in protein, appams can be paired with protein-rich sides to create a balanced meal.

Vitamins and minerals

Appam provides a range of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, primarily from the coconut and urad daal. Fermentation also increases the bioavailability of these nutrients.


The primary allergens in this recipe include coconut. Individuals with a coconut allergy should avoid this dish or find suitable substitutions.


Overall, appam is a nutritious, low-fat, and energy-rich food that can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation and paired with protein-rich sides.


Appam is a versatile and nutritious dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of southern India. With its unique texture and flavor, it offers a delightful experience that can be adapted to suit various tastes and dietary needs. Whether served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, appam is sure to be a cherished addition to any meal.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was captivated. It was a warm summer afternoon, and I was visiting my friend Sarah in her small village in southern India. As we sat in her kitchen chatting and sipping chai, her mother started preparing dinner. I watched in awe as she effortlessly mixed together ingredients, creating a fragrant and delicious meal.

One dish in particular caught my eye - Appam. It was a type of savory pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The edges were crisp, while the center was soft and fluffy. I had never tasted anything quite like it before, and I knew I had to learn how to make it.

Sarah's mother noticed my interest and invited me to help her prepare the Appam. I eagerly jumped at the chance, eager to learn the secrets of this delicious dish. She patiently showed me each step, from soaking the rice overnight to grinding it into a smooth batter. She added coconut milk, salt, and a pinch of sugar, explaining that the sweetness would help the batter ferment.

As the batter sat overnight, I could hardly contain my excitement. The next morning, Sarah's mother heated a flat pan and poured a ladleful of batter onto it, swirling it around to create a thin, round pancake. The aroma of coconut and fermented rice filled the kitchen, making my mouth water.

After a few minutes, she flipped the Appam over, revealing a golden-brown crust. I watched in awe as she expertly removed it from the pan, placing it on a plate for us to enjoy. The first bite was heavenly - the crisp edges contrasting with the soft center, the subtle sweetness complementing the savory flavors.

I thanked Sarah's mother profusely for teaching me how to make Appam, promising to cherish the recipe and pass it down to future generations. From that day on, it became a staple in my own kitchen, a dish that always brought back memories of that summer afternoon in Sarah's village.

Over the years, I refined the recipe, experimenting with different variations and additions. I added chopped onions and green chilies for a spicy kick, or grated carrots and cilantro for a burst of color and freshness. Each time I made Appam, I felt a sense of connection to Sarah's mother, grateful for her generosity in sharing her knowledge with me.

As my own children grew up, they too developed a love for Appam. They would eagerly gather around the kitchen table, watching me prepare the batter and cook the pancakes. It became a family tradition, a dish we would make together on special occasions and holidays.

One day, my youngest daughter asked me where I had learned to make Appam. I smiled, remembering that summer afternoon in Sarah's village. I told her about the warm kitchen, the fragrant spices, and the delicious pancakes that had captivated me all those years ago.

From that day on, my daughter became my sous chef, helping me mix the batter, pour it onto the pan, and flip the pancakes with a practiced hand. She even came up with her own variations, adding shredded coconut or ground cumin for a unique twist.

As I grew older, I realized the importance of passing down family recipes and traditions. I wanted to ensure that the recipe for Appam would continue to be made and enjoyed by future generations. So, I decided to write it down, along with the story of how I learned to make it.

I carefully transcribed the ingredients and instructions, adding notes and tips for anyone who wanted to try their hand at making Appam. I included memories of that summer afternoon in Sarah's village, the sights and sounds of the kitchen, and the taste of the first bite that had stolen my heart.

Now, whenever my grandchildren come to visit, they always ask me to make Appam. They gather around the kitchen, eager to help mix the batter and cook the pancakes. And as we sit down to enjoy the meal together, I can't help but feel grateful for the recipe that had brought us all together - a simple dish that had traveled across generations and continents, connecting us to our past and our future.


| Coconut Recipes | Dal Recipes | Fenugreek Recipes | Indian Recipes | South Indian Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients