I tried Palappam for the first time in a restaurant on the way to Munnar, a famous hill station in Kerala. Have you ever seen a dish you know it’s so delicious even before you taste it? That’s what my first experience with Palappam was like. Palappam is a slightly sweet rice pancake. Not as sweet to be a dessert but sweet enough to cut into spicy curry and soak up succulent stew. It is made with rice flour, yeast, coconut cream, sugar and a little salt.
Appam is simply pancake. There are so many version of appam, and different regions in Kerala have their own techniques and recipes. Palappam requires long fermenting period so traditionally people prepare the batter and keep it overnight. C’mon! I don’t have that kind of time. Luckily I found a simple recipe that worked so well for my kitchen and temper.
It starts with mixing all ingredients and let it sit in room temperature for 2-4 hours. The fermenting period is quite varied. Once you notice a fermenting odor and the batter became slightly sticky, it’s quite ready.
The fun part is cooking. Get your iron skillet hot and greasy. Now pour in the batter and let it sizzle. You will notice hundreds tiny air bubbles oozed out delicious fragrance.
Don’t have to flip. Once the top is nicely done and the bottom is crispy brown, it’s perfect.
Ingredients: (Make about 15-20)
2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 tsp active yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm coconut cream
1 cup lukewarm water
Oil for greasing skillet
- Combine all ingredients accept oil in the food processer and blend for 2 minutes. Keep the batter in room temperature and allow fermenting for 2-4 hours. Once the batter becomes sticky, and the fermenting odor rise, it is ready to cook.
- Heat a greased skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add about 3-4 tbsp batter and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. When the surface is done and the bottom is golden brown, it is ready.
- Remove from the skillet and repeat the process until all batter is used.
- Serve Palappam with your favorite curry or chutney.
If you order Palappam from a restaurant, you’ll get a beautiful round appam with a thicker middle part like a hopper, but here in my kitchen it’s never round. It looks quite rustic, but the taste is the same. Palappam is supper soft and airy. I love that it is slightly sweet which gives a beautiful contrast to curry and stew we made. That steamy coconut-y aroma of this pancake accentuates every delicious detail even more. Now I know I got you curious 🙂