Hey! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a South Indian/American South food blogger.

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Kerala Appam/Palappam

My all-time favorite South Indian food combo is cripsy-edged Appam paired with a ladle full of tangy, sweet chicken curry poured on top of its pillowy center. Growing up, this was my breakfast. My brunch. Our special occasion dish for holidays like Christmas and Easter. Nothing beats eating this, except being able to make it from scratch!

As always, do not fear how long the “how to make it” section is. I promise it’s mostly just full of a lot of details and notes to help you along the process of making these appams. This is one of those dishes that you need to plan ahead for because of the fermentation process required to make it.

If you decide to make this recipe or have any questions about how to make it, head over to my instagram @thefamiliarkitchen so we can connect and I can see how it turned out for you!


  • Long Grain Rice (Uncooked), 1 cup
  • Coconut Water with Pulp, 1 can (brands like Goya or Foco are great)
  • Grated Coconut, 1/2 cup
  • Cooked (Parboiled) Rice, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Milk, 1 cup (Chaokoh is my favorite brand)
  • Sugar, 2 tbsp
  • Dry Active Yeast, 1/2 tsp (+ 2 tbsp warm water, 1/2 tsp sugar)
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp

A fermented coconut batter called appam



Soak the long-grain rice in the coconut water along with enough room-temperature water so the rice is fully submerged. *Using coconut water is optional, but I like that it sweetens the rice. You can simply use all water only if you prefer. Let the rice soak for 6-8 hours (or overnight).

The batter.

Once the rice is soaked, drain completely, but keep the water in a separate bowl. Add the soaked rice to a blender along with the grated coconut, cooked rice, coconut milk, and sugar. Blend this until it’s smooth with very little grit to it. The consistency should be like a slightly thinner pancake batter. If it’s too thick, mix with a little more of the reserved water. If it’s too thin, add a little rice flour. *Tip: use an immersion blender after the batter has been made to run through and make sure everything is mixed REALLY well. 


In a cup with about 2 tbsp lukewarm (not hot) water, dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, mix in the dry active yeast. Let this proof for about 10 min. It should bubble up and look frothy when it is done proofing. Mix this into the prepared appam batter. Keep the batter in a large (plastic) bowl and cover. *I personally keep my batter in a large plastic bowl because I live in a colder climate and plastic doesn’t hold cold temperatures like glass or steel bowls will. I also like to drape a towel over the covered bowl so it can incubate or I put the bowl in the oven with just the oven light on. 

The next day/after 10-12 hours (sometimes 24 hours), the batter should have risen/puffed up and will have little fermentation holes on top. This is a good sign of fermentation. Mix this with the salt and then we are ready to make appams!

Making appam.

Now that your batter is ready, you will need an appam chatti (pan) to make the lattice-edged appams. *If you do not have a chatti, you can use a flat griddle, but you will need to add some rice flour to the batter to thicken it up. This is a different style appam called Vellayappam (which also includes some spices) and it is more like a pancake

Place your appam chatti on its ring so that it is balanced. Turn the heat to about medium. Using a flat ladle, pour about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the center of the chatti. Pick up the chatti using the handles, hold it away from the flame, and then rotate it in a circle motion in one round motion. Rotate so the batter goes near the edge of the chatti (below the round studs) in one full circle and then place back on the ring and cover. Don’t try to rotate more than once or you will get doughy appam and lose the lattice edges.

Let this cook covered for about a minute. Try not to peek too much or else you will release the steam that helps the appam cook. If your batter is clumping up/not sticking when you try to form the appam on the chatti, your heat level is probably too high. Use a spatula to remove the appam from the chatti and done!


A Kerala breakfast or brunch favorite called Appam


If you have extra batter leftover, you can store it in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.

Hey! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a South Indian/American South food blogger. Growing up as a second-generation Indian-American, I got the chance to experience the best of both food worlds, oftentimes on one plate! On one hand I had Kerala staples like appam and chicken curry. On the other I had chicken and waffles. If there’s one thing that has helped me understand my identity and express both ends of my cultural upbringing, it’s most definitely food. I have a firm belief there is literally magic in the cooking process. That’s why most nights you’ll find me in the kitchen. I’m there always testing and creating new recipes that stem from my wild imagination. And I’m there searching for the familiar memories of my childhood. I started The Familiar Kitchen to not only help myself find this magic, but for those seeking a way to find their own magic. Join me on my adventures through cooking classic Kerala-inspired dishes, some of my Southern favorites, and all the recipes in between.

Comments: 7

  • reply


    April 6, 2020

    hi! what quantity does this make? trying to plan for easter sunday 🙂

      • reply

        Elizabeth Alexander

        April 10, 2020

        Thank you!!! If I’m doubling the recipe do I need to double the yeast part as well?

  • reply

    Rexi Varghese

    April 10, 2020

    Hi i have unsweetened coconut flakes can this be used along with coconut milk ?

  • reply


    April 12, 2020

    Does this require a gas stove? Other appams like vellapam haven’t worked so great on my electric stove in the past..

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