Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Appam and Kadala Curry-The Beauty and the Beast!

Aappam for Tamilians, appa or hopper for the Srilankans; Palappam or in short, 'Appam' is regarded as the ‘Queen of Kerala Breakfast Dishes’, a traditional fermented flat ‘Rice n Coconut bread’.

These Soft centered lacy pancakes are said to be adapted from the Jews who migrated to Kerala and thus became a popular dish among the Syrian Christians of the state.

Times have changed and Appam has become an identity of all Keralites.

Here you find the basic recipe for Kerala Palappam; my mom made while we were holidaying in Kottayam, last summer J (I’ll post the Tamil version which I make often, later;)).

Get ready with:

Raw Rice/Pachari- I use Ponni Pachari- 2 cups

Cooked Rice- 1 cup

Grated Coconut- 1 cup ( I had mentioned 4 cups earlier, sorry abt the typo error.Thanx to ashwini and ras who made me realise!!:))

Active dry yeast- 1/2 tsp

Sugar- 3tsps or to taste

Salt-to taste

Thin coconut milk- as needed; to dilute the batter if needed just before making them.

1. Soak Raw rice for 4-5 hours.Drain.Grind it to a smooth batter with grated coconut and cooked rice.

2. Dissolve yeast in a cup coconut water or just luke warm water.Keep it aside for half an hour till frothy.Add this to the above ground batter.Add sugar and salt as well.

3. Let the batter ferment for 8 hours (in India) or according to the temperature of your zone.

4. Heat a non stick appa kadai.Pour a ladle full of batter and quickly but gently swirl the pan around such that a thinner layer of batter covers the sides and a thicker faltter layer settles in the middle. Cover with the lid and cook in mild heat for 2-3 minutes, until the edges are golden and lacy and the centre; soft and cooked.

5. The edges lift while done and the middle part shouldn't stick to your water dipped fingers, while touched gently(this is how you test whether its righlty cooked).

6. Do not turn over the appam.

Remove the appams from the pan with care and transfer one by one on a flat tray before serving.

Note- The batter should be of dropping consistency.If not dilute it with thin coconut milk.

If you find the appams 'sticky' it means you have added more of it.So be a little careful with the batter.

Kadala Curry

You Need:

Kadala/ Channa-(The traditional recipe calls for Black Channa)- 1 ½ cups

To roast and grind:

Oil- 2 tsps

Coriander seeds- ½ cup

Grated coconut – ½ cup

Garlic- 3-4 cloves

Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp

Red chillies- 12-15 more or less, as you prefer

Curry leaves- a large healthy sprig J

Shallots- 4-5 nos

Garam masala powder - 1 tsp OR whole spices like cardamom, clove and cinnamon to be used while seasoning(see down) the curry instead of mustard seeds( we generally prefer the curry seasoned with mustard seeds)

To Season

Coconut Oil- a tbsp

Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp OR 1 clove+ 2 cardamom+ a 1” pc of cinnamon

Minced shallots- 2 tsp

Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Small pieces of Coconut- Optional

1. Soak channa over night and pressure cook till soft with salt. Drain and reserve the water in which cooked.

2. In the meanwhile heat a thick bottomed kadai with 2 tsps of oil and roast coriander seeds for 5-7 mins in medium flame followed by the red chillies, garlic, coconut,turmeric powder and the curry leaves until the roasted aroma spreads around.Throw in the shallots and fry for a minute or two.Cool and grind to smooth paste adding enough water.

3. Pour the paste over the cooked channa in the pressure cooker, bring to a boil and simmer until raw smell of the spices disappear, adding enough salt.

4. Season the curry. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and brown the coconut pieces. Pour this to the curry.

Enjoy the Curry served with the Warm n Soft Appams along with thick n creamy, fresh coconut milk! J


  1. Soft looking aapams,I have never tried a traditional recipe,that uses coconut,also using yeast and cooked rice,I have to try,looks like heaven to me,kadala curry combo looks appealing too!

  2. Beauty and the Beast, Title Super!
    Kadala Curry Looks so Great. I got to try this Kadala Curry with Puttu!
    So I prefer Beast than Beauty!

  3. I love this combo had it first time at Munnar ....looks so yummy....hope I can try too :)

  4. Are you trying to kill me with this post. It is almost lunch time and I am hunry and I have not had this for 2 yrs. I am just fantasicing about pouring that kadla curry on to the apoms and enjoying them. WOW.

  5. i wish i would br there to eat the appam...i liked it very much

  6. Lovely, lacy aapams. Why is kadala curry the beast? Can't imagine eating aapams/puttu without it.

  7. Bharathy, the aapam and kadala curry combo is so yummy..loved the click..thanks for sharing these lovely recipes..

  8. I love to eat this with coconut milk...Nice combination...Nice clicks...

  9. The combination looks really sinful....

  10. Authentic dish, havent had them since a long..

  11. This is one of my favourite combo...I have not finished my bf yet.. seeing this I am drooling badly..

  12. This is a breakfast i can have everyday for the rest of my life ! Your appoms looks fabulous!

  13. Delicious is the only word I can find. Trying out different kinds of channa has become my past time. I will try this one too but Bharathy, is it 1/2 cup of coriander seeds?

  14. Bharathy,
    Squash is like our own gourds. They are plenty here.

    Makes sense. I will give kadala curry a go with the required amount of coriander seeds and coconut. If I don't I won't blame you at all :)

  15. delicious and mouth watering combo.

  16. You message if FB brought me all the way to your blog. If I was closer to you I would have come to your home to savor this delicious and mouthwatering Kadala Curry and Appam.. it can't look more authentic than this.. so perfect.

    - RV (

  17. appam looks delicious & lovely photos

  18. appam looks delicious & lovely photos

  19. aapam is the Mr's ideal breakfast menu which i never get around doing :):) Yours looks so delicious i cud eat out of my laptop... :)

  20. Wow perfect aapams crispy at the edges nad soft at the middle....the kadala curry sounds interesting ...awesome nad tempting combo

  21. That is a great combo, what beautiful pics dear. And kadala curry is definitely not a beast, but appam is sure a beauty :)

  22. Appam with kadala curry looks very delicious.

  23. love appams.. :) but din know it goes well with kadala curry.. will try the combo soon..

  24. Loved those perfect looking appams..... My mom I remember, tried it n number of times, in the hope of getting it right.... but never could reach that perfection... I would surely forward this prep to her.. Very awesome captures.... Kudos!!!!


  25. hey! mashee ! njaan jeevichirippundu:)
    long time since i bloghopped and now i realise i have missed out on many virtual treats as i scrolled down your site....

    vallappozhum oru HI ingoottum aavaam ...
    take care.. hope you r well :)

  26. wow really delicious combo.. evertime fav bf.. appam kadala.. looks so good..

  27. It is breakfast time and my stomach is grumbling..wish I could have this now!!

  28. wow, such purrfect looking appams..i'll muster the courage to try these sometime

  29. one of my fav, looks so yummy and inviting. Love the combo.

  30. nice and soft appams.. looks like soft beds.. they show the expertise in making them..The clicks are stunning as usual

  31. Hi Bharathy, I would like to make the kadala curry, just had a doubt is it 1/2 cup coriander seeds in the recipe?

  32. Hi Bharathy, I have been thinking of dropping a line about the kadala curry. We loved it so much that I made it again following the measurements to the T. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.


  34. Hi Bharathy,

    Thanks to you.. My husband loved the aapam curry.. It turned out great.. Though, I tried it on a non stick pan(didnt have kadai)it still turned out delicious and spongy.. Thanks once again..

  35. Madhu, you tried both huh??..
    Thank you so much for getting back to me.Readers like you make my day!! :)

  36. 4cup thenagyo..??? sharikum !!!

  37. Hi there....lovely space and appam looks perfect...I also posted one pls visit.

  38. Hi ur appam looks great... But i have a doubt do we need to add 4 cups of grated coconut.. is it tooo much for the batter??? i have dried coconut pwdr.... so how much can i use???

  39. Ashwini, I tried posting this comment in your space..but cudn't pls check the comment section to activate the comment drops!

    Lovely recipe of palak and paneer stuffed parathas!! Totally new and interesting!!

    About the appam recipe, thanks a lot for the mention, girl, which made me rethink!
    I dont usually measure the amt of coconut shavings, but i feel I have made a mistake in typing 4 cups gratings for 2 cups of rice!

    Some add coconut milk directly after the grinding process, but I prefer adding coconut which gives better texture to the appams.
    So 1- 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated coconut would be enough!(have corrected in the recipe too)

    I have not tried with cocnut powder but i feel 1/2- 3/4 cup of coconut milk(not too thick nor thin) would be fine. Grind the rice with water and add the coconut milk just before you make appams.

    There is another method of making appams with rice flour which I make too.That calls completely for coconut milk. will post it soon! :)

    Thanks again for ponting out the error, ashwini! I am sorry abt the mistake! :)

    Ras, Thanks to u too for the mention! :)

  40. This combination sounds really enticing - appam with channa, sooooo good!
    Good Gynecologist in Mylapore

  41. Very nice measurements - defintely worth to try after long time feel like having our traditional food

  42. Hi There,
    Thanks for sharing your recipes. I tried your appam and curry and it was a big hit.

  43. Nice blog love it.You may like this

  44. Hi
    i tried making appam using this and it looked exactly like the ones in ur snaps..the edges are 'lacey'..but they r very crispy,so that when it cool down it becomes very stiff.Is there anyway to soften the edges even whn has cooled down??

  45. I tried appams and kadala curry today for breakfast and i'm excited to tell you that my family enjoyed it. The kadala curry had an awesome flavour. your measurements are accurate, you have given a lot of importance to detail. thanks so much.............

    1. Thank you so much Cynthia.. I flawed a bit with the measurements as you can see above but got them right as a couple of readers had pointed out..
      Hugs for your lovely comment! :)

  46. This awesome twosome is yummyyyyy:) just tried it out and immediately rushing to give my comments on this...simply superb and great pics as well!!

    1. Thanks so much, Sadhana, for trying it out and getting back to me! :)
      So happy that you liked it too!..hope you got the right texture for the appams and the curry came out well.. A beginner may find it difficult to attain perfection..if you are one, Kudos to you! :)

  47. so happy you're doing this blog! love seeing other malus doing what they love to do. :) will follow you on pinterest. congrats!!

  48. Just a clarification.. for this curry 1/2 cup coriander seeds required is it? or can we replace it with the coriandar powder?

  49. Shankari, go ahead with 6 tsps of coriander powder :)
    See to it you add this after the red chillies are fried. Keep a good watch over the flame. Powders char too soon. At the same time see to it that it is done right too (colour changes and aroma spreads)

    You can also add sliced big onions (may be one) for the recipe. will be a twist.

    Thanks for visiting. Good luck! :) pls do let me know how it comes out :)

  50. Bharathy, just a quick tip I learnt when making channa masala and chole. If you want thicker gravy, you can grind one or 2 tbsp of pressure cooked channa along with your ingredients to roast and grind. This will thicken the curry without modifying the taste. Alternatively, you could just mash a little bit of channa with the spoon when cooking. This gives an interesting texture as well. In our house, we prefer our gravy to be thicker than sambar :)

  51. Jay, this is brilliant! I do the mashing part but not the grinding along! Generally Tamilians prefer a thicker gravy and Thanks a bunch for the lovely idea!