These delectable rice pancakes, also called “hoppers,” are bowl-shaped with thick spongy centers and crisp lacy edges. Although it takes a special steep-sided wok to get the authentic shape, you can come close with a 6-inch nonstick pan. The type of appam (pancake) is made with milk and has a sweet yeasty flavor. From Savoring the Spice Coast of Kerala, page 50
1/4 cup cream of rice cereal
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups rice flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, bring cream of rice and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes, until very thick. Set aside to cool.
Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Allow 10 minutes to become foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together rice flour, remaining sugar, cooked cream of rice, yeast, and enough water to make a thick batter (1 – 1 1/2 cups). Cover bowl loosely and set in a warm or room temperature spot for 4-6 hours. Batter will be foamy when fermented, and may be kept in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before cooking.
When ready to cook, add the milk and salt. It should be a thin pourable batter.
Heat small nonstick pan over medium heat. Smear a little vegetable oil in pan, ladle 1/4 cup of batter and swirl pan to create thin lacy edges. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook without flipping for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, or place on parchment in a warm oven.
We recommend enjoying with Maya’s Kerala Style Vegetable Stew.