Apam is a pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is a typical breakfast item in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is slightly sweet and usually eaten with sweetened coconut milk or chutney or meat gravy. I like it with coconut milk, that is the best combination.
There are different ways to make Apam, depending on the geographical location. Some people add toddy* to the batter to make it soft and for a "kick" as well. In Kerala coconut may be ground along with rice for the batter. In Tamil Nadu some people grind cooked rice for the batter. No matter what variation, Apam is a wonderful dish which can be addictive while eating.A special pan called Apam kadai is used to make Apam.
The other day we were discussing different food that we used to eat for breakfast in India. I cannot even dream to eat some of those in the morning now. Imagine we used to have Puri and potato for breakfast!
Anyway, I invited couple of my neighbors for breakfast this morning, because on of the uncles I had invited has never had Apam in his life. Now he can go to India and say that he had his first Apam In USA!
This is the recipe that I have been using for a long time.
2 C raw rice
2 C par boiled rice
1/2 C de husked black gram
coconut extract from 1 large coconut
1/2 t baking soda
6 T sugar
1. Soak rice and dal together for 3 hours.
2. Grind to thick, smooth batter. Add salt at the end. Allow to ferment for 18-20 hours.
3. Next day, grate coconut and take extract using 1-1/2 cups water. Strain well and pour on top of batter with sugar and baking soda. Let it stand for 2 minutes before mixing well. Batter should be thin.
4. Heat the Apam pan to medium heat high heat. There is no oil required if using non-stick pan.
5. Pour one cup of batter in the center of the pan. Hold the pan by the ears away from the heat and swirl it around so that a thin layer outside and thicker in the middle. Cover with the lid and lower heat to medium. Remove the cooked Apam when the sides are golden brown.
* Toddy is palm wine also known as "Kallu" in Tamil. It is alcohol taken from Palm tree.
Be sure to add the right amount of coconut milk. Excess of it can cause Apam to stick to the bottom.
The pan should be hot before pouring the batter. Reduce the flame after pouring. For best result avoid using Apam pan for any other purpose.