October 22, 2013
Appams For Breakfast
One of the things I really enjoy about travelling is trying out all the new foods- and I'm especially a big sucker for a good breakfast buffet!
When we were in Asia the choices were awesome, not just boring cereal and toast, but Japanese, Chinese, Malay, European and Indian foods were all on offer. Some places even had dedicated Gluten Free options, but I found a lot of dishes were also naturally gluten free if I asked the chefs and explained what that meant
One dish I came across for the first time and really enjoyed was Appam, a delicious type of pancake made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk- crispy on the outside and softly spongy on the inside, yummo!
They're cooked in a small wok style pan called an Appachatti which gives the appam a nice bowl shape. The batter is swirled around the hot pan clinging to sides, then any excess drips to the centre to make the softer middle. A lid is clapped on top, and the appam steams gently until done. They are usually served with an egg in the centre or with a sweet palm sugar filling.
An expert at work, the lovely chef at our resort who made delicious appam to order
Ok, so I just had to try and recreate these at home- even though I didn't have a nice smiling chef to make them to order for me. He did however, give me the basic recipe outline so I could experiment
1 sachet (7gm) Dried Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
1 cup of tepid Water
2 cups Rice Flour
good pinch of Salt
1 cup or so of Coconut Milk
Add the yeast and sugar to the cup of tepid water
Set it in a warm spot until it's risen, bubbly and alive!
Mix it into the rice flour, salt, and coconut milk. Cover it loosely and let it sit overnight to slightly ferment
Wakey, wakey! Time to start cooking !
Stir the batter thoroughly and thin it out with some more coconut milk or water if necessary. It should be the consistency of crepe batter- fairly thin
Ladle some into your hot pan and swirl it to evenly cover the edges. Don't worry if you don't have the right type of pan, you could use a wok if you like or even a frypan with a decent lip
Cover the pan, and let the appam steam set for just a minute or so
If you would like a savoury egg appam, crack an egg into the centre just before popping on the lid and let it steam set- delicious
Place a generous amount of fillings along the centre of your appam
Roll it up and......
Oh not quite as perfect as my professional Appam Chef's :(
But pretty darn good all the same!
I have to say that these are a really nice change from the usual type of gluten free pancake you probably make at home. There's a slight tang and yeastiness from the fermentation process and the crispy edges give a nice textural contrast to the dish. I would definitely make them again- especially the egg version- for a breakfast that's just a little bit different, and very definitely delicious!
So Dear Readers, what do you like for breakfast when you travel, and are you a fan of the Breakfast Buffet?