I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

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

Eggs or
Palm Sugar
Coconut Cream

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 :(

His version:

But pretty darn good all the same!

My version:

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?


  1. SO much better than cereal and toast!! :D I'm not a huge breakfast eater but I would be I suspect if I had these on offer :P

    1. Much better than cereal Lorraine! I struggle with brekkie on regular weekdays, but breakfast buffets are so exciting :) xox

  2. I think these are amazing. Ive never seen one or eaten one. Where did you have them, where are they from?

    1. We had them in Singapore Tania, but they are of Indian/ Sri Lankan origin and can also be called Hoppers. Our resort had an Indian section to its buffet breakfast with these little lovelies and several types of curry- yummo! Xox

  3. I would have joined you at the appams bar. These do look good how great that you're able to recreate them at home -- and GF, no less. A dish like this is the best kind of souvenir.

  4. I LOVE finding delicious tasty treats when we travel! You have jackpotted with this one... it looks so good, I have to try i with palm sugar, banana and coconut (Bali style)
    I will let you know when I make it.

    1. Oh that does sound scrumptious! I love finding a new dish and making it mine :)

  5. I think your version looks every bit as good, Becca! And serendipitously, we've been trying to make dosa! :) Hope all is well darling, I've been thinking about you xx

    1. Thanks sweetie! I don't think the resort chef would agree though :) I've been meaning to try dosa, let me know how they work out for you. I'll give you an update end of the week xox

  6. Rebecca - I would sooo love those! Anything like crepes or pancakes are a favorite - yum!

    1. Me too Ina, but it's nice to have a bit of variety now and then :)

  7. Wow, the pancakes look fantastic! I'd never have thought this would be possible with rice flour because I know it as ending up crumbly, and you didn't even use an egg with the dough! Probably this is due to the yeast and fermentation?

    I must admit I'm not a huge fan of breakfast buffets because I don't like to eat large amounts of food too early in the day, and with the buffets I know from here I find almost nothing I can eat anyway. The only things that don't contain gluten, dairy, or animal products on such a buffet are usually fruit, but then I don't see why I should pay 20 bucks for an apple. ;) I've never tried breakfast buffets from international cuisines though, that might be a different story.

    1. I think it stayed nice and flexible because it was steamed through Kath, and that helped keep the moisture in too. I would resent paying that for an apple too! At this particular resort there was quite a few choices with vegetarian curries and dahl, and congee rice porrige and soy and tofu as well. Maybe Asian buffets are the best choice for you and your next holiday :)

  8. I have SUCH fond memories of this dish from a family holiday to queensland. Amazing. So delicious. Ooooh breakfast buffets are dangerous, I find I fill up too much & then dont have room for street food!