Appams (or "hoppers") are a popular rice flour pancake eaten mainly in Kerala (located in South India on the western coast). Appams are slightly "cupped" shaped in appearance & can be filled with (or made in) a variety of flavors such as egg appams, coconut appams, honey appams, milk appams and there are also non-vegetarian appam varieties.
BASIC KERALA APPAM (or PAL APPAM)
Yield: 15-16 pancakes
2 cups rice flour
˝ cup cream of rice cereal
˝ tsp active dry yeast
2˝ cups lukewarm water
2 tsp sugar
˝ cup plus 2 tbsp milk
salt to taste
cooking spray as needed
In a small mixing bowl, add 1 tsp of the sugar with the yeast. Add 1/2 cup water and let stand for 8-10 minutes. The mixture should be foamy. Set aside until needed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of the water to a good boil and add the cream of rice. Stir to combine well and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook. Keep stirring for a minute or so until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat, let cool and keep aside until needed.
In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour with the sugar. Carefully add the cooled cream of rice and the yeast mixture and the remaining cup of water. Then gently whisk all of the ingredients together form a thick batter. Next, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature in a warm area for 8 hours or even overnight. The batter should have doubled in quantity and have a slightly sour aroma.
To the batter, whisk in the milk and salt. Combine all of the ingredients until smooth.
In a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat, spray a little cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup of the thick batter into the center of the skillet. Turn the skillet so the batter spreads in an even layer. If the batter is too thick, you can add a little milk or water as needed. Cook on medium low heat until the pancake is golden brown and set. Appams are traditionally cooked only on one side. Remove to a serving plate, serve immediately and eat warm.