Rosie’s Easy Appam / Hoppers

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I love Appam. Growing up, I used to look forward to weekends, when the entire clan will head out to Little India and feast on these crispy crepe-like goodness. When we moved to Australia, I assumed that that would be the last I’d see of Appams. One night, our neighbour, Rosie invited us over for dinner and there they were…100s of these Appams that she had spent all evening preparing.

This is her recipe. I’ve tweaked it a little to suit us. We prefer a very light and crispy Appam, which means more work as we have to prepare more Appams to feel sated. But we don’t make it too often, so I don’t mind it too much.

The last time we made Appams, we served it with chicken curry. My best friend ‘N’ and her beau came over to check out our new place. I have never seen anyone consume as many Appams and as quickly as N did. She even stole them off my brother’s plate. She practically inhaled them! So this post is to celebrate N – my Appam Queen.

You will need an Appam pot, but I’ve made them before in woks. When you’re tired of making them in the little pots, just make a couple of large Appams in a wok to feed anyone who is still hungry (greedy). I’ll take a picture next time when I make one of my giant Appams.

My trusty old Appam pot. I have four of these and have all of
them going at the same time when I need to feed guests.

You will need:

  • 1 box of McKenzie’s rice flour (this is the red box, available at both Woolies and Coles)
  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 packet instant yeast (I use Tandaco Dry Yeast)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can’s measure of water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Blend everything except the salt in an electric blender. You might have to do it in 2 batches. Pour into a large mixing bowl, stir well and leave to rest in the fridge overnight. Even two nights are fine. If it’s a very warm day, you could leave the mixture out for a couple of hours and it will be ready for cooking.

The mix will rise, bubble up and thicken. When you’re ready to cook the Appams, remove the bowl and leave on a counter-top until it comes back to room temperature.

Add salt and enough water to make it into a thin batter (much thinner than a pancake batter, probably more like the consistency of store-bought buttermilk and not as thin as milk).

Heat your Appam pot, use a kitchen paper towel to wipe some oil into the pot. The first couple of Appams will always stick, but when the pot is seasoned, you’ll have no trouble. Once it’s hot, pour in a ladle-full of batter and quickly swirl the pot in your hand.

As the pot is hot, the batter will stick to the sides of the pot, and any excess will fall back into the middle of the pot. Bang on the lid, and let cook for a couple of minutes. You’ll know the Appam is ready when the sides are crisp and golden brown and the centre has puffed up. Slip a spatula down the sides, and the Appam should easily come off, lift the Appam out and repeat process.

Sweet appams:
N loves a sweet appam to finish off her meal. Sweet appams are usually the last appams to be made in a pot as the sugar will caramelize and stick to the pot. Making it difficult to continue spinning appams unless you wash the pot and start again.

Follow the steps above and make a regular appam, cover the pot. When cooked halfway, sprinkle a little sugar on the centre of the appam, cover again and cook through. The sugar will melt and brown slightly forming a light caramel-like sticky sauce. Serve sweet appams on their own, or with a little diluted sweetened coconut milk (coconut milk, water and sugar to taste) to dip in.

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