Paalappam (Coconut milk and rice crepes)

These are thin rice cakes with a soft center. They are made of fermented rice batter. They are just divine when eaten with a stew or your favorite curry. They are called paal appam as they are made of coconut milk and rice.

Takes me back to my childhood when mom made these, or when we have breakfast with Chinnu maama at Koshys, an age old classic restaurant in Bangalore. They would serve us this steamy hot aapams and mouthwatering mutton stew. I ate it just once, and I still cherish it. Maybe it is also because Chinnu maama (an uncle, a family friend) took us there. He worked in Nigeria, and came down for a visit once in a while. My sisters and I went to his father’s house for tuitions during summer vacations mostly. His father and he would take us to the toy store. He would ask us to buy whatever we wanted. Whatever? That was just what any kid wanted. We darted and picked up our favorite toys, and then he took us to this place for brunch. He was a handsome man. I always wondered why he smoked and drank so often. I loved his Nigerian accent, and the way he would stink up the whole place with his cologne every time. Many fond memories of him still linger. I never saw him after that. Years later, he never came home, but his ashes were sent to India, to his parents, and his family was devastated. Life is bitter sweet after all. But just the few moments I spent with him as a child, were enough, I will forever remember this kind uncle. 

What I used: Makes ample for 4
3 cups raw rice
½ cup grated Coconut
1 cup cooked rice
½ tsp Salt
½ cup milk
To ferment:
½ tsp yeast
4 tsp Sugar
½ cup warm water

Soak the rice in water for 4 to 6 hours and drain it. Grind this with grated coconut and cooked rice adding enough water to a smooth paste. To ferment it, combine sugar and yeast in luke warm water and keep aside for 15 minutes. Stir it into the batter and cover and allow it to ferment for 8-10 hrs. Add salt and regular milk. The batter is now ready to be poured into the appam pan.

Prepare the pan by smearing it with an onion dipped in oil, or use a non stick pan. Refer here. (It is a circular shallow pan with a lid that allows for steaming the top and roasting the bottom of the dosa). When the pan is well heated, pour a scoop of mixture into it. Spread it around by turning the pan with the handles. Cover the lid and let it cook until the sides are golden brown. Enjoy!