Prep 8 h
Cook 30m
3 to 4


    300gms raw rice (white)

    25gms rice flakes (white)   

    250ml coconut water (optional)

    200gms tender coconut meat or grated coconut (available in supermarkets or thick coconut milk of equivalent weight)

    1/2tsp of dry instant yeast

    2tbsp sugar

    1tsp salt

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


Preparing the batter

1. Wash the raw rice a few times till water runs clear and then soak it in water for about four hours till it becomes soft enough to grind. Soak the rice flakes as well in a few tablespoons of water too.

2. After about four hours, drain the water and transfer the rice and rice flakes to a blender and add the required amount of coconut water in small measures to grind the batter. You should get a medium thick, finely grounded batter.

3. Take two tablespoon of rice batter and pour it in a pan and add about 200 to 300 ml of water to it, to create a thin consistency. Boil it on a medium flame till it starts to thicken. Make sure to continuously stir the mix with a spatula. Thereafter keep this aside for cooling. This process is called ‘Kappi Kaachil’.

4. Once the mix or known as kappi cools down, mix this with the remaining rice batter and then add the yeast and sugar. Mix it well. Cover the utensil, and keep it aside for about five hours to ferment and rise.

5. Meanwhile grind the coconut into a fine paste with any remaining coconut water. If you fall short, you can add lukewarm drinking water. Keep aside.

Final batter ready for the paal appam
Final batter ready for the paal appam Image Credit: Sobha Varghese/Supplied

6. When the batter has risen, add the coconut paste, along with some more salt and sugar based on taste. Again, cover and keep it aside for about one hour for the batter to rise.

Making paal appam, lace appam or hoppers:

Take an ‘appachatti’ (a small steeply curve shaped pan) and heat it on a medium flame. Add a bit of oil, swirl it around and season the pan. Once the pan becomes hot, take one big spoon of risen batter from the top without disturbing the rest of the batter and swirl it in the pan to achieve the round shape of the hopper. Lower flame to medium to low. Close the pan with its lid and cook for about one minute.

Paal appam or hoppers ready to eat!
Paal appam or hoppers ready to eat! Image Credit: Sobha Varghese/Supplied

Open the pan, if the edges are golden and the center looks cooked, gently pull the hopper from the sides with a slim-edged spatula and scoop it out. Be careful so as not to break it.

Your delicious hopper is ready to be eaten.

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