Appam is a versatile dish that can suit vegetarians, vegans or non-vegetarians. Appam is a traditional Tamil food served by Tamil families and society living in Eelam, Tamil Nadu and Tamil diaspora countries like Norway. They serve at their homes, business establishments and Tamil festivals.

Appam is made of fermented rice flour. It is widely made and eaten in Sri Lanka (Eelam) and South India, such as Kerela and Tamil Nandu. The appam is called hopper in English and is eaten for breakfast and dinner. Appam batters and how they are served have geographic distinctions. For instance, milk appam (பால் அப்பம்; pāl appam). In Kerala, milk is given separately to pour over the plain appam. While in Sri Lanka, the milk is put over the appam while it is in the appam pan and cooked before serving.

In the Tamil diasporic countries, including in Norway, ready-made appam flour is widely available at Tamil shops. Appam is normally made with an appam pan on a gas cooker or firewood (விறகடுப்பு; viṟakaṭuppu). But in many diasporic countries, a gas cooker is not common in many households. For instance, a hotplate or induction cooker is widely used in Norway.

Here are two appam batter varieties made in Tamil families.

Appam batter 1

  • 1 cup (250ml) raw rice (பச்சை அரிசி; paccai arici)
    Soak in 6 hours
  • ½ ts fenugreek (வெந்தயம்; ventayam)
    Soak in 6-7 hours
  • ¾ cup grated coconut (தேங்காய் பூ; tēṅkāy pū)
  • ¼ cup boiled rice (அவித்த சோறு; avitta cōṟu)
    (If wished can add more boiled rice)
  • ½ ts yeast (நுரைமம்; nuraimam)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (சீனி; cīṉi)
  • Salt (உப்பு; uppu)

Put rice, fenugreek, grated coconut and boiled rice in a blender. Add some warm water to body temperature and blend everything. Warm water helps the batter to rise. Fenugreek gives an aroma and a brownish colour to the batter. Make the mixture in water consistency. The amount of water can vary from type to rice.

Put yeast, sugar and a little bit of salt in a bowl. Pour the mixture in the blender into the bowl. Blend everything together. Ferment the batter for 3-4 hours. It may take longer to ferment based on the climate in the different countries.

Appam batter 2

  • 1 cup raw rice (பச்சை அரிசி; paccai arici)
    Soak in 2 hours
  • ½ cup steamed wheat flour (அவித்த கோதுமை; avitta kōtumai)
  • 2 slices of loaf bread (வெதுப்பி; vetuppi) or rusk (வாட்டிய வெதுப்பி; vāṭṭiya vetuppi)
  • Soak in enough amount of coconut water (இளநீர்; iḷanīr)
  • Coconut milk (தேங்காய்ப்பால்; tēṅkāyppāl)
  • ½ ts baking soda (அப்பச்சோடா; appaccōṭā)
  • Salt (உப்பு; uppu)

Put rice in a blender. Add enough water to cover the rice and blend it. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Blend the soaked loaf of bread and coconut water together. Add this mixture to the rice mixture. In the villages of Eelam, toddy (கள்; kaḷ) is used as yeast instead of bread.

Add ½ cup steamed wheat flour. Then ½ cup non-steamed wheat flour.

Ferment the batter for 12 hours. It may take longer to ferment based on the climate in the different countries.  

After fermenting, add thin coconut milk. This is called the second milk (இரண்டாம் பால்), which has a thin consistency. Add ½ ts baking soda and salt. Make the mixture in water consistency.

Take 1 cup of thick coconut milk. It is called the first milk (முதலாம் பால் அல்லது கப்பி பால்), which have a thick consistency. Add the required amount of sugar for sweetness. The mixture is used to make milk appam (பால் அப்பம்; pāl appam) (see the making of appam).

Making of appam

Make the appam with a non-stick appam pan on a gas cooker or firewood (விறகடுப்பு; viṟakaṭuppu). Keep a low-medium flame.

Take the appam pan off the cooker. Put a spoonful of appam batter in the appam pan. Spread the batter on the pan through a rotating movement. Low-medium heat makes the rotation of the batter easy. Otherwise, the batter will quickly stick to the pan and won´t circulate the pan. Put 3 tablespoons thick coconut milk with sugar in the appam and put the lid on. Cook the appam for 2 minutes. The appam is ready once the edges are crispy. This is milk appam (பால் அப்பம்). Alternatively, put 3 tablespoons of thick unsweetened coconut milk in the appam and put the lid on. Cook the appam for 2 minutes. This variety can be served with jaggery powder sprinkled over it.

Common variety of appam:

  • Plain appam (வெள்ளை அப்பம்; veḷḷai appam)
  • Milk appam (பால் அப்பம்; pāl appam)
  • Egg appam (முட்டை அப்பம்; muṭṭai appam)

Creative variety of appam

Here we have other creative varieties of appam made in Norway by Delicious Food P&D. They showcase both traditional and experimental fusion of appam.

Delicious Food P&D is an Oslo-based social enterprise started in December 2020. It offers catering and a live food station for its customers. It also does food blogging on social media.

Sweet Appam on a Hotplate

Here we have sweet appam made on a hotplate at a Tamil-Norwegian household. This is a milk appam with jaggery powder sprinkled over, made on a hotplate cooker with a frying pan.

Read the article in Norwegian at at Norway National Library.
Visited 09th September 2022.

பொறுப்புத் துறப்பு │DISCLAIMER

தமிழ்ச் சமூகத்தில் சுவடிகளின் (ஆவணம்) பற்றாக்குறை, சிதறடிக்கப்பட்ட சுவடிகள் அல்லது மட்டுப்படுத்தப்பட்ட அணுக்கத்தைக் கொண்ட சுவடிகள் உள்ளன. இதனால் எண்ணிமப் பெயர்ப்பட்டியல் வலைப்பதிவில் (catablog) வெளிவரும் வரலாற்றுத் தகவல்களை சரிபார்க்கக்கூடிய சுவடிகளைப் பெற்றுக் கொள்வதில் சவால் உள்ளன.
இச்சூழ்நிலையில், புலம்பெயர் தமிழரின் வரலாற்றை தொகுப்பது ஒரு மாற்றம் பெறும் செயல்முறையாக (dynamic process) இருக்கலாம். இச்செயல்முறை காலப்போக்கில் ஒரு வரலாற்று எழுத்து வடிவத்தைப் புதுப்பித்து வளர்த்தெடுக்க உந்துகோலாக அமையும். எனவே, இவ்விணையத் தளத்தில் உள்ள தகவல்களில் திருத்தம் தேவைப்பட்டால், சரிபார்க்கக்கூடிய ஆதாரங்களுடன் கருத்துக்களை வழங்குமாறு பொதுமக்களை வரவேற்கின்றோம்.

Due to the lack of or fragmented archives or limited access to archives in Tamil society, it has been challenging to access available sources that can support the digital catablog.
In this situation, compiling the history of the Tamil diaspora will be a dynamic process that may change its shape and be updated over time. Thus, we welcome the public to provide feedback with verifiable sources in the case of need for correction in the factual information on this website.

புதுப்பிப்பு│Update: 11.09.2022

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