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For the court case about the British steamship, see The S. S. Appam.
Alternative names Kallappam, Palappam
Type Pancake or Griddle Cake
Course Breakfast or Dinner
Place of origin India
Region or state Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Main ingredients Rice batter
Cookbook:Appam  Appam

Appam (Malayalam: അപ്പം, Tamil: ஆப்பம்) is a type of South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is a popular food in South Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.

It is a staple diet and a cultural synonym of the Nasranis (also known as Saint Thomas Christians or Syrian Christians) of Kerala, India. According to Gil Marks, each of the three separate Indian Jewish communities - Cochin, Mumbai, Calcutta - counts in its culinary repertoire grain dishes called appam.[1]


Appam first emerged in the southern tip of India, as per Gil Marks.[1] Food historian K. T. Achaya also agrees that appam and idiyappam were well established in South India.[2] Vir Sanghvi, an Indian journalist, quotes K. T. Achaya and states that the Malayali appam is mentioned in the Perumpanuru of the fifth century.[3]

Other names[edit]

Appam is commonly referred to by its anglicized name, Hoppers, in Sri Lanka. It is called Chitau (ଚିତାଉ) Pitha in Oriya, Paddu or Gulle Eriyappa in Kodava, ආප්ප (Appa) in Sinhala and Arpone (အာပုံမုန့်) in Burmese.


An appam being cooked in Kerala
Appam served with Coconut Milk in Tamil Nadu
Sri Lankan Hoppers


Achappam is a deep fried rose cookie made with rice. It is a signature Syrian Christian food as per K. T. Achaya.[4]

Egg hoppers[edit]

They are same as plain hoppers, but an egg is broken into the pancake as it cooks

Honey hoppers[edit]

Honey hoppers are crispy pancakes cooked with a generous amount of palm treacle. Some people also like to add some jaggery just before serving to make it extra sweet.


Idiyappam (String hopper or Noolputtu) is made from rice noodles curled into flat spirals. It is served for breakfast with a thin fish or chicken curry, containing only one or two pieces of meat, a dhal (lentil) dish, and a spicy sambol or fresh chutney. String hoppers are made from steamed rice flour made into a dough with water and a little salt, and forced through a mould similar to those used for pasta to make the strings. They are cooked by steaming. These hoppers can be bought ready-made. The Indian and Sri Lankan population eats String Hoppers for breakfast or dinner. There are many variations to this, depending on the type of flour used etc. This simple dish can be adapted into other foods such as String Hopper Biriyani, by adding scrambled eggs or vegetables.[5] Another example is located in Kerala, 'Idiyappam' Paaya(Goat Leg Soup made using Coconut).


It is a form of appam where kallu is added to the fresh batter to kick start the fermentation.


Neyyappam owes its origins to Kerala and is a signature food of Syrian Christians of Kerala, as per K. T. Achaya.[4] It is made with rice flour, jaggery, clarified butter ghee.

Unni appam is a variation in which mashed plantain is added to the batter. The batter is made out of rice flour, jaggery and plantain is poured into a vessel called appakarai or appakaram, which has ghee heated to a high temperature. The appams take the shape of small cups and are fried until deep brown. Both neyyappam and unni appam are eaten as snacks.


Palappam is prepared using a spoonful of thick coconut milk/coconut cream added to the doughy centre. When cooked, the centre is firm to the touch but remains soft inside and is sweeter as a result of the coconut milk.

Pesaha appam[edit]

Pesaha appam is made by Nasrani Christians in Kerala during Pesaha (Passover). This type of appam is dipped in syrup or Pesaha Pal (Passover Coconut Milk) before being served.[6]

Plain hoppers[edit]

Plain hoppers or vella appam are bowl-shaped thin pancakes made from fermented rice flour. They derive their shape from the small appachatti in which they are cooked. They are fairly neutral in taste and mostly served with some spicy condiment or curry. These hoppers are made from a batter using rice, yeast, salt and a little sugar. After the mixture has stood for a couple of hours, it can be fried in the appachatti with a little oil. In south-central Kerala, it is mostly served with Kadala (Chickpea) curry mutton or vegetable stew or egg roast.


Vattayappam is made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut. The dish is made by steam-cooking the batter, and is very similar to the Bánh bò from Vietnam.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marks, Gil (2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish food. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. ISBN 0544186311. 
  2. ^ K. T. Achaya. The Story of Our Food. Universities Press. p. 80. ISBN 81-7371-293-X. 
  3. ^ Vir Sanghvi (2004). Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghvi. Penguin Books India. p. 110. ISBN 0143031392. 
  4. ^ a b "Times of India food article from Apr 10,2010". Time Of India. 
  5. ^ Petrina Verma Sarkar, Guide (2011-03-02). "Appams - Appam Recipe - Hoppers - Hoppers Recipe". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  6. ^ Amprayil, Kuruvilla Cherian (16 March 2008). "Kerala Nazranee Pesaha Receipes". Nasrani Syrian Christians Network. Retrieved 22 August 2009. 

External links[edit]