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Alternative namesHoppers, Ãppa, kallappam, vellappam, palappam
TypePancake or griddle cake
CourseBreakfast or dinner
Associated national cuisineIndia, Sri Lanka
Main ingredientsRice batter
VariationsEgg hoppers

Appam is a type of pancake, originating from South India, made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk, common in Kerala, India.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.


Video of making an appam

Vir Sanghvi, an Indian journalist, quotes food historian K. T. Achaya and states that the appam is mentioned in the Tamil Perumpanuru.[5][7][8] Achaya states that appam was well-established in ancient Tamil country.


An appam being cooked in Kerala
Appam served with coconut milk
Appam served with chickpea curry from Kerala

Plain appam[edit]

Plain appam 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.

Egg appam[edit]

With egg cooked in middle

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


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. Kiri hodi or sodhi, a type of coconut milk curry, is another popular accompaniment to idiyappam. 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. Some people even sprinkle grated coconut on the rice noodles. 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, for example, the type of flour used. This simple dish can be adapted into other foods such as string hopper biriyani, by adding scrambled eggs or vegetables.[9]

Idiyappam with egg masala curry


Achappam is a deep-fried rose cookie made with rice. It is a signature Syrian Christian food.[10]


Kuzhalappam is a typical Syrian Christian dish which is a fried crisp curled up like a tube.[1]


Neyyappam owes its origins to Kerala and has been a traditional offering in Hindu temples for God.[11] It is made with rice flour, jaggery, clarified butter ghee, which is the traditional method of making Nei appam. Again, the different culture and religious practices introduced variations to the dish as described in the citation above

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.

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.[12]



Vattayappam is made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut. It is an oil free tea time snack in majority of households in Kerala.[13] The dish is made by steam-cooking the batter, and is very similar to the bánh bò from Vietnam.

Burmese apon[edit]

Appam, called apon (အာပုံ) in Burmese, is a common street food in Burmese cuisine.[14] It is considered a delicacy of Southern Myanmar, in coastal towns like Dawei and Myeik.[15][16]

Kue apem[edit]

Indonesian kue apem, sold in Lok Baintan floating market, Banjar Regency, South Kalimantan

In Indonesia, a variant of appam is known as kue apem or kue apam. It is an Indonesian kue or traditional cake of steamed dough made of rice flour, coconut milk, yeast and palm sugar, usually served with grated coconut.[17] Indonesian households or community traditionally communally made kue apem for celebration and festivities. For example, Keraton Yogyakarta traditionally held Ngapem ceremony, where royal household communally cook kue apem (Javanese version of appam) as a part of Tingalan Jumenengan Dalem ceremony.[18] It is quite similar to kue mangkok. Just like kue putu it is derived from Indian influence on Indonesian cuisine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b K.T. Achaya (1997). Indian Food: A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195644166.
  2. ^ Vijayan Kannampilly (2003). The Essential Kerala Cookbook. Penguin Books India. pp. 13, 14, 187. ISBN 0143029509.
  3. ^ Martin Hughes; Sheema Mookherjee; Richard Delacy (2001). India, Lonely Planet World Food Guides, World Food Series. Lonely Planet. p. 201. ISBN 1864503289.
  4. ^ "Rahul Gandhi has traditional Syrian Christian meal in Kerala". India Today. 13 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b Vir Sanghvi (2004). Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghvi. Penguin Books India. p. 110. ISBN 0143031392.
  6. ^ "12 Sri Lanka foods visitors have to try". CNN.
  7. ^ Subhadra Sen Gupta (2012). "Always Ready for Appams!". Let's Go Time Travelling. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-8184756784.
  8. ^ K. T. Achaya (November 2003). The Story of Our Food. Universities Press. p. 80. ISBN 81-7371-293-X.
  9. ^ Petrina Verma Sarkar (2 March 2011). "Appams - Appam Recipe - Hoppers - Hoppers Recipe". Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  10. ^ Menon, A. Sreedhara (1979). Social and cultural history of Kerala. Sterling.
  11. ^ Dileep Padgaonkar (10 April 2010). "The appam takes on the naan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013.
  12. ^ Amprayil, Kuruvilla Cherian (16 March 2008). "Kerala Nazranee Pesaha Receipes [sic]". Nasrani Syrian Christians Network. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  13. ^ "Vattayappam- an oil free tea time snack - Appam - Palappam - Pesaha Appam - Kerala Cuisines - Cake - Snacks - Steamed".
  14. ^ "လှည်းတန်းတစ်ဝိုက်မုန့်စားကြမယ်". Yangon Life (in Burmese). Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  15. ^ "ထားဝယ်ဆိုတာ လူငယ်တွေအတွက်ပါ". MDN - Myanmar DigitalNews (in Burmese). Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  16. ^ "မြိတ်လို့ခေါ်တဲ့ ကျွန်တော့်ရဲ့ဇာတိမြေ | MingalaGO မြန်မာခရီးသွားလမ်းညွှန် – မြန်မာနိုင်ငံခရီးသွားဆိုင်ရာ တန်ဖိုးရှိအသုံးဝင်သော သတင်းအချက်အလက်များ". MingalaGO (in Burmese). Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Kue Apem Kukus" (in Indonesian). Sajian Sedap. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Para Puteri Sri Sultan Luwes Membuat Apem di Prosesi Ngapem - Tribun Jogja". Tribun Jogja (in Indonesian). 14 April 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.