Appam and curry..Daring Cooks August 2011 challenge

 Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

I have to say that I was worried that I won’t be able to make it this month. My schedule has been so busy and hectic these past couple of weeks but I am really glad I managed to make this month’s challenge.

I was kind of worried that my family won’t like the curry, with all the spices and flavors in it I was worried it was going to be too much especially for the kids. It turns out my family had a broader mind than I had expected. They loved the curry! and demanded that I should make this dish more often. Thank  you Mary!

I have tried the appams before, I served them with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom. This was my first time serving them as a form of bread. The kids liked the sweet version better.

Servings: Makes about 15. I find 3-4 are enough for a serving

1 ½ cups (360 ml/300 gm/10½ oz) raw rice( I used one cup rice flour instead )
1 ½ teaspoons (7½ ml/5 gm) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
½ cup (120 ml) of coconut water or water, room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons (22½ ml/18 gm) cooked rice
½ teaspoon (2½ ml/3 gm) salt
about ½ cup (120 ml) thick coconut milk (from the top of an unshaken can)


1. Soak the raw rice in 4 to 5 cups of water for 3 hours.
2. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut water or plain water and add the yeast. Set aside in a warm area for 10-15 minutes, until very frothy.

3. Drain the rice and grind it in a blender with the yeast mixture to make a smooth batter. You can add a bit of extra water if needed.(I skipped the soaking and grinding steps because I used rice flour) Add the cooked rice, and grind/blend to combine well.

4. Pour into a large bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 8-12 hours. You not only want the mixture to rise and collapse, but to ferment. When it is ready, it will have a slightly sour and distinctly yeasty smell. Don’t worry–they are mild tasting when cooked!

5.Add the coconut milk and salt, and a bit of water if necessary, so that you have a batter that is just a bit thicker than milk. It bubbles after you add the coconut milk.

6. Heat your pan over medium heat. Wipe a few drops of oil over it using a paper towel. Stir the batter and pour in 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of the pan. Working quickly, hold the handle(s) and give the pan a quick swirl so that the batter comes to the top edge. Swirl once only, as you want the edges to be thin and lacy.

7. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and check. The center should have puffed up a bit, and will be shiny, but dry to the touch. When ready, loosen the edges with a small spatula and serve immediately. These need to be served hot out of the pan.

Chai Pani’s Malabar Chicken Curry (recipe vis A spicy perspective)

I changed the recipe a little to fit my family’s taste, I will write the recipe I made and you can check the original one by following the link in the title.

1 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I used some left over grilled red garlic chicken “recipe coming very soon” )

1/4 cup vegetable oil .

3/4 teaspoon curry powder

1 large onion chopped

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

2 1/2 teaspoons  ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and/or stems)

2 chopped tomatoes

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup water

Pour oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the  onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the onions to soften until they are dark and soft enough the smash with a spatula.

Add the  coriander, turmeric, and cilantro—mix together.

Raise the heat back to medium and add the tomatoes, salt, and lime juice.(at this stage my husband walked in and you’re COOKING the salad!!)

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have disintegrated and the oil separates out—15-20 minutes.

Add ½ cup of water and 1 cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tb. of oil over high. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on all sides, leaving the centers pink—2-4 minutes.

Add the chicken to the curry and simmer 5-7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through.

 This is a GREAT make-ahead! Letting the curry sit overnight enhances the flavors!

You can serve this with basmati rice instead of the appam

Thank you Mary for the amazing challenge and for being a wonderful hostess.You can check out the rest of the recipes Mary suggested and the creations of my fellow daring cooks here

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  1. I had come here earlier but your post wasn’t up yet, I was anxious to tell you that your plating was the most beautiful of all, as always you’ve done an amazing job on the challenge, I’m not surprised your family enjoyed it so much :)

    • Thank you so much Renata,
      You always have something sweet and encouraging to say and I appreciate your comments more than words can say

  2. The soup looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love your photos!! what a great job!

  4. This looks really interesting. I rarely use my curry spices, I might give this a try.

  5. Looks very tempting. Delicious photos!

  6. Both such fabulous recipes – thanks for making time for the challenge to share with us all.
    Have a happy day. :-) Mandy

  7. Your photos are gorgeous and I’m glad your family liked it! I can’t blame the kids for liking sweet appams better–I usually go for sweet over savoury too. Thanks for participating this month! :)

    • Thank you so much Mary for this amazing challenge and for stopping by my blog and commenting :)
      I can’t wait to try the other versions you suggested..all super tempting

  8. Where to start? Stunning photos, amazing recipes. had never heard of appam before but wow! Am also having serious curry cravings, so this has just reignited the fire! Gorgeous post.

  9. Wow, this looks incredible! I’ve been too intimidated to try making appam before, but yours look perfect… So thin and soft. Very inspiring!

  10. I have been hopping all around different blogs this morning an my list of things I want to try just keeps getting longer.You have just given me not one but two things LOL

  11. Yum!! They look amazing. I think I’m opting out the DB / DC challenges- I never seem to make them in time / despite always wanting to it never fits somehow – I will just read yours instead, mmm gorgeous!

  12. I love appam and curry. I had so much of it during my recent visit to India as my dad is posted to Kerala, a south Indian state. You brought back some good memories!

  13. What a great challenge. You know, since we started our whole cooking around the world thing, curry is one of the flavors that surprised me the most. I knew the kids enjoyed it – but I didn’t think I would. It’s one of those things I just never had the urge to try. Then once I did – yum! Not what I expected at all. I’m going to remember this one for when we pick India. It looks so creamy and good.

    • I know what you mean..I didn’t expect to like it either..for some reason my idea of indian food is greasy, spicy and burn the top of your mouth hot food! totally wrong on all counts

  14. Those photos are just beautiful. So is the recipe.

  15. Both your curry and appam look delicious! The curry is such a beautiful colour & your appam so lacy and perfect. I agree with Renata, beautiful plating as well.

    I’m loving the sound of sweet appam. I’m definitely going to give them another go, so I can try that out. :)

  16. This looks absolutely amazing! I love curry and look forward to trying this sometime soon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. Great challenge! These look wonderful! Never heard of them before, but with honey sounds yummy!

  18. I don’t think I’ve told you lately just how fantastic I think you are! I think the world of you, your talent to cook, photograph, write and ability welcome people into your heart is out of this world. I mean that, truly! Good luck with the contest, you most certainly deserve to win :)

    • Sweet and wonderful Ginger..
      I truly can’t tell you how much your words meant to me..they touched my heart and I can’t thank you enough for them
      all I want you to know is I think the world of you too and of your courage and ability to go are my role model and hero

  19. this looks good
    last week I put up the recipe for appam and egg curry

    but the sad part is i was given the daring baker approval but still waiting for daring cook
    i cant believe i am missing this challenge
    but really kudos to you, the appam and curry looks amazing

  20. Your appams look great! And the curry looks so delicious! Great looking pictures too, excellent job on this month’s challenge!

  21. Wow! I had already seen this in the Daring Cooks forum… and I LOVED your pictures! And now that I read the curry recipe I think I’d love the taste too! :-) Your appam look so PERFECT! Well done Sawsan!!

  22. What fabulous photos, Appam is one of those things i’ve been working up to making. It’s getting closer to the top of the list now!

  23. it smeels i mean looks so good!!! i wish i had your kinda menu here at home lol

  24. Your appam & curry challenge looks absolutely great!

  25. Curry curry curry I love curry! (((:

  26. Done this just once in my life and did not look anything like yours. It was not a good experience so I am just going to have you come to my house and make it next time:) Love what you did and amazing job

  27. Wow, I’m honored! :) Looks fantastic.

  28. Wow..first the photos just popped, and then I blinked and focused on your delicious sounding curry (will have to try Summer’s recipe) and beautiful Appams! Fantastic job on the challenge – glad you were able to fit it in!

    • Thank you so much Lisa…I am etching to get started on your challenge..I really hope I can make it…it is such an amazing challenge I would hate to miss it

  29. Errr..make that ‘Sommer’s curry recipe’ LOL

  30. Incredibe good looking appams !!! Make some for me :) WIth that chicken curry, I cant wait to dig!

  31. Your appam and curry look fantastic! Great job!

  32. Those appams look so beautiful and so delicate! I bet they were delicious with that curry. Great job on this challenge!

  33. appam & curry looks well done !

  34. bakingdevils

     /  August 16, 2011

    Stunning photograpy…I have never seen such gorgeous looking appams with a curry…..It’s breakfast time here and I could happily have some appams with a curry (veg though for me:-). Beautiful post…I am glad I stopped by..


  35. Sawsan, I’m sorry for my late visit on this post. I’ve seen it on facebook, but it’s so worth it to come visit on your blog… photos are STUNNING!!! I can have this 3 times a day…seriously. Looks so delish! I bookmarked this and hope to cook it soon. ;-)

  36. Hi Sawsan – we want to say a big thank you for sharing this luscious curry on Season with Spice in support of the Curry event. It’s a great recipe & we hope many readers will get to try it out. We love all the spices that go into it. Look forward to seeing more of your recipes!

    • Hello Reese
      The pleasure was truly all mine to participate in your event to support curry. I look forward to sharing more recipes with you
      Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to leave me a comment

  37. I’m the seond time to come and just saying hello. I really like this great site. alwasy has amazing idea. Great website.

  38. sawsan… i realised today that i had not seen many of ur recipes… u made appams!11 that from my part of teh world!!!! Kerala..,India.. i am sooooo happy u made it.. and sawsan believe me the pics tells me that ur appams were perfect.. i am still not confident abt my appams.. and i buy tehredaymade mix..!!! wow sawsan.. i admire u … i have been thinking of trying to amke the mix at home.. but never did.. also very hapy that ur kids loved it.. when were kids we used to have it with milk and sugar… also having it with cocnut milk is also an option!!!

    • Thank you Renu for taking the time to leave me a comment on this post
      I loved this challenge because I got to learn so much about Kerala recipes. There were some amazing recipes full of layers of flavors and I personally still want to learn more about them and try more and more.
      I am honored that you think my appams were perfect. :)

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