• Sweet appam (Asia Unplated with Diana Chan)Source: Asia Unplated with Diana Chan

Made from a batter of fermented rice, coconut and yeast, these traditional Southern Indian pancakes are light and crisp. Although usually savoury, these are a sweet version that is a fun dessert or sweet brunch twist.






Skill level

Average: 2.2 (13 votes)


  • 4 small bananas
  • 45 g (⅓ cup) grated jaggery
  • 250 g grated fresh coconut
  • ½ tsp fine salt, or to taste


  • ¼ tsp dried yeast
  • 250 ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) sugar, plus 1 tbsp sugar extra
  • 185 g (1 cup) cooked white rice
  • 100 g (1 cup) fresh shredded coconut
  • 400 g (2 cups) white rice, washed and soaked for 4-5 hours, drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil, for greasing

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 8 hours

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

1. For the batter, combine the yeast, warm water and the extra tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl. Cover and stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.

2. Place the cooked rice and coconut in a blender and process until smooth. Add the raw soaked rice and salt and continue blending, adding up to 250 ml (1 cup) cold water, a little at a time until the batter is completely smooth.

3. Pour the batter into a large container with a lid, stir in the yeast mixture, then cover and stand in a warm place to ferment for about 8 hours.

4. When the batter has finished fermenting, stir in the remaining sugar and 125 ml (½ cup) until just combined. The batter should be the consistency of pouring cream.

5. When ready to cook, heat an appam chetty or non-stick wok over medium heat until water droplets sprinkled on evaporate immediately. Lightly grease the pan with a little oil.

6. Pour about 80 ml (⅓ cup) of batter into the center of the pan, then quickly pick up the pan and twirl it around so that the batter swirls all the way to the edges of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until the edges are brown. Gently lift the appam from one side and move the pan so that the appam moves freely, then slide onto a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

7. While the appam are cooking, place the jaggary and a splash of water in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Simmer until a caramel forms, then add the bananas and cook until golden and caramelised. Serve immediately with the toppings on the side. 


Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.