Thursday, 22 September 2011



Ingredients: (for 10 people):

     1)    B.T. Rice (Bombay Terminus rice / aged fine raw rice) – 2 kg.
     2)    Cooked rice – ½ cup
     3)    Fresh yeast – 1 tablespoon
     4)    Sugar – 1½ tablespoons
     5)    Fresh Coconut – 1/2
     6)    Salt – 2 teaspoons
     7)    Ghee or clarified butter – 100 ml.

To make the batter:

          Scrape or grate the fresh coconut. Wash and drain the rice. Put the grated coconut, the raw rice, the cooked rice and the salt into a two litre wet grinder (if you use a food processor, it will heat up the batter and therefore we cannot expect the high quality vellappams). Grind to fine paste. Add enough water and stir in between, feeling the batter with your fingers. Grind until it is quite smooth. The consistency of the batter should be like that of pancake batter. Transfer to a bigger vessel (10 litres) and set aside.

          Take 100 ml. of lukewarm water in a bowl. Add the yeast and the sugar. Stir and keep for 30 minutes for the yeast to activate. Now pour it into the batter and stir. Allow the batter to rest for 3 to 4 hours. Check and stir once or twice in between for the batter may rise so well as to spill over.

To Cook:

          You need an “appachatti” i.e.; a small wok with lid made either of cast iron or of non–stick aluminum. Put the appachatti on the stove and grease it with ghee (clarified butter) or with cooking oil. Stir the batter vigorously. Pour a ladleful (75 ml.) of batter in the appachatti. Now take up the appachatti taking care not to burn your fingers and tilt it in a circular motion so that the batter paints a thin crust all around, from the bottom to the top of the appachatti. The excess batter will give it a thick center.

          Now put it back on the stove and cover with the lid. Keep on low heat for around a minute and take off the lid. The steam within the lid would have cooked the thicker center of the vellappam. In 20 seconds, you can see the crust around the centre drying up and loosening its hold on the appachatti. Use a small flat slightly round headed thin stainless steel tool to further loosen and lift out the vellappam. You can serve your delicious hot vellappams with potato stew, egg curry, chole masala, black chick pea curry, baby potato curry, masala curry, fish stew, fish curry or meat curry.


     1)    You can make bulls–eye vellappams and eat without any curry at all. To make, soon after pouring and painting with the batter, break an egg on top of the vellappam and cover to cook. When you lift out the vellappam, the batter and the egg white will be fully cooked while the egg yolk will be runny. Sprinkle pepper powder and salt and serve. Children just love to break the crispy edges, dip them in the egg yolk and pop them in.

     2)    Any remaining batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.

     3)    Traditionally, toddy (fresh coconut palm liquor) was used in place of yeast to make vellappams in Kerala. Also, fresh hand pounded rice powder was used in place of the wet ground batter we use today. Separate recipe is provided to make the traditional vellappams.

     4)    Make sure that the rice is aged and that the yeast is fresh to get the best results. New rice is sticky and can make the vellappams hard and rubbery. You can make out the aged rice by its slightly yellowish colour.

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