Breakfast Beyond Eggs: Appam and Stew
Here's a little background on my childhood. I was born in Kerala, South India and grew up in Botswana, Africa, so breakfast was always very fresh and very local.
I was lucky to have farm fresh eggs for breakfast in the mornings. And incredibly fresh chicken. I have literally never eaten chicken as delicious as that, since. In fact, I have since stopped eating chicken!
But I digress.
With my South Indian background, eggs are just ONE of many options for breakfast, and sometimes are just an accompanying dish to other staples, like Upma which is something of a dry porridge made out of semolina flour. Upma with a side of eggs and optionally a banana with a sprinkle of sugar is delicious. Say what? Yes, it is certainly an acquired taste, but worth trying if you ever have the opportunity to do so.
Then there is my all-time favorite breakfast for special occasions: appam and stew. Appam is a fermented pancake made out of white rice. It's a breakfast treat, saved for birthdays, Christmas and New Year. And recently, my Mom has been making it for us whenever we go back to visit Toronto.
Sounds weird to have "pancakes" with something savoury like a stew, but appam is not a sweet pancake. If you've ever tried Ethiopian injera, it's similar but not quite as sour as injera and not served cold as injera.
So, if you're adventurous to try a different type of breakfast other than eggs, I'm sharing my Mother's recipe for Appam and Stew, which is her Mother's recipe and definitely tried, tested and true.
My mouth is watering already.
Thanks for the recipe Mummy! xo
Ingredients for Appam:
- 2 cups White Rice
- 1 teaspoon Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 and a half Table spoon Semolina
- 1 egg white
- A little Milk
1) Wash rice and soak for 2 to 3 hours to grind.
2) SEMOLINA: Just before grinding the rice (in a blender), mix semolina in a cup of water and cook in low heat stirring constantly till it turns to a thick batter. Take off from the stove and leave to cool.
3) YEAST: Take litle luke warm water in a deep bowl and add the yeast and the sugar on top of the yeast and close it with a plate and leave it to rise for 10 to 15 minutes.
4) RICE: Drain water from the rice and grind the rice in a blender (USING ONLY MILK) little milk at a time to a smooth consistency. Batter should not become too loose by adding more milk (so be careful with that while pouring the milk). Divide rice and grind into two batches, instead of allat once. That will give more room to grind.
5) Add the cooled semolina mix and the risen yeast mix into the rice batter and mix properly and leave it to ferment for 6 to 8 hours. You may leave it in the oven, overnight. In warm countries it rises faster than in colder countries.
6) BEFORE MAKING APPAM: Take egg white and beat well with little milk and add this along with salt and one table spoon of sugar into the batter and mix well and keep it for another one hour before starting to make the Appams.
7) HINT: IF THE BATTER IS TOO THICK YOU MAY LOOSEN IT
BY ADDING MORE MILK AND MAKE THE APPAMS
THE SAME WAY YOU MAKE PANCAKES USING
A NON STICK PAN OR A CAST IRON PAN.
8) Don't FLIP the pancakes, just wait until they bubble and are cooked in the center.
CHICKEN STEW OR VEGETABLE STEW RECIPE:
(Ingredients are the same whether you cook chicken with potatoes or only use vegetables)
1) One small chicken whole or Only the chicken breast : 500gm.
- Onions, 3 medium size
- Green chillies, 3 (or more)
- Ginger, 2 teaspoon (if paste) or a medium size
- Garlic, 2 teaspoon (if paste) or three small cloves
- Cinnamon sticks, 4 whole
- Cloves, 5 whole
- Cardamom, 4 whole (you can use powder too)
- Fresh Curry leaves 2 or 3 stems. (You can use Corriander leaves instead, if curry leaves aren't available)
- Black pepper, quarter teaspoon at the end
3) You can add any of these vegetables or all while cooking the
chicken:- Potatoes, Carrots, Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflour,
Peas, Tomatoes etc or just potato with chicken. I prefer that.
4) Preparation: Heat pan, pour oil and put the chopped oinions,
cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and let it cook a bit.
Then add the green chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves.
Mix and after a little while add the chicken, salt with little water to
cook the meat. (At this time, you can add the vegetables of your
Once the meat is cooked add 3cups of whole milk. If you want
more gravy add more milk.
Now add the black pepper powder, mix and boil again (not long
though) and serve with Appams either with Chicken stew
or Vegetable stew.
Options: Whole milk or 2% milk or Evaporated milk or Coconut milk.
You can use any of these of your choice.