APPAM AND CHANNA MASALA - A complete and filling Kerala breakfast

Appam / Lace Hoppers is a popular Kerala breakfast recipe and a complete meal when combined with the right accompaniment. The popular ones are Sweetened  and flavoured coconut milk and Vegetable stew or South Indian style Chana Masala . The former is more popular but I prefer the later for the simple reason that the protein content is higher and complements the Energy filled lace hoppers in a perfect way. 

As I don't use toddy to ferment the batter, I have used yeast in its place. I have also given a recipe for instant Appam below. Both the versions  gave lacy , soft hoppers. Spicy Chana Masala pairs very well with these and makes a grand breakfast. 

Preparation Time: 2 hrs + 10 min
Cooking Time: 3 min
Recipe Category: South Indian, Breakfast
Recipe Level: Easy
Source : Suhaina Ajish
Yields: 15- 20 nos

  • 2 cups Raw rice
  • 3/4th cup cooked Par boiled Rice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Yeast ( instant)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Soak the rice for two hours and grind it to a smooth and fine paste with a little water.
  • Take care not to leave any particles.
  • Transfer it to another tall container and set aside.
  • Grind together the cooked rice, yeast, grated coconut and sugar to a paste and fold this into the ground rice batter.
  • Leave it to ferment. It will take 4 to 5 hours roughly for the batter to rise in volume and become frothy.
  • Store it in the refrigerator. When you prepare Appams, transfer required quantity, salt it and dilute with water to a runny consistency but not thick as Dosa batter.
  • Heat an Appam pan, smear oil and wipe with a tissue paper.
  • Pour a round spoon full of  batter and swirl once for a soft, bulged center and crispy edge. Or swirl twice for an even and soft lacy finish.
  • Close with a lid and cook on low medium for two minutes. Check the center. If its still undone, close and cook further until done.
  • Peel off and transfer to serving plate. Serve with side dish of your choice.
  • 2 cups of Idly/ Dosa batter
  • 100 ml of trim Coconut milk/ or freshly extracted (any brand)
  • Water
  • Mix Idly Dosa batter with Coconut milk and dilute with water to make a thin batter. Add salt if necessary.
  • Proceed to make Aappam the same way as mentioned above.

Preparation Time: Overnight
Cooking Time: 20 min
Recipe Category: Side dish 
Recipe level: Medium
Serves:4 -5
Source: Amma

  • Chickpeas/ Channa 1 1/2 cup 
  • 4 big Onions
  • 4 big tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh Ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium sized Potatoes, boiled and cubed
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 -2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp dry Coconut ( optional)
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala/chana masala/kitchen king masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp tea dust / 1/4 tsp Tamarind paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar or powdered jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp Oil 
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • Soak Chick peas overnight and pressure cook with little salt and water until soft and done yet firm.
  • Reserve a fistful of cooked chick peas and set aside. Also reserve the cooked water to dilute the gravy.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai and add all the whole spices( except bay leaf) and fry until fragrant. Add the coconut. Take care not to brown the coconut too much. 
  • Roughly chop 3 Onions and saute it with the spices. Add 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste and green chilies. 
  • Roughly chop 3 tomatoes and saute along with Onions until soft and mushy. Cool and make a sooth paste of it in a blender.
  • Fine chop the remaining onion and tomato. 
  • Dry roast the kasoori methi for 2-3 mins and keep aside.
  • Prepare an extract using 1/2 tsp tea dust and 1/4 cup water, filter and keep aside.
  • Grind the reserved fistful of chick peas into a paste with little reserved cooked water.
  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee in the same Kadai. When hot, add the bay leaves, followed by chopped onions. Saute until transparent and add tomatoes. 
  • Add a dash of salt and turmeric powder and continue to cook. Add the potato cubes.
  • Once done, pour the gravy into the Kadai and add required salt and sugar. 
  • Add all the dry spice powders except the nutmeg and masala powder. 
  • Mix well and add the Channa/ Chick peas and cooked water. Simmer until the spices are well absorbed.
  • Check for salt and spice add what is necessary. 
  • Add the ground chick peas paste.
  • Increase the flame for  3-4 mins and then simmer. 
  • Finally add the masala powder of your choice, tea extract/ tamarind paste and nutmeg. 
  • Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot.

  • The addition of Coconut imparts a distinct southern flavour to the dish.
  • If you do not prefer to grind the whole spices, add it along with bay leaves and grind only the Onion, Tomatoes and chilies. This will also cut down the spice level.
  • Channa and Potatoes can take up more spice, hence the addition of so many spice powders. You can adjust and change according to your preference.
  • Addition of tea extract gives a nice flavor and mouth feel to the finished masala.


  1. thanks for sharing an instant recipe...looks delicious

  2. Looks very delicious.. Never tried appam with channa masala, sounds interesting..

  3. Love the Aapam click, very tempting Sowmya! Always relished with coconut milk and chutney, this interesting combination is a must try...

  4. super appams,makes me hungry :)

  5. Perfect combo. Appom looks fabulous.. Thanks for the mention dear

  6. Tried it today Sowmi, came out yummy...I thought it is complicated as I cooked before so easily but it worth to take time for such an excellent Chana masala...will share pictures in WA

    1. Wow! Glad to know that it turned out well Sheelu. Eager to see the pictures.


Post a Comment

It is very important to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness as it helps us focus on possibilities of improvements. A big thanks for taking time to stop by my space.Would love to hear from you. I am even more eager to know if you have tried any recipe from my space. Do leave your feedback ,suggestions and queries here. You can also reach me at I hope you enjoyed surfing around. Comments tagged with link back to other sources, advertisement or promotions unless prior approved will be deleted straight away.

Thanks for your understanding

Happy Cooking

Popular Posts