Arey! dont mistake these to be idlis...they are just an alternative shape for appams!!Appam, Vattayappam,Vellappam, Vellayappam,Palappam are all traditional Kerala rice cakes ,in different forms and tastes depending on the additon or deletion of an ingredient,often eaten as an all day breakfast!!
Basmati rice -2 1/2 cups(not necessarily basmati, u may use any raw rice,pachari)
Coconut milk - 200ml
Cooked rice - 1 fistful
Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 5 tbsp
Salt- As required
Fast action dried yeast - 7g
(available in all grocery stores)
Soak basmati rice in water for 5 hours.Grind together basmati rice and cooked rice along with coconut milk into a very fine batter( of idli's consistency.(You can also grind grated coconut or even dessicated coconut).Add sugar and yeast in luke warm water and stir well.Keep it aside for 5 mins.Add the yeast solution into the batter.Leave it for 6hrs(preferably ovrnight) for fermentation.(For a faster fermentation you can microwave it for 2 minutes and then leave for fermentation).At the time of preparation, add extra sugar, if needed, to sweeten your appams.Appam is traditionally made in 'appa chatti' or a special iron wok( by pouring a ladle of the batter, swirling the wok and then covering it with a lid to cook).Alternatively you can steam it in an idli cooker, if you dont want the tradition saucer shaped appams.Steam the batter till it has cooked well.You will get very soft idli like appams. You may serve it hot with any spicy veg or non veg curry or can be eaten without any accompaniment as well!
An interesting palappam link: