Red Rice Appam without yeast | Appam without baking soda | Extra-soft & Extra-healthy


Red Rice Appam recipe | Appam with Red Rice is the healthier version of Appam prepared with red raw rice, red parboiled rice and urad dal, without yeast and baking soda.
Appam - a kind of pancake made with rice batter which has been the most popular and common breakfast recipe having its origin in India and Srilanka. Appam is a common and tasty, white fluffy thing which is usually accompanied with coconut milk or with channa curry in Kerala.

Appam is our favourite and every Sunday breakfast which my mom used to serve hot with coconut milk and jaggery syrup. I practised to make Appam once in two weeks and mostly glue to Red Rice Appams as they are so inviting with Pink colour, so soft without any leavening agents, and so healthy holding the health benefits of Red rice.

People used to make red rice Appams with raw red rice and normal idly rice. My version of Red rice Appam differs from others with the usage of Raw red rice and Parboiled red rice despite idly rice. Some people may feel like Appam won't get perfectly fluffy if idly rice is skipped. But, my experiments say, that is a total lie. With no yeast or no other leavening agents, it is still possible to get extra-fluffy red rice Appams.

Red Rice Appam is something special with loads of health benefits. I prefer to have red rice appam with coconut milk & jaggery syrup or with coconut milk & palm jaggery syrup. If you have the habit of having appam with white sugar, try with jaggery once and you will stick to the yummy taste of it, for sure. 

Why Appam is not as soft as expected?

Lack of proper fermentation:
  • Keeping batter in a cold place would not help it to ferment properly.
  • Usage of chlorinated water for soaking and grinding may resist fermentation.
  • Usage of Iodized salt and adding salt after the fermentation has finished may hinder the fermenting process.
  • Skipping fenugreek seeds could also be the reason.
  • Skipping beaten rice will cause harder appams as they play a vital role in fermentation and hence, in getting softer appams.
  • Washing urad dal and fenugreek seeds for a long time may hinder proper fermentation.
Improper proportions of Dal and Rice:
  • For 4 cups of rice, 1 cup of urad dal should be added. 4:1 ratio works fine for appam batter.
  • Changing the proportion could resist push up the batter and softness could get washed away.
Soaking time:
  • Soaking time should be between 1.5 to 2 hours to get good batter.
  • Soaking dal and rice for a very long time (more than 5 hours) may cause hard appams.
Wrong batter consistency:
  • The thick batter may cause a hard-centred appams.
  • The runny batter, in turn, results in flat appams.
  • The medium or batter with right pouring consistency works best and yields soft-core and crisp-edged appams.

Does idly rice really need for soft appams?

  • Softer appams can be possible even without idly rice.
  • As I experimented with all probabilities, I gotta know that extra-soft appams can be still possible without idly rice.
  • So, for health sake, I would strongly recommend parboiled red rice instead of normal idly rice for this red rice appam recipe.

Yeast or Baking soda? Which one is perfect to get perfect fluffy appam?

  • I'm making appam varieties for years and I have never used yeast or baking soda in my recipe to get fluffiness as my appams never fails in softness test even without yeast or baking soda.
  • So, No Yeast & No Baking Soda would be my answer.
  • I have the habit of adding 2 tablespoons of cooked rice or beaten rice while grinding the batter for usual appams which gives softer appams.
  • For red rice appams, I soak 2 tablespoons of beaten red rice (either medium or thick red rice flakes) along with raw red rice, parboiled red rice and urad dal which never ever fails to yield best fluffy red rice appams.

Do urad dal and red rice need to get soaked separately?

  • Usually, rice and dal are soaked and ground separately to make the fermentation process easier.
  • Unlike idly batter, there is not any need to soak them separately as we add beaten rice, which helps in fast fermentation.
  • So, don't get your precious time wasted in soaking and grinding them separately.
  • Grinding them together achieves the same ultra-soft appam without wasting much time.

Does Fermentation impact the softness of appams?

  • Yes, obviously.
  • Proper fermentation is much mandatory for ultra-soft appams. When you miss somewhere in the fermentation process, the end-product would not happy you, for sure.

What to do for perfect Fermentation?

  • Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds which helps in fermenting the batter.
  • Adding beaten rice helps in fast fermentation. We are adding beaten rice and this is why we grind together the ingredients while preparing batter without bothering about the flip side.
  • Add salt before the fermentation has started to occur and add non-iodized salt that helps to achieve the results better.
  • Proper temperature is the next major factor. At 25-degree to 28-degree Celcius (or during the summer season in India), it would approximately take 8 hours for the fermentation to occur. Few more hours are needed during the winter season.
  • Keeping the batter in a warm place (like keeping inside a microwave oven with lights on) would be helpful for people in cold regions.
Okay, off to information stuff. This red rice Appam recipe could be a wonderful breakfast or dinner, perfect for kids and even toddlers when serving with coconut milk and palm jaggery syrup.

⏲ Soaking Time: 2 hours
⏲ Grinding Time: 25 minutes
⏲ Fermentation time: 8 hours (approx)
⏲ Cooking Time: 1 minute (for each appam)
🍽 Servings: 5 to 6

What to Use? [1 cup = 200g]
  • Raw red rice - 1 cup
  • Parboiled red rice- 1 cup
  • Urad dal - 1/2 cup
  • Beaten rice (thin, medium or thick)- 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Water - as required

Red Rice Appam | Extra-soft & Extra-healthy

Soft and healthy pink pancakes made with red rice and urad dal that goes well when paired with coconut milk or channa curry.

Steps Involved:
  • Wash and soak raw red rice, parboiled red rice, urad dal, beaten red rice and fenugreek seeds in a bowl with enough water for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Grind the soaked ingredients with salt to a smooth batter with pouring consistency.
  • Allow the batter to ferment in a warm place which takes 8 hours approximately.
  • After fermentation, the batter would become airy with the increase in batter quantity.
  • Mix the batter slowly in a circular motion.
  • Place an appam pan over the burner, brush with little oil and pour the batter to the pan.
  • Take the pan in hands and rotate it in a circular motion to spread the batter all over the pan to get circular appams. I love to make flower-shaped appams which you will get to see how to make in the visual treat below.

Visual Treat:

Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures

How to Make?

Batter Making:
  • Take one cup of raw red rice in a bowl.
  • Take one cup of parboiled red rice in the same bowl. In case of unavailability, you can go for normal idly rice.
  • Take half a cup of whole urad dal in the same bowl. I use whole black urad dal for this recipe most of the time which yields the same softness to appams without impacting the taste but giving more health benefit. Try with black urad dal, if available in your pantry.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of beaten rice to the same bowl. The thickness of the beaten rice doesn't impact the end result. So, add what you have in hands. Either thin or medium or thick rice flakes can be used with no hesitation. I add medium rick flakes here.
  • Wash the ingredients in the bowl twice or thrice.
  • Add fenugreek seeds now. Why adding now? Washing fenugreek seeds may hinder the better fermentation, so I'm adding after washing the rice and dal.
  • Soak the ingredients in a freshwater (preferably non-chlorinated water) for about 2 hours.
  • Grind the soaked rice and dal in a mixer or grinder adding water occasionally. 
  • Scrape the sides often to evenly grind the stuff inside.
  • Add sea salt (non-iodized) to the grinder. You can add salt later, but make sure you add before the fermentation has started as salt takes part in the fermentation process.
  • Grind to a smooth batter with pouring consistency. Transfer to a clean glass or steel container.
  • Close with a lid (not tightly closed) and place in a warm place for it to ferment (about 8 hours). 
  • After 8 hours (approx), it would be airy and almost doubles in the quantity because of the beautiful fermentation process  (Cooking Science!) that had happened inside the batter.
  • Mix the batter gently in a circular way before you start to make appams.
For Making Red rice Appams:
  • Place an appam pan in a stove and brush with little oil.
  • Pour 2 ladle full of batter to the pan.
  • Make flower-shaped appams (like I do!) by tilting the pan gently to all sides while coming to the centre after finishing each petal. You can make normal appams by rotating the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter evenly to form circle-shaped appams.

  • Close with a lid and cook for a minute.
  • Ultra-soft red rice appam is ready to get plated.
  • Serve hot with coconut milk & Jaggery syrup or Channa curry.

Visual Treat:

  • Use non-chlorinated water for soaking and grinding as chlorine hinders fermentation and it may be the reason for hard appams.
  • Add non-iodized salt which helps in good fermenting.
  • Maintain good pouring consistency while grinding as both thick and runny batter may loose in the soft appam race.
  • Coconut milk with jaggery syrup is the best choice for any kind of appam. If you eat with white sugar, I highly suggest to try with jaggery once and you will get stick to the heavenly taste.
  • For toddlers and kids, pair coconut milk with palm-jaggery syrup as it works as a great health package.
  • Channa curry pairs very well if you love spicy combination for your softy appam.
  • Keep in mind, non-fermented batter never ever yield softer appams.
  • Grinding together the rice and dal never fails to give softness to my appams (not at all!). So, I suggest grinding them together.

Extra-Healthy & Extra-Softy Red Rice Appam!

Wanna give a try?  I'm pleased to hear back from you. Come back to share your recipe experience through valuable comments.


  1. மிருதுவான ருசியான சத்தான ஆப்பம்.. குழந்தைகளுக்கு கருப்பட்டி பாகு ஊற்றி தரலாம்.. 8 மாதத்தில் குழந்தைக்கு தர துவங்கலாம்.. செய்து ருசித்து உங்கள் குழந்தைகளின் சப்புக் கொட்டல்களை கமெண்ட் பண்ணுங்க.

  2. Yes! I would love to hear back from you. Try the recipe and share your recipe experience through comments.

  3. Usual aapam with unusual ingredients and with much more tips....
    Just refer here,Whatever doubts in making aapam you have...


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