The dish, which originated from South India, seems simple enough: made from a mixture of fermented rice batter and coconut milk, the connection is then poured onto a appachatti, a shallow bowl-like pan to create a dish that’s at once fluffy and crispy.
Seems simple enough, right? Not quite. Amateur cooks trying to recreate its soft, fluffy core and beautifully lacy sides at home usually fail miserably. Common issues include the batter not being able to rise in the middle, or a hopper that constantly sticks to the pan. You might even risk undercooking the centre of the appam if you’re constantly worried about burning the sides.
Thanks to Singapore’s significant Indian population, we won’t have to fret over making some at home. Just pop by a stall and you’ll get delicious, freshly made ones served with plenty of orange sugar and grated coconut on the side. Many locales around the island have also upgraded their versions with a combination of sweet and savoury toppings to appeal to the younger crowd.
If you’re looking for your next breakfast inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s where to find the best appam in Singapore
(Hero and featured image credit: Kotuwa)
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Easily one of the most famous stores around, Heavens Appam is the place to go to for a consistently good plate of appam. The snaking queues are a good indication to its quality: think a beautifully rich and sweet coconut milk centre that’s elevated by the pep from the fermented dough. The classic side of sugar and grated coconut is always a good choice, but if you’re looking for something heartier, order the Princess Appam, which comes with deliciously melted cheese, some butter and a fried egg.
(Image credit: @heavensappam via Instagram)
We’re all for a good plate of classic, plain appam, but if you want to jazz up your day with something a little different, look no further than Appam Aunty. Here, you’ll get combinations like the Mutton Satay Appam, topped with succulent mutton chunks, homemade satay sauce, crunchy onions, and cucumbers. For the adventurous, there’s even a quirky version with avocado and nutella.
Appam Aunty is not available for dine-in due to covid restrictions. Pick-up and delivery are available.
(Image credit: @appamaunty via Instagram)
Easties, here’s one for you. Rajarani Thosai, located in the popular Tampines Round Market, is another crowd-favourite if you want freshly made appams. Here, the perfectly lacy sides are always incredibly crisp, while the centre remains beautifully pillowy. Dressed with a generous serving of orange palm sugar and grated coconut, the humble S$1.50 dish is what we’d call the perfect breakfast treat.
(Image credit: @chiaksimi via Instagram)
Those searching for a truly traditional taste can find it over at Sakunthalas Restaurant. While the sugar and grated coconut version of the appam is easy to find, it’s surprising to learn that not many locales serve them with coconut milk on the side. If you’re looking to try this traditional combination, you know where to go.
(Image credit: @tfeatkitchen via Instagram)
Located in the heart of Little India, Madras New Woodlands Restaurant is a vegetarian joint best known for their delicious small dishes in their version of the Thali. If you’re craving something simpler, you won’t go wrong with the warm appams and the soft plain thosai here.
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Appam is generally had at humble stalls here in Singapore, but if you’re looking for an elevated option with tons of other well-made dishes, then we recommend Kotuwa. The Sri-Lankan joint — the brainchild of celebrated chef Rishi Naleendra — is home to two versions of the appam — the plain hopper and the egg hopper. Both are best had with any one of the beautiful curries on the menu.