Drain all the water and then add the soaked rice to mixer-grinder or blender jar. Also add the grated coconut, cooked rice or poha (aval or flattened rice), salt and sugar.
Add water and grind all the ingredients to a smooth flowing batter
Transfer the batter in a medium to large bowl.
With Instant Yeast: Sprinkle the Instant yeast (or rapid rising yeast) all over the batter. Mix thoroughly and evenly. Cover the bowl and set aside to ferment for 1 to 2 hours until the batter doubles in volume and has plenty of air-pockets.
With Dry Active Yeast: Take about 1 to 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water in a bowl. Then add the dry active yeast and stir to mix well. Add this yeast solution to the batter and mix thoroughly. Cover and keep aside for fermenting overnight or for 8 to 12 hours or more depending on the temperature conditions. The batter will rise and increase in volume the next day. * Check notes
Heat a kadai or an appam pan with handles at the sides. Spread some oil on the appam pan with a spoon. If using nonstick pan, then skip smearing the oil.
Spread a ladle full of the batter (about ⅓ to ¼ cup). Turn and tilt the pan so as to spread the batter to a neat round circle. Keep heat to medium-low or medium. Regulate the heat as needed when cooking.
Drizzle some oil on the sides if you prefer.
Cover the pan with a lid and let the appam cook. The base would become nicely light golden with crispy edges.
Gently remove the cooked appam with a spatula. Make the remaining batches of appam this way. If the pan becomes too hot then reduce the heat so that the batter is easy to spread when you tilt the pan.
Keep the prepared appams covered with a kitchen towel.
Serve the appam hot or warm with vegetable stew or coconut milk that has been sweetened with jaggery and flavored with a bit of cardamom powder.
If using coconut milk for grinding the rice, then keep a check on water. You may not need to add water or add very less amounts.
Instead of making the solution with dry active yeast, you can also add the dry active yeast granules in the blender or mixer-grinder while grinding the rice.
If the batter become too thin, then add some rice flour to it. The batter has a medium consistency.
Use any short or medium-grained raw rice like sona masuri, parmal, ponni, kolam. You can also use an equal mix of raw rice and parboiled rice or idli rice. You can even use basmati rice.
The recipe is easily scalable to make a large batch for potlucks or get togethers.
The approximate nutrition data is for one appam only.