Preparation info

  • Makes


    depending on size
    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      15 min

Appears in

Slow Dough, Real Bread

Slow Dough, Real Bread

By Chris J L Young

Published 2016

  • About

This is a breakfast staple in southern India, traditionally made using the palm sap known locally as toddy, and left to ferment overnight. They are cooked in a shallow, concave pan called an appachatti, but you can use a frying pan, skillet or heavy wok. Make the rice sourdough starter in exactly the same way as a white sourdough starter, using brown rice flour for at least the first one or two days. After that you can use white rice flour.


  • 500g/1lb 2oz/ cups white long grain rice
  • 250g/9oz/generous 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 50g/oz/ tbsp rice sourdough starter
  • 15g/½oz/1 tbsp grated jaggery or soft dark brown sugar
  • 5g/1 tsp fine/table salt
  • coconut or vegetable oil, for frying


    1. Soak half the rice in water for 4–5 hours before draining it thoroughly. Meanwhile, cook the remaining rice in a pan of boiling water for about 15 minutes until soft, then drain that as well.
    2. Grind both batches of rice with the coconut milk in a mortar and pestle, food blender or processor to make a smooth paste. Leave to cool slightly, then add the sourdough starter and continue to purée for about 5 minutes or until you have a thick, smooth batter. Cover and leave to ferment at room temperature overnight until it is bubbling, or even seething.
    3. Add the jaggery and salt to the batter and mix well.
    4. Lightly oil an appachatti and warm over a medium heat for a few minutes. Pour in a ladleful of batter, swirl it around to make a circle about 15cm/6in in diameter and 5mm/¼in thick at the middle and cook for a few minutes until it is set and cooked through. The idea is to have it thick in the middle and very thin at the edges, which gives it a spongy centre and a lacy, lightly browned crispy fringe. Remove with heatproof tongs and repeat with the remaining batter until it is all used up.