Soak rice and urad dal in enough water atleast 6 hrs.
Cook sago/javvarisi in enough water until soft, let it cool down completely.
Grind the soaked rice and dal along with the cooked/cooled down sago/javvarisi into a smooth paste. Add water as needed.
Add salt required and mix well with your hand. Set the batter aside in a warm place in the kitchen for 6-8 hrs (or overnight) and let the batter ferment.
Before using, beat down the batter, add extra water if required and mix the batter well. The batter should be of dropping consistency, slightly watery than dosa batter.
Heat the Appam Kadai (cast iron or non-stick) and sprinkle few drops of water. As the water evaporates, pour a ladle full of Appam batter into the pan. Quickly swirl the pan so that the batter is spread across the pan. The extra batter would settle at the center. Slowly, a lot of holes start appearing on the Appam – sign of a good fermented batter.
Add few drops of oil around the edges and cover the pan with a lid. Let the Appam cook on medium flame for a min. When the center looks cooked and the sides turn light golden brown, gently remove it. Repeat the same with rest of the batter.
Serve hot with Vegetable Stew and Thengai Paal (recipe in the Notes below). Thengai Paal (sweetened coconut mik) is usually poured on hot Appams before eating!
To cook the sago, add enough water and boil until the pearls turn transparent. Adding it makes the Appams soft as well as crispy.
A good fermented appam batter would give a lot of tiny holes when cooking the appam. That is the sign if your appam is going to turn out good. Otherwise, it might be hard to chew.
To make sweetened thengai pal, take 1 cup of thick coconut milk (the 1st coconut milk) and 1 cup of thin coconut milk (the 2nd coconut milk). Add 6-7 teaspoon of sugar and powdered cardamom. Mix well.
Appams are usually crisp when hot and turn soft as they cool down.
Appam batter stays well in the fridge for 2-3 days, after which it might start to yield slightly hard appams.