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Shared by Ilanit Menachem

Appam (Cochini Shabbat Bread)

Yield: 10-12 servingsTime: 10 min plus 2 H inactive

Shared by Ilanit Menachem

Appam on burgundy plate, over yellow embroidered tablecloth.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Appam (Cochini Shabbat Bread)

Yield: 10-12 servingsTime: 10 min plus 2 H inactive

Family Journey

Chendamangalam, IndiaGivat Ko’ach, IsraelRishon LeTsiyon

The word appam typically refers to a lace-like crepe made with coconut milk and rice flour in Sri Lankan and South Indian kitchens. In Ilanit Menachem’s community, which comes from Cochin (present-day Kochi) on India's southwestern coast, it’s the name of a Shabbat bread made in a tube pan. Her grandmother Rebecca used to make the bread every Friday morning over a live fire, but her mother-in-law taught her to make a version that can be baked in an oven. It’s best dipped into dishes like ispetti, or beef with ginger, coriander, and potatoes in spicy tomato sauce.

Read more about Ilanit’s family in “Ilanit Menachem’s on a Mission to Preserve Cochini Jewish Recipes” and try her recipes for Cochin-style pastel (fried pastries filled with spiced chicken), and ispetti (spicy beef stew).


  • 28 grams (4 packets) dry active yeast
  • 6 cups (750 g) AP flour
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup ground semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3-4 cups of water
BreadsShabbatSouth AsiaMiddle East


  • Step 1

    In a very large bowl, mix the yeast with 3 cups of lukewarm water. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to foam.

  • Step 2

    Add in all of the ingredients and stir with a whisk. It is important to mix it well to a smooth texture so that there are no lumps. Add up 1 one cup of water as needed. The final dough should be very soft but not quite liquidy or pourable.

  • Step 3

    Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside to rise for about an hour, until it doubles in size.

  • Step 4

    Grease one 10-inch removable bottom tube pan and one small loaf pan. Fill the tube pan with dough until there is about 2 ½-3 inches of space, then place the rest of the dough in the loaf pan.

  • Step 5

    Allow the dough to rise once more for 30 minutes.

  • Step 6

    While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.  Bake both loaves uncovered for about 35-40 minutes, until golden and baked through.