Also called apom balek, this is a very popular street snack in Malaysia. Traditionally made in a cast-iron pan over coals, this sweet pancake with crumpet-like holes is usually eaten for breakfast but is also enjoyed in the evenings. Its origin is probably southern Indian or Sri Lankan, as a similar sweet called an appam is also sold by Indian vendors in Penang. In fact, the only difference is that Indian pancake makers use fermented palm toddy as the starter while most Malaysians prefer baking powder or yeast.
- 50 gm raw peanuts, roasted
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, roasted
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 50 gm unsalted butter, softened
- To serve: icing sugar
- 250 gm plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1For batter, sift flour, baking powder, sugar and ½ tsp salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add egg, oil and 2 cups of water, then mix to a smooth batter. Cover and set aside for at least 2 hours.
- 2Place peanuts in a mortar and, using a pestle, crush coarsely. Combine peanuts, sesame seeds and sugar in a small bowl.
- 3Heat a non-stick 15cm frying pan over low heat. Stir batter well, then spoon ½ cup of batter into pan, spread evenly, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles appear. Sprinkle peanut mixture over the surface, dab with butter and fold pancake in half. Cover pan and cook for 1 minute or until pancake is crisp on the outside and soft in the centre. Repeat with remaining batter and peanut mixture. Serve hot, dusted with icing sugar, and sprinkled with remaining peanut mixture.