Home   |    Visitor Info   |    Recipes   |    Videos   |    Events   |    Arts   |    Community   |    About                                                                                             

The Tale of Apom

It was another late, sweltering afternoon and we wanted something savory to edge off our peckishness. We did the usual coin flip and turned left to explore a different part of our neighbourhood. Just around the first corner, an aroma came traveling from a stall by the roadside in front of us. As if it was some sort of sweet charm, the smell lured us straight to the stall. To our delight, the stall was selling the light browned Indian pancake called Apom. We asked for two pieces of plain apom and watched the seller, Mr Guna, flip the flour mixture between the charcoal heated pots.

After inheriting the business from his late father who hailed from South India, Mr Guna has been selling apom on the same spot for 27 years. He preserves the traditional method by cooking his apom on clay pots (He admitted that he breaks many pots, so he needs to travel to the state of Perak every few months to buy new ones. The pots are not produced in Penang any longer).

The mixture includes simple ingredients of flour, cake flour, coconut milk and sugar. When the batter sets in the pot, you get the cripsy edge and soft spongy texture in the middle. It takes a pair of extraordinary hands like Mr Guna to handle the heat of the charring clay pots.

Our hearts were warmed as we savoured each bite of Mr.Guna's freshly baked apom. I must say that apom is another genius creation from South India.
You can still find many apom sellers on the streets of Penang these days. However many of them have long abandoned the traditional clay pot baking method. That makes Mr Guna's apom a precious find. I do not know if his children will continue his family legacy. It will be a sad fate if this traditional apom can no long be found in George Town one day.

Where to find Mr.Guna: On Dato Keramat Road near to Times Square. Open Monday-Saturday, from 5.30pm to 9pm.

For more information on street snacks in Penang, check out our "Ready to Eat in George Town?!" list here.

3 comments:

Genius Workshop said...

Yum! Now I have a craving to try apom. New York has many wonderful South Indian restaurants, so I will have to find one that prepares apom in a way that Mr. Guna would endorse.

LJ said...

I am so moved reading the "tale of apom" blog.. I really share your sentiment that it would be sad if many of these precious traditions be abandoned some days.

LJ said...

I am so moved reading the "tale of apom" blog.. I really share your sentiment that it would be sad if many of these precious traditions be abandoned some days.