Baking Hermann
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Uttapam (Indian Rice & Lentil Pancakes)

Just like Idli and Dosa, Uttapam is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils (urad dal). However, rather than steamed in trays or spread out thinly in a pan, it is fried into a thick, fluffy pancake and topped with aromatics like onion, chillis, tomatoes and coriander.

Just like Idli and Dosa, Uttapam is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils (urad dal). However, rather than steamed in trays or spread out thinly in a pan, it is fried into a thick, fluffy pancake and topped with aromatics like onion, chillis, tomatoes and coriander.

Besides a pleasant tangy flavour, the fermentation process converts the carbohydrates and proteins in the batter into easier-to-digest forms and increases the bioavailability of certain nutrients, such as folate, iron and zinc. This is one of the reasons why Uttapam is often named one of India’s healthiest breakfasts.

It’s usually eaten with either a fresh coriander chutney or a fiery Milagai Podi, a powdered condiment that is also known as gunpowder thanks to its explosive flavour.

serves 4 for a light breakfast/lunch

Ingredients

Batter

Toppings

  • 1 large red onion

  • 1 large tomato

  • 2 green chillies

  • 30g coriander

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

  • 2 tbsp Milagai Podi/Gunpowder (optional)

  • Coriander chutney (optional)

Method

The day before, follow steps 1-4 of this recipe to make the batter. Once fermented, it should have a thick pouring consistency, similar to a normal pancake batter. Adjust with a little water if needed.

When the batter is ready, pre-heat a non-stick frying pan or well-seasoned skillet. In the meantime, peel and finely dice the onion and cut the tomato into small pieces. Finely slice the chillies, then trim and discard the lower stems of the coriander and chop the leafier bits. Mix all of the aromatics together in a bowl along with the salt.

Pour 1 tsp of the oil into the frying pan and spread it out with a pastry brush. Once really hot, use a ladle to pour in one large ladle or around 1/4th of the batter. It should spread by itself into a thick pancake. Turn the heat to medium-low and, once bubbles start to form on the surface, sprinkle over 1/4th of the veg mix, spreading it all over the batter and pressing it in slightly with a spatula. Drizzle another 1 tsp of oil over the pancake and around the edges, then continue frying it until the base easily comes loose and is slightly golden (3-4 minutes).

Flip the uttapam with a spatula and fry the other side until the veg is slightly charred (3-4 minutes), gently pressing it again with the spatula to make sure the batter cooks evenly. Flip it back and slide it onto a plate, before dusting it with a generous amount of the gunpowder. Then carry on with the rest of the batter.

Serve immediately, alongside the coriander chutney or more of the gunpowder, if using.

As an Amazon Associate I receive a small commission from affiliate links on this page.

Uttapam (Savoury Rice & Lentil Pancakes)

Just like Idli and Dosa, Uttapam is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils (urad dal). However, rather than steamed in trays or spread out thinly in a pan, it is fried into a thick, fluffy pancake and topped with aromatics like onion, chillis, tomatoes and coriander.
Active Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
+ Soaking & Fermenting 1 day
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 for a light breakfast or lunch

Ingredients
  

Batter

Toppings

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 green chillies
  • 30 g coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp Milagai Podi/Gunpowder (optional)
  • Coriander chutney (optional)

Instructions
 

  • The day before, follow steps 1-4 of this recipe to make the batter. Once fermented, it should have a thick pouring consistency, similar to a normal pancake batter. Adjust with a little water if needed.
  • When the batter is ready, pre-heat a non-stick frying pan or well-seasoned skillet. In the meantime, peel and finely dice the onion and cut the tomato into small pieces. Finely slice the chillies, then trim and discard the lower stems of the coriander and chop the leafier bits. Mix all of the aromatics together in a bowl along with the salt.
  • Pour 1 tsp of the oil into the frying pan and spread it out with a pastry brush. Once really hot, use a ladle to pour in one large ladle or around 1/4th of the batter. It should spread by itself into a thick pancake. Turn the heat to medium-low and, once bubbles start to form on the surface, sprinkle over 1/4th of the veg mix, spreading it all over the batter and pressing it in slightly with a spatula. Drizzle another 1 tsp of oil over the pancake and around the edges, then continue frying it until the base easily comes loose and is slightly golden (3-4 minutes).
  • Flip the uttapam with a spatula and fry the other side until the veg is slightly charred (3-4 minutes), gently pressing it again with the spatula to make sure the batter cooks evenly. Flip it back and slide it onto a plate, before dusting it with a generous amount of the gunpowder. Then carry on with the rest of the batter.
  • Serve immediately, alongside the coriander chutney or more of the gunpowder, if using.
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