Friday, November 11, 2011

Uttapam with Coconut Chutney

Uttapam is savoury pancake made with a batter of fermented rice and lentils. It is a popular breakfast dish from southern India and is accompanied by coconut chutney and/or sambhar. In our house we usually make it for lunch. It is quite wholesome with all food groups incorporated in it. There are many variations of uttapam and each is as good as the other. Sometimes I make instant uttapams by just mixing suji (semolina) with yogurt and several veggies into a thick batter. But the actual fermented batter tastes wayyy better, though it requires some planning.
Rava Uttapam
Ingredients: (makes about 8)
1/2 cup urad husked dal (dhuli urad)
3 tbsp plain yogurt 
11/2 cup suji
salt to taste
2 cups altogether (chopped red onion, grated carrots, ginger, fresh chopped coriander and green chilies)
oil for cooking the pancakes
  1. Soak urad dal overnight. Grind into a fine paste in a grinder.
  2. Put this batter in a large bowl and add yogurt, salt and suji to it. 
  3. Using water make a thick batter of pancake like consistency. Cover tightly and keep it in a warm place to ferment for 6-8 hours. During this time the batter will develop bubbles, rise a bit and sour up.
  4. When you are ready to make the pancakes, heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Keep all the veges chopped and mixed together. Check the consistency of the batter, add water if it has thickened up. 
  5. Spray some oil on the pan, pour a large ladle full of  batter in the center of the pan and using the back of the ladle spread it in a circular motion to shape it into a round pancake. 
  6. Spray some more oil on top of the uttapam. While the bottom is cooking, spread about 3-4 tbsp of the onion mixture on the top of the pancake.
  7. When you see small bubbles appearing on top, carefully turn the pancake over using a wide spatula. Cook on the other side for about a minute.
  8. Serve hot with coconut chutney and/or sambhar.
Coconut chutney

Coconut Chutney
Ingredients: (a big bowl full)
1/2 fresh coconut grated
2 tbsp roasted chana dal
2 green chilies
salt to taste
1-2 tsp lime juice 
2 tbsp plain yogurt(optional)
2 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig of curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
pinch asafoetida. 
  1. Grind coconut, chana dal and green chilies well using water. Keep a thick consistency. 
  2. Add salt and lime juice and yogurt if using. 
  3. Heat oil in a small pan, add asafoetida, and mustard seeds. Cover and let crackle for 10 seconds. Take away from heat and add the curry leaves. Add this tempering to the coconut batter. 
  4. Chill before serving. Keeps in the refrigerator for a week.
Uttapam with Sambhar
Uttapam can be served with sambhar and coconut chutney for a fuller heavier meal. For sambhar recipe, tune in next week.

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