Uttapam

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    9–10

    ; serves 3

Appears in

Traditionally, this popular dish from southern India is made with a rice and lentil batter that can be time consuming to prepare. This bread uttapam, on the other hand, is easy to make and quick to cook, not to mention it tastes delicious.

Uttapam is a thick dosa, or pancake, topped with vegetables. Essentially it is an Indian pizza, so get creative with your ingredients and place whatever you like on top. It is divine served hot, with a side of chutney.

Make sure you use a non-stick frying pan or a well-cured pan (see here), as this uttapam is notoriously sticky.

Preparation 15 minutes + 1 hour resting
Cooking 4–5 minutes per uttapam

Ingredients

  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 180 g (6 oz/1 cup) coarse semolina
  • 70 g (2½ oz/¼ cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black salt
  • rice bran oil, for greasing
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat masala
  • 60 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) finely chopped tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 1 Indian green chilli, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded fresh ginger
  • Green coconut chutney, Coriander chutney or Greek-style yoghurt, to serve

Method

Cut the bread into small pieces, then soak in 250 ml (9 fl oz/ 1 cup) water for about 5 minutes. Drain the bread and place in a blender. Add the semolina, yoghurt and salt and blitz to a thick, smooth paste.

Pour the batter into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rest at warm room temperature for 1 hour. The warmer and more humid, the better.

The batter should be a relatively thick consistency; stir in a little more water if needed.

Lightly grease a non-stick frying pan and place over medium heat. Be careful not to cook the uttapam on high heat, as the batter will not cook through.

For each uttapam, pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan; it should spread into a thick pancake, about the size of a pikelet, and you should be able to cook several at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Pour a little rice bran oil around the pancakes. Leave to cook for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle some of the cumin seeds, chaat masala, tomatoes, chilli, coriander and ginger on top. Press the topping ingredients down lightly, turn the pancake over, and cook for another 2 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot, with chutney or yoghurt.