Uttapam or Uthappam is a delicious South Indian tiffin breakfast of thick pancakes made with either idli batter or dosa batter.
I am sharing the method to make soft yet crispy Uthappam from scratch with fermented rice and urad dal batter. Uttapam is a tasty gluten-free recipe.
For Uttapam Batter
- ▢2 cups idli rice or parboiled rice or 400 grams parboiled rice or idli rice
- ▢2 cups water for soaking rice
- ▢½ cup whole husked urad dal or 120 grams whole husked urad dal
- ▢1 cup water for soaking urad dal
- ▢¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- ▢½ cup water for grinding urad dal or add as required
- ▢¾ cup water for grinding rice or add as required
- ▢1 teaspoon rock salt (edible and food grade) or non-iodized sea salt – add as required
For Onion Toppings
- ▢1 cup chopped onions or sliced shallots or pearl onions
- ▢⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves
- ▢12 to 15 curry leaves – chopped
- ▢2 to 3 green chilies – chopped
For Onion Tomato Toppings
- ▢½ to ¾ cup finely chopped onions
- ▢½ to ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- ▢1 or 2 green chilies , finely chopped
- ▢1 to 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves), optional
- ▢oil or ghee or butter – add as required
- ▢sambar masala or idli podi, add as required – optional
Soaking Rice And Lentils
- In a bowl take the usked whole urad dal and fenugreek seeds. You can also use split husked urad dal instead of husked whole urad dal.
- Rinse both the urad dal and methi seeds for a couple of times.
- Then soak them in 1 cup water for 4 to 5 hours.
- In another bowl take the parboiled rice or idli rice. Rinse the parboiled rice or idli rice for a couple of times and keep aside.
- Add 2 cups of water. Mix well and soak everything for 4 to 5 hours.
Grinding & Fermenting Uttapam Batter
- Strain the urad dal and reserve the water. Keep this water for grinding the dal.
- Use the wet grinding blade in the jar for grinding both urad dal and rice. Add the strained urad dal in the grinder jar.
- First add ¼ cup of the reserved water and grind for some seconds. Then add the rest of ¼ cup water and continue to grind till the batter is light, smooth and fluffy. If the mixer becomes too hot while grinding, then stop. Let the mixer cool down and grind again. Quantity of water depends on the freshness of urad dal. So add water as required.
- Pour the urad dal batter in a large bowl or pan. The batter should be fluffy, smooth and light.
- To the same jar, add half of the rice.
- Then add ¼ to ½ cup water and grind till smooth. A fine grainy consistency of rice is also fine in the batter. You can grind the rice in two to three batches. I grind in two batches. For rice I always end up adding overall ¾ cup water and a few tablespoons more of the water at times.
- Pour the rice batter in the bowl containing the urad dal batter.
- Add 1 teaspoon rock salt or as per taste. In very cold temperatures, avoid adding salt. Instead add ¼ teaspoon sugar. Sugar aids in the fermentation process.
- Mix both the batters very well with your hands or a spoon or spatula.
- Cover and allow the batter to ferment overnight for 8 to 20 hours. The timing will vary depending on the temperature conditions in your city.
- The batter should increase in volume and double or triple.
- Just lightly stir the batter. Check the consistency. If the batter looks too thick, you can add about ⅛ to ¼ cup water or more if required. Mix well.
Making Plain Uttapam
- Heat up a tawa or a cast iron pan, brush or spread some oil on the tawa. Pour the batter with a ladle or spoon. For non stick pan, you need not grease the pan. The tawa has to be hot. While making uttapams, you can regulate the flame from low to high. Before pouring the batter, reduce the flame to low.
- Gently spread the batter to a thick pancake. Note that the quantity of batter to make uttapam will be more than what you would normally use for a dosa. The uttapam should be thick.
- Cook the uthappam on a medium flame. Drizzle some oil on the top and sides.
- Uttapam takes a longer time to cook than dosas. Cook till the base is golden.
- Then flip and cook the other side.
- Both sides should be cooked well. Prepare the uthappam this way with the rest of the batter. You can also make idlis or paniyarams or punugulu with this batter.
- Serve Uthappam hot or warm with coconut chutney and sambar. You can also pack them in tiffin box as they remain soft even after cooling.
Making Onion Uttapam
- Before pouring the batter, reduce the flame to low. Pour the batter with a ladle or spoon. Gently spread the batter to a thick pancake.
- First method to make onion uttapam: Add some chopped onions on the uttapam as soon as you spread the batter. Lightly press the onions on the uttapam so that they stick to the batter. You can even sprinkle a pinch of salt.
- Drizzle with some oil on the sides and on the uttapam. Cook on a medium flame.
- When the base becomes golden and crisp, gently flip the uttapam. Cook the side with the onions till the onions caramelize.
- You can even gently press with the spatula so that some uncooked batter also gets cooked well. If the uttapam is not cooked well, there will be raw uncooked batter in the center. So do make sure to cook it properly.
- Flip over to check if this side is cooked well. The onions will also be caramelized. You can caramelize the onions more if you want.
- Second method to make onion uttapam: In a plate take 1 cup chopped onions, 2 or 3 chopped green chilies, 12 to 15 curry leaves (chopped) and ⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves.
- Mix very well and keep aside.
- Spread the batter on the tawa and top the onion mixture on the uttapam.
- Drizzle some oil on the sides and top. Cook the uttapam on a medium-low to medium flame.
- Then turn over and cook till the uttapam as well as the onions are caramelized.
- Serve onion uttapam hot or warm with coconut chutney and sambar.
Making Onion Tomato Uttapam
- Mix the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili, coriander together in a bowl.
- Spread the batter on the tawa or skillet.
- Top the Uttapam with the onion, tomatoes and chili mixture.
- Sprinkle a bit of pav bhaji masala or sambar masala or Idli podi and salt on top of the veggies and uttapam. You can even sprinkle a pinch of salt.
- Add some oil or ghee or butter on the sides and top of the uttapam.
- Flip when the base is cooked and golden.
- Cook the side with the onions & tomatoes till the onions are softened or caramelized.
- Flip again if you see that the first side is not cooked or browned.
- When the onion tomato uttapam is crisp and cooked on both sides, then serve it hot with hot sambar and coconut chutney. You could also serve them with curd chutney or simple sweetened or plain curd.
- Serve them hot to have best taste.