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U is for uttapam



Have I mentioned before how much I love South Indian food? I have? Several times? Yeah, OK, so I'm getting boring. But seriously, if you've eaten it, you'll be rhapsodising along with me.

A few of the most popular South Indian dishes - idli, uttapam, dosas - are made from a batter of rice and lentils. They're delicious, but sometimes the batter is a bit of effort to make and involves waiting a whole night or more for it to do its thing.

Handily, you can get ready-made mixes to do the heavy lifting for you, as I found out recently. My local supermarket has the fantastically named (well, if you're English at least) Gits range, whose idli and uttapam mixes - and probably a few others - are vegan, as far as I can work out.  Cue my first attempt at    convenience South Indian food!

I used the rice idli mix to make my uttapam, often described as an Indian pizza and topped with veggies like red onion, chilli and tomatoes. I made a couple of uttapam with just those things, with a bit of coriander on top, cooked in a frying pan like a big pancake.

Mostly, it stuck to the pan, and I had to shake it free onto my plate. It didn't work, and I ended up with a big pancakey mess! So, I then tried cooking it instead in the oven. It still stuck like glue, but at least I got a picture first! 


The baked version wasn't as good as the pan-fried version, but it's a big satisfying plateful either way, if a little bland.

South Indian food isn't bland, mind - this uttapam was just calling out for some coconut chutney or sambhar (spicy lentil soup) to go on the side and give you something to dunk it in. I've had both before and they're just the perfect foil to the gentle bulk of the uttapam.

As I understand it, uttapams are breakfast food in India. That to me is madness - why restrict something this wonderful to just one meal? There's lunch and dinner that need some uttapam loving too!

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13 comments

  1. excellent "U" dish! I love love love love love uttapams so much! they are a breakfast food, but in my experience, you can get them any time of day. Thank goodness. I'm starting to plan my next trip to India - and I'm already dreaming about more uttapam consumption!

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  2. I've eaten so much Indian food over the years but have never tried uttapam, dosas or idlis! I seriously need to branch out from curries! Well done for getting a nice photo while it was still in the pan. This sounds like it would be great with chutney.

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  3. The secret is oil ; ) in India they use a lot of oil for dosa and uttapam and hence it never sticks. But I can never bring myself to make it like them - bring on the tefal - but it never turns out or tastes quite the same..

    Uttapam and dosa you get morning up to 11 and after 5 in the evening. Idli's are sometimes just a morning item, with rava-idli (semolina idli) replacing the rice-dal one for evenings.

    Also try making the batter yourself. I generally go on 1-3 dal-rice ratio. You can actually get rice just for idli's in Indian shops (which we have a lot of living right by Tooting) but I've used any old rice - even brown rice and got good results.

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    1. I am a south indian and eat uttapams and dosas all the time. I am quite conscious about the amount of oil that I consume. The secret to restaurant style dosas and uttapams minus the excess fat is a very well seasoned cast iron skillet. Here is how you can season your skillet.
      http://www.wikihow.com/Season-Cast-Iron-Cookware

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  4. Sorry it didn't turn out! The picture is very pretty in any case :) I'm also a big South Indian food lover. My Mum and I frequently go to Woodlands in London for Dosa.

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  5. I've never had uttapam, but after seeing your post and reading the comments, I want to. I wonder if using a well-seasoned cast iron pan would help with the sticking. I'm going to look up recipes!

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  6. I'm with you on the South Indian food bandwagon! Though the only time I've ever eaten it was in Vegas, strangely enough. It was definitely one of the best meals of the trip, though. Too bad about the sticking incidents! At least it was edible still. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Joey, me again - you should drop me an email (allysiak@gmail.com) so I can send you something. :) I couldn't find your contact info on this page so I apologize if I'm super blind!

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  7. I have seen uttapam on Maud's blog, and now here - must try it!

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  8. I absolutely love South Indian food too!! :) I should check out some of those mixes.

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  9. I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater, but you keep coming up with things I've never tried.

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  10. Hehe, Gits!

    And I have never heard of uttapams before but now I really want to try making one, maybe the fried version as well as the baked. Looks like a delicious meal :)

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  11. Uttapam is one of my favorite favorite foods!! I just make them like pancakes, and they don't stick for me.

    xo
    kittee

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