Indian Uttapam Pancakes

This is made for the Pancake Challenge Link Party, hosted by Natascha’s Palace, and assisted by Lin of Lin’s Recipes.  And well, because they turned out quite good, too!   They’d be great to bring to a brunch where you’d cook up the pre-made batter and toppings on-site.

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

Three savory mini uttapam breakfast pancakes

What is unique about these pancakes is that they are made from a rice and a urad dal base.   Urad dal is a light-colored lentil bean, which can be found in most large supermarkets in the “ethnic” section.  Sometimes this is labelled”black gram”, although this is actually white.  Mine also says “Split Mapte without Skin” — mabye the skin is dark?  At any rate, these guys are naturally gluten-free.  These are thick pancakes, and definitely hearty.

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

The batter, after fermenting overnight

I’m late to the link party — I’ve been running non-stop and seriously NEED to stop and smell the roses, the coffee, and perhaps the pancakes (and get the ingredients together).  On top of that, last night I needed to do the good ole System Restore for the computer to remember the camera.

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

This amount of chopped toppings would be good for six mini-pancakes. Play around!

I saw a variety of recipes out there for this item, but the one I leaned the most on is this one at Udupi Recipes.

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

Two are flipped, the third awaits. They hold together surprisingly well.

Prep Time:  Prep is not long, maybe 15-20 minutes.They need to soak for 4 hours, then ferment another 10 hours more or less.
Cook time: About 15 minutes.
Rest time: none.
Serves 3 to 4.

Indian Uttapam Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup rice — I opted for “broken’ rice which I found at my local Indian market.  Figured this would save on my poor little food processor!
  • a very generous 1/8 cup urad dal
  • 1/3 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 3 tablespoons rice starch.  (I had brown rice starch in the house, so I used that.)
  • a pinch or so of salt

For the savory toppings to cook in  (you may need more, and you can play around with this!   I knew I wasn’t going to eat all this in one meal, and indeed I chopped up enough that I will only want to add a couple more curry leaves from to tomorrow’s breakfast).

  • 1 tomato, preferably Roma or plum, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • several fresh curry leaves, chopped.  (Frozen works too, but add a few more.)
  • Other ideas:  cilantro, chili peppers (and yes, I’m also doing those for my leftover batter tomorrow)!

Optional condiments to add after cooking

  • Ghee
  • Chutney –loads of possibilities here.
  • Sambar paste — the one from a company named MTR had ingredients I can definitely stand behind.

Soak the rice and urad dal (lentils) together in water to cover by at least an inch or so for around four hours.  I ended up soaking them about 12 hours because, yes, I really was away at work/commuting for nearly that long.

Rinse and drain four or five times.

Run through a food processor, adding enough water to give you that wheat flour pancake sort of consistency — slightly thicker but not by much.  Mine came out somewhat granular, but this turned out not to be a defect.

Add in the fenugreek and rice starch — adjust water if necessary.

Allow to ferment overnight in a warm spot in your home.

In the morning, for breakfast:  chop up your toppings.  Add the salt to the batter and mix.  Set a skillet or griddle on your range top, and turn the heat to medium/medium-high.  When a drop of water sizzles, add your batter — I opted to make small pancakes but you can go standard sized with a regular ladle if you wish.  Reduce heat to medium.

Immediately, put toppings on the uncooked surface of the exposed pancakes.  I gently pushed them in to the batter just a short way, without mushing down the pancake, as I didn’t want them to flop out all over the skillet when I flipped these.

Just as with pancakes you are probably already used to, air bubbles and holes will form at the top of the batter.  I let these develop for a couple more minutes before flipping.

Cook on the other side about five or so more minutes, remove from heat, flip back so that the toppings really ARE toppings.  If you want ghee, add a little ghee to the warm top surfaces of your pancakes — or to be strictly vegan (or dairy-free), that Sambar paste I picked up at the Indian market is awesome — a little DOES go a long way!)

Here are some of the packaged ingredients I found to use:

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

Rice and fenugreek powder

Indian, uttapam, urad dal, rice, pancakes, recipe, vegetarian, vegan

urad dal and spicy sambar paste

Also partaking in:  Real Food Friday Link Party and Fiesta Friday Link Party.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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20 Responses to Indian Uttapam Pancakes

  1. Wow what an interesting and savory pancake idea! There are so many ingredients out there I had no clue existed. These look yummy!

  2. tentimestea says:

    These savoury pancakes sound just lovely! I love all the choices you presented in the recipe, from the toppings to the different condiments that can be served on the side. These are some truly versatile pancakes. Also, very interesting that the batter is fermented–I haven’t seen that before in an unyeasted pancake.

  3. Superb effort put in 🙂 thanks for being on this to the pancake party !!! I love utappams 🙂

  4. I love utappams and your’s look perfect 🙂

  5. Antonia says:

    Great job! It is so interesting they are made with rice. I love the flavor combinations!

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  7. Wow! I had never heard of these and the ingredients were some that I had never heard of! Thank you for offering the different options for toppings too! I love the photos! Great job and thank YOu for participating!

  8. Jhuls says:

    I love the sound of these pancakes – tasty and delicious. 🙂 Thanks for bringing such lovely treats to this week’s Fiesta Friday. x

  9. Marla says:

    Wow these look scrumptious and healthy. What a great breakfast this would be. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned!

  10. apsara says:

    I love uttappam, and you have made it the authentic way too! Yes, usually the skin of urad dal is black. In my Indian store, we get both the full lentil and the split lentil both varieties with and without the black skin. Lots of things to choose from!

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  12. These pancakes looks tasty and easy to make. Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day.

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