Cheese Uttapam – Onion Uttapam – Plain Uttapam
Idlis and dosas are some of South India’s most renowned breakfast foods, beloved by people all over the
world. But one other mouth-watering South Indian breakfast dish, that does not receive half as much
attention as it should, is uttapam. The best part? Think of uttapam as a mix between idlis and dosas – two
of the best dishes combined into one! Yes, it really is the best of both worlds.
How exactly can uttapam be compared to a mix of idli and dosa? What is uttapam? Read on to find out.
Uthappam is a soft, decadent, and savory South Indian pancake usually served as a healthy breakfast meal.
As discussed in one of our previous articles, dosas can be considered a South Indian savory crepe or pancake as
well. The similarities between dosa and uttapam do not stop there; the latter is traditionally made in households all over the Tamil Nadu region in South India from old dosa batter that has turned a bit sour after fermentation. Instead of letting this batter go to waste, another delicious meal is made. So this meal is not only tasty, but sustainable as well.
In fact, one particularly creative individual decided to take this zero-waste quality of uttapam to the next level during lockdown by cooking the meal out of leftover watermelon rinds. Talk about going green! While uttapam is a meal borne from a desire not to waste old batter, it can be made from entirely fresh batter as well, which is what many restaurants and individuals tend to do. The batter is made from urad dal, also known as black
gram, and rice flour.
And so, uttapam has a similar batter to dosa, just slightly thicker, but it has the fluffy texture of idli which creates the perfect foundation for a healthy, delightful meal.
Uttapam can be admired for its likeness to a classic dosa and idli, it is truly a hit because of its unique recipe. The batter is cooked into a circle on a pan, similar to how a pancake is made. Once the bottom is a crisp golden-
brown color, a heaping of 5-7 vegetables are added in. These vegetables help mitigate the sourness of the batter, and add a blend of flavors and necessary nutrients into the dish.
The most common vegetables include onions, tomatoes,carrots, green chillies, coriander leaves, bell pepper, and sweet corn. The end product looks similar to a pizza without cheese, which means this is a great meal for convincing children into eating a nutritious breakfast without fuss.
Yes, uttapam is a healthy meal. Using fermented batter means there are higher levels of vitamin B and vitamin C in the dish. Plus, there an abundance of nutrients can be found in the variety of vegetables, which provide a ton of flavor as well. Therefore, uttapam is a great meal for people on a low fat diet. Uttapam being such a staple dish in South Indian culture, people have made all types of even healthier variations of the meal. For example Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty Kundra revamps her uttapam recipe using ghee and rava for extra health benefits.
If you are really looking to get the feel of a South-Indian pizza, or trying to find some way to get your children to eat some vegetables, cheese uttapam is for you. After the vegetables are cooked into the uttapam, a several sprinklings of mozzarella cheese is placed on top, melting into the crispy batter and coating the vegetables.
As you can probably guess, the star ingredient in this dish are onions. There are different ways to make onion uttapam, whether it is cooked into the batter or a heavy portion is placed directly on top of the uttapam while it is taking shape on a pan.
Plain Uttapam (Sada Uttapam):
Plain uttapam does not have vegetables cooked into it and yet it is absolutely riddled with nutrients. Just one serving contains 4.9mg of calcium, 2.8gm of protein, 23.7gm of carbohydrates, and only 144 calories! Again, this is a perfect meal for children and individuals on a weight loss diet. For a bit more flavor, plain uttapam is often served with coconut chutney and sambar, which are both also equally healthy side dishes! Read our previous articles on coconut chutney and sambar for more information.
Craving uttapam at your doorstep? Check out these South Indian restaurants in Montreal and order in right now!