January 20, 2009
An evening at a South Indian restaurant followed by the box office blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire was just the push I needed. I decided to give the soft and moreish Uttapams a try at home for weekend breakfast.
I made the batter with ready ground rice flour, and Urid (Black Matpe) dal whizzed to fine powder in my coffee grinder. Then left it to ferment overnight on Friday. By Saturday morning, I positioned myself an inch above the batter and spotted a few of the required little bubbles.
I set a frying pan to heat with oil. The first pancake got stuck solid on the ancient pan. The non-stick tawa or flat griddle pan worked better. Except the batter tasted raw even after what seemed like hours of frying. By this time, my pyjamas sported spilt batter in the most unlikely places.
I left the batter out for another night. Sunday morning and it was all bubbly, like the top of a milkshake. That’s fermentation. Perfect. I set the tawa to heat again. Made four delicious but overdone Uttapams, ate one while cooking, and finished cooking the lot just in time to get ready for pre-Chinese New Year Dim Sum.
I won’t share my excellent recipe on principle. But if you can plan two days ahead, this is the best I’ve found on the blogosphere. Here’s my super quick coconut chutney to make it all worthwhile.
Soak the dessicated coconut in half a pint of boiling water for five minutes and mix in the tamarind, chopped chilli and fresh coriander. Puree this in a blender until you get a smooth mixture.
If using fresh grated coconut, just use enough hot water to get a blended paste.
In a small pan, bring the oil to heat over a high heat. When it’s hot, chuck in the seeds, curry leaves and red chilli. As they splutter, mix this tadka into the coconut paste. Check for salt and serve alongside your uttapams (and maybe idlis and dosas?).