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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Veg Version of Healthy Pizza - Semolina Pancake | Uttapam Recipe

Growing up in a multicultural Mumbai township meant I was well exposed to different cultural cuisines of India. One of the famous, appreciated and addicted cuisine in Mumbai comes from the roots of south india. Apart from poha and upma, south indian food like idli, medu wada's, dosa and different type of savory pancakes are highly favorable variety of breakfast food choices of the Mumbaikar's. 

During the pre-teen years, I was a south indian food hater, but later on knowing its health benefits I fell in love with white food. South Indian cuisine is predominately made up of rice, lentils or semolina with less oil and spices. They prefer to compliment the combination of coconut and rice dishes with sambar. Sambar is basically a lentil based vegetable stew cooked in a slow cooker with lots of veggies like eggplant, drum sticks and my favorite pumpkin. Mama used to make the sambar and coconut chutney or sauce every time we had an idli or dosa menu at dinner. Idli is a yummy steam cake made up of rice and lentil batter, it is soft and fluffy Indian dish. If you prepare idli batter a day earlier than it is a less than 8-10 minute instant lunch or snack. Idli is considered as one of the healthiest and nutritive food for breakfast and as being an oil-free recipe it is advisable to count such recipe's in our diet chart. 

Mama used to serve hot idli's out of the steamer while I used to do the plating part. I love to eat idli's by drizzling gentle amount of sambar and coconut chutney all over it as the idli's are so soft and spongy that they can merely absorb all the sambar and chutney giving a very delicious and flavorful taste. Mama makes idli in an idli maker by brushing little bit of cooking oil and then pouring a big spoon of idli batter. I remember, I used to gobble up about 5-7 idli's in a row. This craving has pushed me to make something close to south Indian food, and here I am with this crispy and delicious soft uttapam or pancake recipe.

Semolina pancake or Rava Uttapam is a recipe highly eaten in Asia. Uttapam is a quick snack as it doesn't demand fermentation. Soaking semolina for about 15 minutes is all it takes. Kids would love it as its base is crispy, less spicy yet tasty and finger licking if garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

My cooking mantra is to use simple ingredients and cook tasty, healthy food. This recipe doesn't require much preparation as you only have to chop and add up a few ingredients and your another easy snack is ready to serve. It is a perfect dish when you are on a diet as it is light, less oily and you can add your veggies!. If you don't know cooking and you want to amaze your loved ones or friends then this recipe is a must try. As semolina pancake was the first snack, I had tried to cook and it turned out really good. I hope newbies enjoy cooking and eating!

Semolina Pancake | Uttapam Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 persons

1 cup Semolina or suji or rava
1 cup of cooking oil or ghee, as per your liking's
1 cup yogurt
1 large size, finely chopped onion
1 medium size, finely chopped tomato, optional
1 small capsicum, finely chopped
2-3 chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala powder
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Salt to taste

  • In a bowl, add 1 cup semolina or rava, 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon red chili powder, 2-3 chopped green chilies, salt to taste and add 1/2 cup water. Mix properly into a thick batter. Leave it aside for 15 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, chop onion, tomato, capsicum and green chilies. You can also add different colors of bell pepper to make it look beautiful and fascinate your kids.
  • After 15 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.
  • In a non-stick pan, heat oil or ghee, spread the batter with the help of a big spoon, 2 big scoops of batter is enough size for pancake.
  • Spread the batter with the help of the spoon. Uttapam should be thick and round in shape.
  • Now sprinkle all the chop veggies - chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilies and cilantro. Press the veggies with the help of the spoon. Pressing them with a spoon is a very important step, otherwise they will turn mess while flipping the uttapam to the other side.
  • Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Check occasionally and flip it to the other side when it turns little brown and crispy.
  • Add butter when the other side is cooking. Flip it to the other side after 5 minutes.
  • Remove it to a plate and sprinkle half teaspoon of red chili powder, garam masala powder plus pav bhaji powder.
  • You can also garnish some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.
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