What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?
– Anthony Bourdain
Two blog posts earlier I was looking forward to our Mt.Rushmore trip. We went there a weekend back, and oh! the trip was fun. It was a breathtaking view when we saw Mt. Rushmore from up close. It was awe inspiring. Sonshine had fun being with his friends and visiting such a spectacular national monument. We went with four of our friends & their famlies – the long scenic drive, the chat sessions (which went past midnight on both days we were in South Dakota), eating and dining together – all perfect ingredients for a lovely vacation. It was pretty impressive to see how the landscapes changed as we passed through the different states – from beautiful and colorful Colorado to vast prairies of Wyoming to the captivating rolling green hills of South Dakota – we soaked it all in. We also drove through the beautiful Custer state park and had a pleasant time walking around the gorgeous Sylvan lake – considered as the “crown jewel” of the Custer State park. The only complaint all of us had was the trip was too short to relax and we are all hoping for a trip to relax and put our feet up – hope it’s coming soon 🙂 . Till then, I am going to relive the moments from the Mt.Rushmore trip. It’s been quite sometime since I posted a breakfast dish. Plain dosa is a staple breakfast for us. What’s better than plain dosa? Uthappam( savory Indian Pancake), that is what is! I make Uthappam (also called Uthappa in some parts of India) with same batter as plain dosa. But, instead of spreading the batter thin (like a crepe), I make it thick like a pancake. I also add a dash of Idli Podi or crushed black pepper to add a little heat along with different vegetables to the batter to make a nutritious and healthy Uthappam. I had started adding mashed avocado to the batter while making this (in an attempt to “conceal” the healthy fats in the avocado), but later I learnt that the nutrition value of the avocado goes down on heating/cooking (from this article at whfoods). But I still add it while making these savory panckes, for the beautiful pale green color it imparts to the Uthappam. And moreover my family has started enjoying baked avocados and guacamole – so I have no worries of including avocados in our diet. I also make Uthappam when I see that my Dosa batter is running low and I need to stretch it to serve all of us. If you go to a South Indian restuarant, you will definitely find Uthappam in their menu. There could be Onion Uthappam, Vegetable Uthappam, Tomato Uthappam etc. depending on what vegetable was used in the preparation. Serve it with some Sambar and/or coconut chutney of your choice. In the above photo you have a choice of (from left to right) Carrot Uthappam, Onion Uthappam and Tomato Uthappam. Carrot Uthappam and a glass of milk while reading his favorite book = Sonshine’s favorite kinda breakfast 🙂 .
- 2 Cups Dosa Batter, Recipe available here.
- 1/2 Medium sized Avocado, mashed
- 3-4 tbsp Chopped Onion
- 3 tbsp Finely Grated Carrot
- 1 tbsp Finely Chopped Cilantro
- 1/2 Tomato, medium sized, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Black Pepper/Pepper Powder
- 1 Serrano Pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped.(Optional)
- 3-4 Curry Leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- Oil to brush the skillet and to drizzle
- Bowl to mix the batter
- Knives, grater, chopping board
- Skillet/Griddle with lid
- Ladle to pour the batter
- Heat a skillet on stove top over medium high heat.
- Grate, chop and prepare the veggies you are going to use in the Uthappam preparation.
- Mash the avocado.
Variation 1 - Veggies Sprinkled on Top of the Uthappam
- When the skillet is sufficiently hot, grease the skillet with a little oil.
- Pour a little less than 1/4 cup of batter on the skillet.
- Sprinkle the veggies of your choice on top of the batter as shown in the picture. For onion uthappam (shown in the picture below) sprinkle chopped onions. For carrot uthappam, sprinkle grated carrots and for tomato uthappam, sprinkle finely chopped tomato pieces. You can also use a combination of vegetables to sprinkle on the Uthappam. Sprinkle a little oil and ground black pepper/pepper powder(optional) cook covered with a lid for a couple of minutes.
- Once one side of the Uthappam is cooked, using a spatula, flip the Uthappam over and cook the other side too (no need to cover with the lid).
Variation 2 - Mix all the veggies in the batter.
- To the batter, add the grated vegetables and if you are using ground black pepper/pepper powder (or Idli Podi) and mix well. The uthappam batter is ready to use.
- Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter on the skillet.
- Sprinkle a little oil and cook covered with a lid for a couple of minutes. Using a spatula, flip over the Uthappam when one side is cooked. This is to ensure that the other side too is cooked (this cooking can be done uncovered). Steaming hot Uthappam is ready to serve.
1. When we took the step by step pictures to make the Uthappam, I did not have
Avocado at hand. But later on when I made Uthappam again with Avocado, we took more pictures. You can see the difference in color - in the step by step picture the batter is white and does not have the pale green hue that mashed avocado imparts.
2. Using Avocado is optional, you can make uthappams without using mashed avocados in the batter.
3. To see if the skillet is sufficiently hot - Do this test. Pour a drop of batter to the skillet . If the skillet is hot enough, the drop will stick to the skillet immediately and will start cooking. If it starts burning, then the skillet is too hot. then sprinkle some water, reduce the heat and let the skillet cool down (let all the water evaporate) and then pour your batter.
4. If the skillet is too greasy, then blot the excess oil using a kitchen towel.