Pesarattu is a protein packed healthy breakfast made using whole green gram and spices. It is one of the most commonly eaten Breakfasts from Andhra cuisine. In most Telugu speaking traditional households, pesarattu is eaten with this allam pachadi. In Hotels & Andhra restaurants it is served with a ginger chutney alongside rava upma.
What is pesarattu? Pesarattu is a thin breakfast crepe made with green gram, ginger, cumin & chilies.
The term “pesarattu” is a blend of 2 Telugu words – pesara & attu. Pesalu or Pesara is the Telugu name for green gram & attu translates to dosa or crepe.
How is it made? To begin with whole mung is rinsed and soaked briefly for a few hours and then ground to a batter with spices. This batter is just spread on a hot griddle to make thin crepes.
Making a pesarattu that is crispy, thin and tasty is something which comes out of practice. My Mom makes the best ones so I got to learn all the tips from her which I have shared below in the tips section.
You can also make an instant version of these pesarattu by soaking skinned yellow moong dal just for 1 hour in slightly hot water.
1. Clean and pick any stones from 1 cup green gram / mung beans. Add them to a large bowl.
2. Rinse well a few times until the water runs clear.
3. Pour fresh water and soak in enough water for about 4 to 6 hours. If using rice soak it along with dal. I don’t use rice most of the times.
4. Once the green gram is soaked, rinse them well.
5. This is an optional step for onion pesarattu: Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon ghee or oil. Then add half teaspoon cumin, ¾ cup chopped onions and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies on a high flame till they turn transparent and slightly brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Top them as needed just before you serve.
6. Add to the drained green gram to a blender along with, ¾ inch ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 to 2 green chilies, and ¾ teaspoon cumin. Pour little water as well & blend to a smooth batter.
Tip: If you have over soaked the dal, I suggest adding little rice or flour.
7. The batter must be smooth and the consistency similar to that of dosa batter. If you want it to be crispy, do not add water to the batter after you finish grinding. Bring it to the right consistency while you grind.
How to make pesarattu at home, crispy and thin
8. Next on a medium flame, heat a griddle or pan until hot. If using cast iron pan, drizzle few drops of oil and rub with a sliced onion. Wipe off the excess oil. Once the pan is hot enough, pour ½ to ¾ cup batter with a ladle in the center of the pan. Spread it to a thin round layer with the base of the ladle. Next add ½ to ¾ teaspoon ghee on the edges & all over.
9. When the base of the pesarattu firms up, scrape off lightly the thick parts with a wooden spatula moving it to the thinner parts. You will actually get nothing if you make it thin while spreading.
10. When it is roasted well, you get a thin crispy pesarattu. Little more ghee can be drizzled around if desired.
11. Usually it doesn’t need cooking on the other side if you make it thin. If the batter is moist, it need to be cooked on the other side as well. Flip it and fry to and fro as desired. Lastly if using onions, sprinkle fried onions and green chilies we made at step 2.
To make the next one, ensure the pan is not very hot. If it is too hot, reduce the flame or turn off the stove for a while and then make the next one.
Serve pesarattu hot with ginger pickle or upma.
Soaking: To make thin, crisp and tasty pesarattu avoid over soaking the green gram. Over soaked green gram makes soft dosas. The lesser soaking time, the crispier and thin they turn out. An ideal time for soaking is 4 to 6 hours.
With the dal just soaked for 4 hours, you can even get a cone shaped pesarattu. I have shared a picture at the end of this post.
Consistency of the batter is the key to make awesome pesarattu. It has to be thick yet of spreading consistency.
If you are unable to spread the batter on the tawa it means the batter is very thick. Add back to the blender with little water and blend again. Adding water directly to the batter most times doesn’t yield me good ones.
Rice or rice flour: Traditionally rice or rice flour was not used to make pesarattu. Short soaking time and using the NON-GMO green gram was the secret to making delicious and crisp pesarattu. Since restaurants use the hybrid lentils, they add a small amount of raw rice to get that crisp texture.
Topping: My mom always topped our pesarattus with golden fried onions. I have shared the same unique method in the recipe card.
In restaurant and most households, they sprinkle the onions directly after spreading the batter. Growing up we never liked onions that way, so my mom would always fry them and top.
Can I refrigerate the batter? For best results, use the ground batter right away. Using stored or refrigerated batter most times yields thick, brownish and tasteless pesarattu. They have never turned good for me that way.
However if you want to save your batter, you may store it and bring it to room temperature before using it.
How to avoid brown pesarattu? An overheated tawa yields brown pesarattu or keep the flame to medium high. Also runny batter makes brown pesarattu.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
toppings for pesarattu (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 medium onions (about ¾ cup chopped)
- 2 green chilies (chopped)
- Add green gram and rice (optional) to a large bowl and rinse them well a few times.
- Pour fresh water and soak them in for about 4 to 6 hours. Drain the water and rinse them well.
- Add moong dal, green chilies, cumin seeds, ginger and salt to a blender jar along with little water just enough to make a thick batter.
- Blend the ingredients to a slightly coarse or smooth batter to suit your liking. I usually blend to a coarse fine semolina texture.
- Pesarattu batter must be of pouring consistency yet thick & spreadable.
- If needed pour more water to bring the batter to a consistency. Do not make the batter runny as the pesarattu will not turn crispy.
- Optional – topping: heat 1 tablespoon ghee or oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, onions and green chilies. Saute them on a medium high flame until transparent yet crunchy. This will bring out the sweet flavor from the onion. They should not turn soft. Cool these completely.
How to make pesarattu
- Heat a tawa or non-stick griddle on a medium flame.
- If using a cast iron pan, when it turns hot, drizzle few drops of oil or ghee and rub with a piece of sliced onion. Wipe off the excess. This prevents the pesarattu from sticking to the pan. If using non-stick pan you don't need to grease it.
- Test by sprinkling little water. Immediately water should sizzle rapidly. When the water evaporates, reduce the flame to medium heat.
- Pour ½ to ¾ cup of batter on the tawa. Then quickly spread it to a thin layer beginning from the center, moving towards the edges of the pan.
- On a low to medium heat let the pesarattu cook for a few minutes. Pour 1 teaspoon ghee around the edges and the center too.
- This step is optional for a thin pesarattu. Lightly scrape off the thick parts with a wooden spatula to the thinner parts making it even. (Check my step-by-step photos above)
- When the pesarattu is done, you will see the edges begin to leave the pan. It also cooks to golden color & crisp on the outside.
- Then flip and cook on the other side just for a minute or so. When you see the batter is no more raw, then flip back and roast just for a minute until crisp. Optional – Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of the fried onions here as much as you like.
- Fold it and remove to serving plate. Do not over cook until it browns or discolors as the taste will alter.
- To make the next pesarattu, ensure the pan is not too hot. Reduce the flame and cool down a bit. If using cast iron pan, you can rub it well with the onion and few drops of oil.
- Stir the batter well before making the next one and then use it.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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