uttapam

Uttapam Recipe

By Swasthi on July 10, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make Crisp, yet soft and fluffy Uttapam with many different toppings. Uttapam are classic & traditional South Indian Breakfast pancakes made with fermented rice lentil batter. These are optionally topped with various vegetables, spices and herbs. Uttapam are naturally gluten-free, vegan and protein-packed, a healthy meal option as well. Serve uttapam with Chutney, Sambar, Podi or Pickle.


uttapam

For an elaborate and complete meal extend your menu to make the complete combo of Tiffin sambar, Coconut Chutney and Peanut Podi.

About Uttapam

Uttapam also known as oothapam or uttappa is a savory pancake that may have originated in the Tamil Cuisine. It is a staple in all the States of Southern India & most homes and restaurants make these. Traditionally uttapam is made by soaking rice and lentils for several hours, later ground to a thick batter and fermented until light and airy.

This batter is then poured over a hot pan/ dosa tawa and then topped with vegetables & herbs like onions, green chilies and curry leaves or coriander leaves. A generous amount of oil is drizzled and the uttapam are cooked until the base turns crisp and the top is cooked to thick and fluffy goodness.

It is turned over to the other side and cooked until the veggies are slightly tender yet crisp.

Like most other recipes, every family has their own recipe to make uttapam that varies in the proportion of rice and lentils. A lot of people also use fenugreek seeds and poha to aid fermentation.

Traditionally many South Indians make large batches of idli Dosa batter and use the leftover sour batter to make the uttapam. Though these can be made to plain uttapams without any topping, veggies help balance the sourness in the batter and make the uttapam more delicious and nutritious.

uttapam recipe with podi

My Recipe

I share how to make these uttapam from scratch including making a batch of batter. However these days dosa batter is easily available in a lot of Indian stores. You may use that if you don’t want to make it.

I also share how to make different healthy uttapams using millets and multi grains below under variations section.

How to Make Uttapam (Stepwise photos)

Make & Ferment Batter

1. Add ½ cup cup urad dal, 2 tablespoons chana dal and ½ teaspoon methi seeds to a bowl. If using poha then add ¼ cup poha to a different bowl and set aside. Add 2 cups rice to another large bowl. Here you can use either raw rice or idli rice or a mix of both. I used the regular raw rice here. During summers, use chilled water to blend. So you may want to chill the water in the fridge when you soak these.

soaking lentils and rice for uttapam batter

2. Rinse the dal and soak it for 4 to 5 hours. Rinse the rice and soak it for 4 to 5 hours. If using poha, rinse and soak it in ¼ cup water, just 15 mins before grinding.

soaked uttapam ingredients

3. Drain the dal and add it to a blender along with ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt. Pour ¾ cup water (chilled water during summer). If using poha, add the soaked poha (along with soaked water) to the blender.

adding dal to a blender jar

4. Blend to a smooth and frothy batter. Ensure your batter doesn’t become hot or warm while blending. If the batter is too thick then you may add another 2 to 4 tablespoons more water and blend.

smooth and fluffy batter

5. Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Drain the rice and add it to the grinder along with ½ cup water.

adding rice and water to a blender

6. Make a smooth and thick batter.

make smooth batter

7. Mix both – dal batter and rice batter.

mixing both the batters

8. Cover and set aside in a warm place to ferment overnight or until the batter rises. If you live in a cold region, then you may ferment the uttapam batter in a instant pot with the yogurt setting (low). Depending on the weather it takes anywhere from 8 to 16 hours.

resting uttapam batter for fermentation

9. I do not over ferment the batter otherwise the uttapams will turn sour.

fermented uttapam batter

Prepare Uttapam Batter

10. The consistency of the batter must be same as that of dosa. You can take some batter to a bowl and add water to bring it to the consistency. The batter must be thick yet of pourable consistency. Taste the batter and add a bit more salt if needed.

fermented batter to make uttapam recipe

11. Keep the veggies ready for topping. You can use onions, deseeded firm and ripe tomatoes, grated carrots, chopped green chili and coriander leaves. Please note that using tomatoes may make the uttapam more sour. In the step by step pics I have not used tomatoes.

What you see in the first picture was made another time when the batter was not sour. Add very little salt to the topping and mix.

chopped veggies for uttapam recipe

12. Add a few drops of oil and grease your tawa well. If using a cast iron pan, then heat it first and then add a few drops of oil. Spread the oil all over with a kitchen tissue.

Make Uttapam

13. When the pan is hot enough, pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the pan. At this stage the pan has to be hot otherwise the batter won’t rise and the uttapams will be flat.

pouring batter to make uttapam recipe

14. Do not spread the batter too much, uthappam has to be made thick. If the batter doesn’t spread on its own, then you may lightly spread a bit.

avoid spreading a lot for fluffy uttapam

15. Lower the flame.

16. Sprinkle toppings as desired. Add oil or ghee around the edges and allow to cook on a low to medium flame until the base cooks well and firms up.

sprinkle toppings & oil to make uttapam recipe

17. Sprinkle little oil over the onions and turn to the other side.

flip after the base of uttapam firms

18. Cook until the onions are done. The color of the uthappam depends on the temperature of the batter & the pan. Usually batter straight away from fridge does not yield golden uthappam.

cooking uttapam toppings

19. Make sure it is cooked well from inside. If you like caramelized onions, you may cook longer. We like the crunchy onions so I remove them at this stage. To make the next uttapam, ensure the pan is hot enough.

fully cooked toppings on uttapam

Transfer to a serving plate and serve uttapam with chutney or Tiffin sambar. You can also sprinkle podi and enjoy. I use Idli podi, Andhra peanut powder or curry leaves podi.

uttapam recipe made with rice lentil batter

Pro Tips

Here are the general tips for all or any kind of uttapams.

  • Bring the uttapam batter to consistency by adding water as needed. The batter must be thick yet of pouring consistency. Too thin batter will make your uttapams flat and not fluffy. Too thick batter will not cook the uttapams from inside.
  • Grease the pan well if using a pan other than regular non-stick. If using cast iron pan it is always good to grease immediately after a wash. Then rinse back before using and then grease again. Rubbing a sliced onion also helps in preventing the batter from sticking.
  • Onions, chilies & coriander leaves are the most common topping for uttapam. However you can also use carrots, tomatoes and bell peppers. You can also just skip all of these and just use some idli podi or peanut podi.
  • Cooking: I prefer to cook any kind of uttapams on both the sides as it ensures the uttapam is cooked well inside.
uttapam

More South Indian breakfast recipes,
Upma
Poori
Medu Vada
Rava idli

Masala dosa

Topping Ideas

These are my tried and tested topping ideas which I use often. To find the recipes of the chutney or podi, please use search on the menu.

  • Vegetables like onions, tomatoes, green chilies and coriander leaves are a staple. But carrots, daikon (radish), bell peppers, sautéed spinach also go well.
  • Podi like idli podi, peanut chutney powder, flaxseed podi, dried coconut podi and curry leaves podi go well. You may skip the veggies and use these instead.
  • Chutney options: on occasions I love to make my uttapam with vegetable toppings and later smear some spicy chutney all over. For this garlic chutney, coriander chutney and coconut pudina chutney go well. Smear the chutney after cooking the uttapam on the other side as well. Turnover and cook again just for a minute so the raw chutney dries up. This works well on non-stick.

Variations

These are the proportions I have tried with the following variations.

Millet uttapam: ¾ cup pearl millet (bajra), ½ cup rice, ½ cup urad dal and 2 tbsps poha or ¼ tsp methi seeds. Rinse and soak the dal & methi separately. Rinse and soak bajra and half cup rice. If using poha rinse and soak just for 15 mins.

Blend dal & methi or poha until fluffy and frothy. Then blend the rest until smooth and mix together. Ferment until the batter rises. This makes about 6 to 8 uttapams depending on the rise and the dal.

Oats uttapam: 2 cups fermented regular dosa batter (1:4, dal:rice) mixed together with ½ cup powdered oats (quick or rolled) & water as needed. This makes about 4 uttapams.

Ragi uttapam: 2 cups fermented regular dosa batter (1:3 or 1:4, dal:rice ratio) mixed together with 1 cup ragi flour & water as needed. Even sprouted ragi flour works well here. This makes about 4 uttapams.

Instant suji uttapam: ¾ cup suji or rava, 3 tbsps curd or yogurt, ¾ cup + 2 tbsps water, salt and veggies for topping. Mix together the rava, curd and salt. Rest until you chop the toppings like onions, carrots, chilies, bell pepper etc.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

uttapam recipe

Uttapam Recipe (Uthappam)

Uttapam is a South Indian breakfast made with fermented lentil & rice batter. These pancakes are known as uttapam. They can be made with different toppings. Uttapam are served with chutney, pickle or podi.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings8 uttapams
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup urad dal (100 grams skinned/ dehusked whole black gram)
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal (25 grams, optional, bengal gram)
  • 2 cup rice (400 grams raw rice or idli rice, parboiled rice)
  • ½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • ¼ cup thick poha (20 grams flattened rice, optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (non-iodized salt) or pink salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¾ to 1 cup water to grind dal (use chilled in summer)
  • ½ cup water to grind rice (use chilled in summer)

For topping

  • 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1 large onion (1 cup chopped or sliced)
  • 1 medium tomato (optional) firm ripe deseeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup carrot grated
  • 2 to 3 green chilies chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves chopped

Instructions

Make & Ferment Batter

  • Add urad dal, chana dal and methi seeds to a large bowl and rinse thrice. Pour fresh water and soak them for 4 to 5 hours.
  • In another bowl, rinse rice and soak it well for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Add poha to a small bowl & rinse it once. Then soak it in ¼ cup water at least 15 mins before blending.
  • Drain the water from dal and add it to a grinder jar along with soaked poha.
  • Pour ¾ cup water and grind to a thick & frothy batter. It has to be of pouring consistency and not runny. If the batter is too think pour another 2 to 4 tbsps water and grind. Transfer this to the bowl. Ensure the batter doesn't become hot or warm while blending.
  • Drain water from the rice and add it to the grinder. Pour ½ cup water.
  • Blend until smooth. Transfer to the same urad dal batter bowl and add salt.
  • If the weather is too hot then avoid adding salt at this stage. Add it after fermentation.
  • After mixing the consistency of the uttapam batter must be thick & pourable but not be too thick or too runny.
  • Cover and rest in a warm place overnight or until the batter rises. If you live in a cold region, then you may ferment the batter in a instant pot with the yogurt setting (low). Depending on the weather it takes anywhere from 8 to 16 hours.
  • Do not over ferment else the batter turns sour. After fermentation the batter rises and aerates. You will see bubbles over the batter much like the dosa batter.

Prepare Batter Uttapam

  • Wash and chop the veggies needed. Also finely chop coriander leaves. Mix all of the topping. Prepare these when you are ready to make the uttapams else the veggies will release juices.
  • Grease a griddle pan or tawa. Heat it well. 
  • Bring the batter to consistency by adding little water if very thick. The batter must be of thick yet of pourable consistency. Check the salt and add a bit more as we are using the veggies.

How to Make Uttapam

  • When the pan is hot enough, pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the hot pan. We usually do not spread it as it does a bit on its own. If needed spread a bit gently.
  • Lower the heat and sprinkle the toppings all over the uttapam. Sprinkle oil around the edges and over the onions.
  • When the base is firm, flip it and cook on the other side until it is cooked well. Cook on a medium flame at this stage as it needs to cook from inside.
  • Cook the toppings to suit your liking – caramelized or crunchy. Set aside and make the next one.
  • Serve onion uttapam with chutney or sambar or sprinkle podi.

Notes

  • Ensure the pan is hot enough before you pour the batter, if not the uttapam will be flat and won’t puff.
  • Cook on a low to medium flame so the batter is cooked from inside.
  • Chop the veggies only when you are ready to make the uttapams.
  • You may skip poha but they give the uttapams the characteristic fluffy texture.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Uttapam Recipe (Uthappam)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 65mg3%
Potassium 598mg17%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1971IU39%
Vitamin C 48mg58%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Uttapam Recipe first published in April 2016. Updated and republished in July 2022.

Uttapam Recipe

About Swasthi

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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Can I leave out the poha?

5 stars
This was my first time making uttapam, and the pancakes got better as I progressed through. I started off making them too thin. Towards the end I was more careful about not spreading out the batter and they turned out fluffed up and perfect. Flavor was too good :o) I will be making this again. I served these sprinkled with your pappula podi. Yum!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
I made the uttapam batter 2 days ago. They turned out good. I want to make millet uttapam. How much millet flour can I add to this?

very good presentation, accurate step by step direction leaving little room for mistake a very good job well done thank you.

Hi
Can I use the same batter to make Idli?
Thanks

5 stars
I like your recipes and presentation.

a niceeee uttapam!!!

5 stars
its amazing………..

Hi Swathi,

This may not be the right place to ask my question. Generally, what should I add in my daughter’s diet on a daily basis to boost her immunity?. I am a non vegetarian and my girl is 3 yrs old. I have just bought manna health mix powder. Will that help?. Please advise.

Thanks a lot
Zeeba