Friday, August 5, 2011

Brown Rice Uthapam

I don't usually order uthapam when eating out in my favorite South Indian restaurant, am more of a dosa girl but  dosa isn't a good idea for breakfast (especially since I know I won't be able to get it right the first time). So, uthapam seemed a prudent choice - how wrong was I! Uthapam takes sooooooo long to cook. I hadn't anticipated such a long cooking time and ended up ruining the first few. Thankfully, I managed to get it right at the end.

Warning: The overall cooking process, right from the soaking to fermenting, takes more than 24 hours. Plan your time well or just use one of those ready made mixtures.

Brown Rice Uthapam - makes 6

1/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup dhuli urad dal
1/4 cup rice flakes (poha/chidwa)
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak brown rice with urad dal for 6-8 hours in 3 cups water. Pulse the mixture, along with the rice flakes, till completely smooth in a blender. You need to leave this mixture to ferment for 12 hours. A hot and humid climate is great for this, otherwise just place it in the warmest part of your house. Make sure you use a very large bowl because it will triple in volume. Remember to cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

After the mixture has fermented, remove the plastic wrap and whisk it till slightly thick. In the meantime, chop the onions, tomatoes, and green chillies.

Now, I used olive oil to cook these but you could use regular vegetable oil. If you are using a non stick pan, you'll need only 1-2 tsp oil. Using a ladle, spoon the mixture over hot oil. A medium flame would be great to avoid over cooking or burning. It will take 5-7 minutes for the uthapam to get cooked. Once you've let it cook for a minute or so, add the tomatoes and onions. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and flip over once the sides look cooked. Cook the other side for 5 minutes as well.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or ketchup.

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