Indian Street Food Recipe Uttapam (Rice and Black Lentil Pancake with Onions, Chilis, and Cilantro)

Indian Street Food Recipes: Uttapam Recipe

Uttapam (also transliterated uthappam, oothappam, or uthappam) is a South Indian street food pancake made from a batter of ground rice and urad dal (black lentil). Rice is very prevalent in South India, and many South Indian batters are made from ground rice or rice paste. Uttapam uses the same batter as dosa, which is almost the same mixture used for idlis.

Uttapam are often served for breakfast, but are also eaten throughout the day as a tiffin or snack, and are frequently seen at Indian street food stalls.


2 servings


See equipment list for the masala dosa recipe.


1/2 cup (0.1 liter) masala dosa batter
1/2 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cups)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) green chilis, seeds removed and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) vegetable oil or ghee


  1. Head the skillet over medium heat, then pour a spoonful of oil in the center of the skillet. Brush the excess away with a paper towel or cooking brush, making sure the skillet is very well oiled Sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the skillet to make sure it is ready—the water should sputter on the hot griddle surface.
  2. Pour a few tablespoons of batter into the center of the skillet, using the back of the ladle to spread the batter in a circular motion to make a circle (about 4 inches or 10 centimeters). Do not make the pancake too thick.
  3. Garnish the uttapam with onions, green chilis, and cilantro, making sure the ingredients cover the whole circle. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil.
  4. Turn heat to low and when partially cooked and covered with small bubbles, carefully flip the uttapam and gently press with a spatula. Cook until golden brown and crisp (about 1-2 minutes).
  5. Serve immediately with sambar or plain, or hold uncovered in a warm oven.

Copyright 2013

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