Uttapam is a South Indian breakfast pancake that is also known as Indian Pizza. It is a type of thosai. However, instead of thin crepe-like thosai, it is thicker like a pancake.
Top with different veggies like onions, tomatoes, carrots, and green chillies make uttapam a colourful and flavourful dish. Uttapam is usually crisp on the bottom with soft fluffy texture on top.
What is Uttapam?
Uttapam or known as uthappa, uthappam or oothappam is traditionally made from the leftover thosai batter. The mixture of lentils and rice flour are left fermented overnight before preparing uttapam. The dough is spread circularly then sprinkled with preferred toppings.
Examples of uttapam toppings are tomatoes, onion, chillies, capsicum, carrots, and coriander leaves. The vegetable toppings balance the sourness of the dish. It typically served with sambar (lentil-based vegetable stew) and chutney (spicy Indian condiments).
It is a filling meal and is suitable for breakfast or dinner. The vibrant colour of the vegetables makes them look pretty, as well as delicious and healthy.
History of Uttapam
Uttapam existed before thosai, which is around the first century. It is the same dish, except uttapam is thicker, fluffier and usually topped with vegetables.
The earliest mention of thosai is in the sixth century during the Sangam period of India. Both dishes originated from South Indian. After the Independence of India, the South Indian cuisine made its wasy to the north and then to the rest of the world.
Variations of Uttapam
Uttapam is an easy recipe and a flexible dish. There are many versions of uttapam based on preferences and creativity. Most of the uttapam is known based on the toppings used. For example, onion uttapam, coriander uttapam, tomato uttapam and carrot uttapam is indicative of the types of vegetables used.
There is also mix vegetable uttapam that is a combination of onion, carrot, tomato, and coriander. This created a colourful uttapam that is very eye-catching and delicious.
Next, there is oats uttapam where the oats are mixed into the flour batter. Oats has many health benefits, especially to heart. So, instead of just eating oats porridge, combining oat into uttapam gives a wide range of option to enjoy oats.
There is ragi uttapam (yeast) where ragi flour mixed into the regular fermented batter. Ragi flour is rich in calcium and protein gives extra health benefits to this dish.
Masala Uttapam is a combination of tomatoes and onions toppings. It is commonly served for breakfast. Besides that, mini uttapam is a smaller version of uttapam. It gains popularity with its bite-sized and as a quick fix for a snack. With its mini size, you can try various toppings before you feel full.
Uttapam Instant mixes are now available in the market. This is more preferred by many as you can skip the fermenting process. Just add water to the instant mixes to form a fermented batter. It only takes about five to ten minutes to cook.
Lastly, there is a sweet uttapam that served as a dessert and it is usually topped with kaya (coconut egg jam).
Where to find Uttapam in Malaysia
Most of the Mamak restaurants and some of the Malay restaurants served this savoury dish. It is generally served in the evening. Try the uttapam from Restoran Asfar Maju (Sri Petaling). If you would like to try different versions of uttapam, there are many versions of uttapam at Big Sam Curry House (Cheras). Find more of the Indian cuisine on foodpanda.