For Best Chefs America
Uttapam is an Indian street food made of a thick pancake with toppings cooked into the batter. This recipe for uttapam comes from Best Chef Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani, an Indian restaurant chain originating in Asheville, NC that serves mindblowing chaat (Indian street snacks).
4 cups of rice
1 cup urad daal (Urad is a white lentil found at most Indian/Asian markets. Buy the white kind, without the skin on.)
1 tsp mehti seed (fenugreek)
Possible toppings: diced ginger, peas, shredded carrots, diced chillies, curry leaves, diced pepper, paneer
1) Rinse and soak the rice and the urad daal in seperate containers.
2) Add 1 tbs. of mehti seeds to the soaking daal. (Fenugreek seeds can also be found at Indian stores. This step is optional, but adds extra flavor.)
3) After soaking both for at least six hours, combine the rice and the daal a few cups at a time into a blender. Add enough water to the blender so that the resulting consistency of the mixture is about the same as pancake batter - not too thick, not too thin. Pour the batter into a wide-mouthed bowl with at least 50 percent excess volume.
4) Leave the batter in a warm place. An oven on low with the door cracked open will work. Be careful not to cook the batter. Overnight, it will expand 50 percent. Add salt.
5) Heat a nonstick griddle to 450 degrees, or to as hot as possible.
6) Ladle out a portion of the pancake batter and spread it out on the griddle. Drizzle a little oil around the edges of the batter. Cook until little bubbles start to perforate it.
7) Add ingredients of your choice as toppings. When the bottom looks brown, flip the uttapam, and cook it for a minute. Add a pinch of salt if needed.