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Vivek Singh’s Uttapam (rice flour pancakes) with geen coconut chutney and sambhar

Ensure that the Uttapam mixture is not too thinly spread when cooking in the pan

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24 MAY 2010

Ingredients

  • 200g / 7oz packet of dosa mix (available from Asian shops)
  • A little vegetable or corn oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/3 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, skinned, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

For green coconut chutney
  • 1 coconut, grated
  • 50g/2oz fresh coriander leaves
  • 20g 3/4oz fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For tempering
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh curry leaves

For Sambhar
  • 150g/5oz/7/8 cup toor dal
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 10 small shallots roughly chopped
  • 50g/2oz/1/4 cup green beans cut into 2.5cm/1 inch lengths
  • 2.5cm/ 1 inch lengths
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks
  • 2 baby aubergines, quartered (otherwise use ordinary aubergines)
  • 2 tablespoons Sambar Masala
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For tempering
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • ¼ teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves

Method

Uttapam

Make up the dosa mix according to the instructions on the packet. Spread a little oil over a large, heavy based frying pan or a flat griddle and place over a medium heat. Pour about 2-3 table-spoons of the batter into the centre of the pan and, using the back of the ladle, spread it out quickly with an outward circular motion to form a pancake about 10cm/4 inches in diameter.

Dot the edges of the pancake with a little oil and sprinkle with some of the chopped vegetables and coriander to form a colourful topping. Cook over a low heat for about 4 minutes, until golden underneath. Turn over and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes altogether.

Serve with the green coconut chutney, sambhar and a glass of ice cold Cobra.

Green coconut chutney
Put the coconut, coriander, mint, chillies, chana dal and salt in a blender or food processor and blend to a soft, spoonable consistency. To temper the chutney, heat the oil to smoking point and add curry leaves and mustard seeds. As soon as they start to crackle, add the chutney and remove the pan from the heat.

Sambhar

Wash the lentils in cold running water, then leave to soak for 15 minutes. Drain well and put them in a heavy based pan with 600ml/1 pint /2 and a half cups of water. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum from the surface, then add the turmeric and half the salt and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan, add the curry leaves and onion and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the shallots, green beans, carrots and aubergine and sauté for 5 minutes. Now add the Sambar Masala, tamarind and chilli powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the simmering lentils and stir well, adding a little water if the mixture is too thick.

Simmer until the vegetables are soft then add the sugar and the remaining salt.

To temper the mixture, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the dried chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves, give them a stir and pour the mixture over the broth. Mix well and then serve.