Semolina pancake


Chaat Masala

  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds 
  • 1½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 tbsp amchur (dried mango powder) 
  • 3 tbsp powdered black salt 
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida 
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp dried powdered mint 
  • 1½ tsp ajwain seeds
  • 1 tsp citric acid, optional

Green coconut chutney

  • 25 g (1 oz/¾ cup) coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 60 g (2¼ oz/¾ cup) freshly grated coconut, or frozen coconut
  • Indian green chilli, chopped
  • 1 cm (½ inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1½–2 tbsp roasted chana dhal
  • a pinch of salt, or to taste 
  • 1 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • ½ tsp lemon juice, or to taste

For tempering

  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • ½ tsp brown mustard seeds 
  • ¾ tsp dried black lentils (urad dhal)
  • 8–10 fresh curry leaves

Coriander chutney (Chatni gashneez)

  • 30 g(1 oz/1 cup) coriander (cilantro) stems and leaves
  • 2garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1Indian green chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 60 g(2¼ oz/½ cup) roughly chopped walnuts
  • 60 ml(2 fl oz/¼ cup) lemon juice or vinegar
  • a pinch of salt, or to taste


  • 3 sliceswhite bread, crusts removed
  • 180 g(6 oz/1 cup) coarse semolina
  • 70 g(2½ oz/¼ cup) Greek-style yoghurt 
  • 1 tspfinely ground black salt 
  • rice bran oil, for greasing
  • ¼ tspcumin seeds 
  • 1 tspChaat masala 
  • 60 g(2¼ oz/¼ cup) finely chopped tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 1Indian green chilli, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tsp finely shredded fresh ginger 
  • Green coconut chutney, Coriander chutney or Greek-style yoghurt, to serve


For the chaat masala, toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a heavy-based frypan over low heat for about 3–5 minutes, stirring often, until dark brown. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.

Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind all the ingredients into a fine powder. Store excessin an airtight container.

To make the green coconut chutney, place the coriander, coconut, chilli, ginger and chana dhal in a blender. Add 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, sugar and lemon juice, mixing well.

For tempering, heat the coconut oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the mustard seeds and lentils. Cook for a minute or two, until the mustard seeds splutter and the lentils brown. Add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Stir the tempering mixture through the chutney. Excess chutney will keep in the fridge for 2–3 days.

To make the coriander chutney, Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, and have a 
bowl of iced water on standby.

Plunge the coriander leaves into the boiling water 
for 3–5 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately refresh in the iced water. When cooled, dry on paper towel and roughly chop.

Place the coriander, garlic, chilli and walnuts in a blender or food processor and whiz until a textured paste is achieaved, gradually adding the lemon juice or vinegar while processing. Add salt to taste. (Or you could pass the ingredients through a food grinder with a fine screen, or chop them finely, then pound together using a mortar and pestle, gradually stirring 
in the lemon juice and salt to taste.) Place in a small bowl, cover and chill until required.

For the uttapam, put the bread into small pieces, then soak in 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water for about 5 minutes. Drain the bread and place in a blender. Add the semolina, yoghurt and salt and blitz to a thick, smooth paste. 

Pour the batter into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rest at warm room temperature for 1 hour. The warmer and more humid, the better.

The batter should be a relatively thick consistency; stir in a little more water if needed.

Lightly grease a non-stick frying pan and place over medium heat. Be careful not to cook the uttapam on high heat, as the batter will not cook through.

For each uttapam, pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan; it should spread into a thick pancake, about the size of a pikelet, and you should be able to cook several at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Pour a little rice bran oil around the pancakes. Leave to cook for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle some of the cumin seeds, chaat masala, tomatoes, chilli, coriander and ginger on top. Press the topping ingredients down lightly, turn the pancake over, and cook for another 2 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.

Serve uttapam hot, with chutney or yoghurt.

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