A quick nutritious Indian pizza (uttappam)
I have called this Uttappam (recipe) a pizza as it is very cheesy. This is a quick nutritious recipe that I use often. It satisfies my three main criteria – it’s nutritious, it’s tasty and it’s quick. And it doesn’t require any accompaniment to make a fairly decent balanced meal.
It’s nutritious because it uses nuts and seeds, which provide us with essential vitamins and minerals as well as protein. The traditional way of making an Uttappa is with tomato and onion, and these ingredients are used liberally in this recipe.
Pick up the dosa batter or dosa atta from a grocery store. Making it at home is certainly healthier, but then this recipe cannot be called “quick.” A long-winded but traditional way to make the batter is given here, but for a short-cut you can try this one. I have not tried the latter.
Main ingredient: Dosa Batter (1 kg)
Other ingredients: A small block of cheese (how much is a personal preference), 7-8 almonds and 7-8 cashews, 1 large onion, two fresh tomatoes and salt to taste. Optional: fresh green chillies.
Spices: 1 teaspoon (each) of the following seeds: mustard, sesame, poppy and fenugreek, salt to taste. You can use any type of seeds, but I mentioned these as they are commonly available in India.
Fat to fry: Use desi ghee (clarified butter) if you like the taste or vegetable oil.
Step 1: Lightly roast all the seeds (each type separately), mix them together and grind them to a powder.
Chop onion and chillies finely, puree the tomato and grate the cheese. Lightly roast the almonds and cashews and grind them to a powder. Mix the powdered seeds, powdered nuts, grated cheese, chopped onion (and chillies if you are using them) and pureed tomato into the dosa mix and stir well. Add salt to taste. Your uttappa/pizza mixture is ready. Remember, all these ingredients go into the mixture (they are not sprinkled over it).
Step 2: After readying your non-stick pan with a thin layer of fat, spread the batter on it. The thickness of the batter is more than that of a thin dosa or omelette and less than that of a traditional uttappam. The batter should not be spread too thick as it will be difficult to get the crispy taste to the uttappa (which is necessary for this recipe). Cover the pan for a minute or so to steam and when the underside is crisp, turn over and brown. The final uttappa has a different consistency that the ordinary uttappa. It is fairly crispy like a crispy paratha. You can have it with yoghurt or chutney if you wish. It’s a nutritious, wholesome meal like a stuffed paratha is.
(Tip for those not familiar with making uttappam: Don’t heat the pan too much before spreading the batter or it will stick.)
(All photos by me and copyrighted.)