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A quick nutritious Indian pizza (uttappam)

September 19, 2008

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, spreadΒ  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.)

Related Reading: A few ways to use your left-overs
A quick cheesy nutritious pasta
Using the instant chinese mixes

27 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2008 8:48 am

    What a coincidence! I just had Onion Uthappa for dinner with Coconut chutney. It was delicious !

  2. September 19, 2008 12:49 pm

    If you want to make it more delicious, you may add finely chopped carrot,capsicum. To make it non veg, you may add raw egg in step 1 in the batter and mix it.

  3. September 19, 2008 1:15 pm

    Wow nice. I did not expect recipes at your blog so its a nice added bonus! It looks very good, my south indian food trials have always turned in to disasters but I might try this to get some confidence!

  4. September 19, 2008 2:32 pm

    I love onnion uthappam …. yes ,we pronounce it that way πŸ˜›
    anywya i will think of trying it someday after successfully cooking DAL πŸ˜›

  5. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 19, 2008 2:51 pm


    I’m sure it is very tasty and quick to make; but nutritious? It sounds positively sinful!!!

  6. Joss permalink
    September 19, 2008 3:56 pm

    Sounds great! I’ll give it a try.

  7. September 19, 2008 5:14 pm

    Dinesh Babu, thanks.

    Old Sailor, adding vegetables sounds like a good idea and for those who like real non-veg, I would suggest pieces of ham or sliced cooked sausages.

    Odzer, I am not sure where you go wrong, so cannot say if this recipe will work for you! And I do post on cooking once in a while! πŸ™‚

    Arvind, after your dal experience I would suggest that you don’t try this recipe! πŸ™‚

    Joss, I don’t know whether you made dosas or uttappams before, but what goes wrong is if the pan is too hot the batter will stick and won’t spread. The trick is to cool the pan slightly before you put on the next one.

    Vivek, forget calorie count!!

  8. September 19, 2008 5:14 pm

    @Old sailor: Eggs aren’t “non-veg”, since the variety most commonly found are unfertilized and hence not living organisms.

  9. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 19, 2008 7:22 pm


    Calories can be worked off with some effort. I was thinking of the cholesterol!

    I never think of these things! πŸ™‚ But if anyone needs to cut down on cholesterol, one can cut down on the cheese…but not the seeds. The roasted flavour of the seeds gives this dish a nice flavour! And so does the pureed tomato and green chillies. All quite healthy. – nita.

  10. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    September 19, 2008 7:27 pm


    Your advice to Old Sailor reminds me of the aLvAchyA vaDyA made by the Pathare Prabhu community, who add khImA to the filling πŸ™‚

  11. September 19, 2008 7:43 pm

    Nita! One minor correction. It’s uthapaM. As Arvind said. Uthapa sounds a bit strange to me, born and raised as I am in good old Madras… πŸ™‚ But anyway, delicious recipe!

    Amrutha, now I am making the correction in my post. Thanks! – nita.

  12. September 19, 2008 9:09 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious. I had an uttappam at a South Indian restaurant once and have been looking for a quick and easy recipe.

    Minnesotameetskarnataka, if you compare it to an ordinary uttapam then this recipe is certainly not quick…but I said its quick because it is a meal in itself. – nita.

  13. Mohit Tewari permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:47 pm

    That looks more like a pancake than a pizza.

  14. September 20, 2008 1:32 am

    Looks delicious, but I could never hope to make it … lack expertise in Italian cooking, can you imagine Indian cooking …. but I’ll try to improve. I bought tons on Indian sauces. Ciao!!!

  15. September 20, 2008 3:15 am

    u got me hungry

  16. September 20, 2008 10:31 am

    Nita, you can mix samolina and curd and use it in place of dosa batter. You won’t even need oil or cheese. It is instant. You can use the same ingredients for instant idlis by adding a tea spoon of Eno fruit salt. If you want I can mail you some more substitutes for the batter.

    That sounds very interesting Prerna. Do mail me as we love dosa, idli and uttapams at home as we enjoy non-spicy food. Thanks. – nita.

  17. September 20, 2008 4:17 pm

    I am hungry……… πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ and i simply love uttapam though we dont add the seeds and nuts, simply the onions and tomatoes and capsicum and haan, i do add thyme on the top at the end!!

    but you sure made me hungry!! πŸ™‚

    Sakhi, I don’t know anyone who adds seeds and nuts either. This only happens in my house, this is my own recipe. – nita.

  18. September 20, 2008 6:36 pm

    yummy πŸ˜›

  19. September 20, 2008 8:04 pm

    Ohh we get recipes too on your blog?? πŸ˜›
    Thanks!! but somehow in the few South Indian dishes I eaten i.e. dosa, idlli and uttapam, I dont like uttapam.

    you’ll like my uttapam! πŸ™‚ – nita.

  20. September 21, 2008 6:14 am

    Mmmm, I can smell and taste this dish right now! Roasted nuts, tomatoes, chiles, cheese, this dish has it all!

    (For those who can’t eat cheese for whatever reason, soy cheese is a fairly decent substitute. )

    that’s a good idea although I have never eaten soy cheese in my life! – nita.

  21. September 21, 2008 2:50 pm

    Now a days, when I go out with my family and anybody asks me if we should have South Indian, I give them a long cold stare. πŸ™‚
    After being in Chennai for so long and after eating so much South Indian food, I am off the Cuisine for some time.
    p.s. I love dosa and Uttapam, although. There was a friend of mine from Andhra who used to make eye and nose watering spicy dosas for me. I am missing her now after reading your post. πŸ˜€

    Living in Bangalore for almost four years had the opposite effect on me! I became addicted to south indian food, but authentic style. We grew up eating dosa idly ofcourse as my mom used to make it once in a while and we had the udipis that we frequented, but after eating the authentic idly dosa and authentic filter coffee (even a street side vendor in Bangalore could make better coffee than a fancy restaurant in mumbai!) now all we do it search for authentic restaurants. Yesterday I had a most awful experience – it was a gujrati restaurant and the sambar tasted like kheer! It was horrible.- nita.

  22. Bombay wadapav eater permalink
    September 24, 2008 4:05 am

    Would it turn out well if I used brown rice for the batter. I avoid using bleached or white rice eversince I had gestational diabetes since the blood sugar levels were very high with white rice. Also brown rice has all the vit B and fibre since the skin/ rice bran is not taken off. I had made idlis and they turned out to be quite chewy. Hope you can help me with recipe on dosa/ idli or utammpam batter with brown rice.

    I don’t see why you cannot make it with brown rice. Just go ahead and do it, and I am sure it will be just fine. – Nita.

  23. September 28, 2008 3:17 am

    I’ve never tried uttappam. I am game for anything nutritious. Would give this recipe a try, thanks Nita!

    *i know it’s a late comment from me -been extremely busy with my studies. couldn’t ignore my list of google reader with old posts.

  24. December 13, 2008 11:48 pm

    This recipe looks amazing and relatively easy.
    And, congratulations on your Avant Garde Blogger Award! Well deserved!:-)

    Thanks. πŸ™‚ And welcome to my blog. πŸ™‚ – Nita.


  1. Nominations So Far… « Visceral Observations
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