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Uthappam Cheese Flatbread
Posted By yum On May 12, 2007 @ 8:19 am In Indian, Indian Flatbread, Vegetarian | 2 Comments
Sometimes a recipe is something that evolves as you make it. The other night, as I opened a container of ready made Uthappam batter from my local indian market, I started out with one idea and ended up with something quite different. Generally, I am not that wild about Uthappam , which is a batter made from ground rice and lentils that has been fermented, almost exactly like dosa batter. The difference is that Uthappam is generally made into a slightly thick pancake that contains various ingredients, rather than being made into a crisp dosa which is then (sometimes) filled with ingredients. It’s often a bit bland for my taste, and the texture is slightly gummy. But, for some reason, the last time I went to the Indian market, I couldn’t resist adding some Uthappam batter to my cart. I searched online for various recipes to enliven the Uthappam- and found one involving chopped cabbage, onions, and cilantro that somehow appealed to me. I was reminded of the Japanese food, Okonomiyaki , which is a pancake like thing with cabbage and other ingredients mixed into the batter. So, I added chopped cabbage, onions, and cilantro to the batter and made my first Uthappam. It wasn’t bad- but somehow, the flavor just didn’t thrill me. DH shrugged indifferently, and ate it, but somehow neither of us was particularly satisfied. There was still a lot of batter left after two Uthappam had been made, so I reconsidered. I decided to add some cumin seeds, nigella seeds, and on of my favorites, brown/black mustard seeds to the batter. That would make it taste more interesting- but what about the gummy, potato rosti like texture? I added water and decided to pretend it was a crepe rather than a pancake batter. I lightly oiled a cast iron pan and heated it in the oven on 400 degrees. When it was hot, I poured some batter into the pan, and swirled it so it evenly covered the bottom. There was still a little cabbage and onion left in the batter, so it was slightly lumpy, but really, quite reasonably thin. After baking it for about ten minutes, I took it out and sprinkled cotija cheese on top and put it back in to melt. I served it like pizza slices, with a side serving of tomato chutney, and watched it disappear. This Cheese flatbread version had considerably nicer texture, the seasonings added flavor, and the cheese made it a much more satisfying main dish. I don’t know if my version can reasonably be called Uthappam any more, but we enjoyed it, and were able to use up the remaining batter. If I were to make it again, I would probably leave out the cabbage for my “flatbread,” but it did add extra nutritional value to the dish.
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/uppadamslice.jpg
 Uthappam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uthappam
 Okonomiyaki: http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/?p=174
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/uppadamflatbbread.jpg
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