Friday 1 August 2014

Onion Oothappam (வெங்காய ஊத்தப்பம்)

Oothappam (ஊத்தப்பம்) is nothing but a thick pancake, and the batter is almost similar to dosa batter. Traditionally oothappam is made in a kadai. However, you can make oothappam using a dosa tava as well. You can make plain oothappam or make it with different toppings such as onion, vegetables, fruits and even paneer. Of these, onion oothappam is the most popular variety.

In common practice, oothappam is made with dosa batter that has turned sour. Dosa batter, even if refrigerated, turns sour on the third or fourth day, especially in summer. This batter is often used to make oothappam, topped with onion, green chilli, curry leaves and coriander leaves. You may choose to make oothappam with dosa batter, fresh or old, or prepare a separate batter as given below.

For the batter: (makes approximately 20 oothappams)
Par boiled rice/ Idly rice (புழுங்கல் அரிசி/ இட்லி அரிசி) – 2 tumblers or 400ml measure
Urad dhal – ½ tumbler or 100ml measure
Salt – to taste

For the topping: (For approximately 8-10 oothappams)
Onion – large, 3 no, finely chopped
Ginger – 1” piece, grated
Green chilli – 2 no, finely chopped
Curry leaves – chopped, 2 tablespoons
Coriander leaves – chopped, 2 tablespoons
Salt – to taste
Idly chilli powder – as required (optional)
Oil – for making oothappam

Onion Oothappam (வெங்காய ஊத்தப்பம்) served with coconut chutney

How to prepare the batter: Wash par-boiled rice and urad dhal separately, and soak them in sufficient water using separate containers for 4-5 hours. Grind urad dhal using the wet grinder very well till it becomes a smooth spongy mass (நன்கு குடைய அரைக்கவும்). Transfer the dahl batter (உளுத்த மாவு) into a large container.  Now grind soaked rice using the wet grinder into a fine paste. Transfer the rice batter (அரிசி மாவு) to the same container. Add salt, mix dhal and rice batters together very well. Allow the batter to stand overnight or at least eight hours. Next morning, mix the batter well. Add water, if required, to make the batter into pouring consistency. You may refrigerate the batter and use it make oothappam as needed.

Note: Use a larger container to hold the batter overnight, as the batter will rise (மாவு பொங்கும்) when fermented.

How to prepare the oothappam: Chop onions and green chillies finely. Mix the chopped items with grated ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves and required salt. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

Mix the batter well before using. Heat the tava on medium flame. Once ready, spread the batter evenly on the tava, making it 3-4mm thick.  Sprinkle idly chilli powder (இட்லி மிளகாய் பொடி) on the surface. You may skip this step, if you prefer the oothappam to be less spicy. Sprinkle the onion topping over the oothappam covering the entire surface.

Add oil around the oothappam and allow it to cook for a minute. When cooked, bubbles will appear on the surface and the edges will turn golden brown. Now, turn the oothappam over and cook for a short while. Remove from the tava and serve hot with chutney and sambar. Onion oothappam goes well with coconut chutney. 

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