Ottapam (South Indian Savoury Pancakes)

  • on January 27, 2021
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Known as oothapams, these light, savory pancakes are served in place of bread in South India. They require a little planning, because the rice and lentils need to be soaked overnight, and the batter needs at least six hours to ferment. Urad dal, or ivory lentils, can be found in Indian markets and natural food stores.


  • 1 1/2 Cups White Basmati Rice or Long-grain White Rice (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Urad Dal (Ivory Lentils) or Red Lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Low-fat Yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda / Cooking Soda
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
  • 1 Red Onion (minced)
  • 3 Jalapeño Chilles (stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • Melted Coconut Oil or Ghee (for greasing skillet)


  1. Combine rice and urad dal in large glass or stainless steel bowl. Cover with 3 inches of water, and soak overnight. Drain. Transfer to blender or food processor, and purée with salt and 1 cup water until smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover with towel, and let stand six to 12 hours at room temperature, or until batter is fermented and slightly bubbly on surface. Stir in yogurt, baking soda, and 1/2 cup water.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place baking sheet on center rack. Combine peas, red onion, chiles, and cilantro in bowl.
  3. Lightly grease medium nonstick skillet with coconut oil or ghee. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1/2 cup batter onto skillet. (Do not spread batter out thinly.) Drizzle 1/2 tsp. oil or ghee around edge of pancake to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Sprinkle 3 Tbs. pea mixture over pancake. Cook 3 minutes, or until bottom is golden. Flip carefully, and cook other side 1 minute more, or until golden.
  5. Place pancake on baking sheet vegetable-side up, and keep warm in oven.
  6. Repeat with remaining lentil and pea mixture until you have 8 pancakes. Serve warm with chilli powder/jaggery.


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Article Categories:
Bread/Rice/Noodles · Ottapam

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