LakshmiK has come up with this wonderful idea of 'Celebrating the Regional Cuisines of India' (RCI), a monthly event. She is hosting this month’s event and her choice is obviously Tamil cuisine, :-). As the name suggests,Tamil cuisine belongs to Tamilnadu, the southern state of India whose long history and cultural traditions are among the oldest in the world. Personally, whenever I think of the wonderful state, the things which pass by in my vision are the magnificent temples, women (not the modern ones) wearing nine yard sarees with vermilion on their foreheads and jasmines in their hair, bharatnatyam dancers, carnatic music and of course, the delicious food. Though most of the food prepared in the four southern states of India are common (& known by regional names of course), still each state is known for its own delicacies. To learn more about Tamilnadu, visit here.
My entry for the Tamil Cuisine is going to be a break fast dish, Oothappam. Oothappams are rice and lentil based pancakes with vegetable toppings, usually prepared with sour, left over dosa (Indian version of pancakes) batter.
Neither I end up with a lot of leftover batter nor I like the sour one. I therefore usually prepare oothappams with fresh, fermented dosa batter rather than leftover sour batter. Some use idli batter too, which I personally don't prefer.
Ingredients required to make oothappam:
Dosa batter - As required
Medium sized onions, chopped fine - 2
Medium sized tomatoes, chopped fine - 2
Green chillies, chopped fine - 2
Cilantro, finely chopped - 2 Tbsp
For dosa batter, recipe is here. Reduce the quantity according to your needs.
Chop onions and tomatoes very finely to avoid the rawness of the veggies while eating dosas. Mix all the chopped items in a bowl and keep aside. Mean while heat a dosa tawa or griddle. When you sprinkle a few drops of water on the griddle, the water should sizzle and evaporate. This means the griddle is ready. Pour a ladle full of batter on the griddle and spread it into a thick circle with the help of the backside of the ladle. Oothappams are supposed to be thick unlike crispy dosas. Sprinkle the chopped veggies over the batter using your fingers or a spoon. Take ½ tsp of oil and spread around the edges of the circle / oothappam and also on the veggies, if you prefer. Slow down the heat a little bit and let the bottom side cook as well. Flip the oothappam and again spread some oil around it and let it sit for a minute or less so that it is cooked on the other side too. Remove the oothappam with a spatula. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Serve hot with chutney and or sambhar.
Note: Instead of sprinkling, you can add veggies directly to the batter and make oothappams. My mom usually prepares oothappams that way.