South Indian Tiffin – Uthappams (Lentil Pancakes Topped With Vegetables)

Utappams or thick dosas are South Indian vegetarian tiffin variety made from rice and lentil batter, fermented overnight making the batter slightly sour and then used to prepare thick pancakes like dosas which are light and porous. Uthappams are topped with chopped onions, green chillis and vegetables like tomatoes or carrots but can be eaten without the toppings too. Traditionally served as a breakfast item but can be served for lunch or dinner and is a complete meal in itself.


1 cup par boiled rice
1 cup raw white rice
1/2 cup urad dal (black gram dal,minappa pappu)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
1/4 tsp cooking soda

Finely chopped green chillis, sliced onions, grated carrot, finely chopped tomatoes (deseeded), chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Soak rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for about 8 hours and grind into a fine paste.
Leave it in a warm place to ferment about 8-10 hours. You will notice that the batter has risen and bubbles appear on the top. This is an indication that the batter is well fermented and sour. Add salt and mix well. Just before preparing the uthappams, add cooking soda and mix well.
Pre-heat a non-stick tawa or griddle and spread a tsp of oil over it. Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it, thicker than a dosa (about 1/2″- 3/4″ thickness).
Drizzle a tsp of oil around the uthappam and top it with finely sliced onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, grated carrot and green chillis.
Cook on simmer for 4-5 mts. Then turn over and cook the other side and let it cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve hot with coconut chutney,coriander chutney or sambar.
Note:You can use left over idli or dosa batter to make uthappams.

Lentils are a perfect way to add protein, fiber and all the antioxidant benefits to any meal and have the same potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants—flavonoids and flavonals—found in tea, fruits, grapes, red wine and cocoa beans. Fenugreek seeds are immune stimulating, and have antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.The toppping of onions, carrots and tomatoes have all the goodness antioxidants have to offer making uthappam a perfect choice for this week’s ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday.

South Indian Tiffin – Uthappams (Lentil Pancakes Topped With Vegetables)

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Serves:

Main Ingredients:

  1. urad dal
  2. onions



Utappams or thick dosas are South Indian vegetarian tiffin variety made from rice and lentil batter, fermented overnight making the batter slightly sour and then used to prepare thick pancakes like dosas which are...


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  • Ashwini

    I see idli rava, fine rava and coarse rava here. And also idli rice and the regular types of rice – basmati, sona masuri, ponni etc. Can you tell me what I should use in oothappam and in idlis? Do you mean par boiled as in cooked a little?

  • sailu

    GM and Ashwini,paddy which is boiled/steamed and well dried out in the sun and then husked its called Par Boiled Rice. Paddy which doesnt follow the above process and husked is called raw rice which we regularly eat as steamed rice.So Par boiled rice is also a raw rice and its not undercooked rice like many think it is.
    If par boiled rice (which is also called Idli rice)isnt available,you can use ordinary raw rice and also add 1/4 cup of beaten rice (poha) while grinding the paste.Soak the poha in a few tbsps of water for 5 minutes before grinding.
    Hope this helps.

    • desi_girl

      So, then the proportions would be 2 cups raw rice and 1/2 cup urad dal?

      • Sailu | Indian Food


        • desi_girl

          Thanks :)

  • Garam Masala

    Sailu – Yes, I love uttappams, partly because they are less hassle and quicker than dosas :-) Also, uttappams are much more forgiving in taste even if the batter has not fermented too well.
    Question for you – What is par-boiled rice? Is it cooked rice or a different kind of rice variety?

  • BDSN

    Hi Sailu…

    Very simple but still packed with all goodness..My childhood favorite dish was Onion Uttapam…I have dosa batter ..well i was thinking about masala dosa but now change of mind to uthapam..

  • Shilpa

    This is a nice and easy recipe. Will try it. Thanks for the post.

  • ramya

    Terrific!you are making me more hungrier by looking your uttapams.very yummy looking .After all, we all are belongs to one family from India.don’t you agree.

  • Puspha

    Sailu your uthamappams look very delicious. Going to try it out soon.

  • Ashwini

    Got it. We do get idli rice here. Thanks for clarifying that. I used to think parboiled rice was undercooked rice :-)

  • sailu

    So its Uthappam for dinner,bdsn?-:)

    Your welcome,Shipa.

    Thanks for dropping by Shilpa.

    Do let me know how they turn out,Pushpa.

    Your welcome,Ashwini.

  • Krithika

    Uthappam looks really good. I usually make it with leftover Idli batter adding rice flour to it. Will try it your way.

  • Anonymous

    your posts are very tasty sailu garu
    can you please post some vegetarian indian food rich in protein(egg is ok)and with less carbs.
    i will be very thankful if u post the recipes
    thank you

  • Lera

    wow, your uthappam looks so appetising .love the fact that your recipe is so simple and easy to make……:)

  • KrishnaArjuna

    They look delicious. Our recipe is almost the same, we add another cup of cooked rice too that makes them even fluffier.

  • CJ’s Food & Discovery

    Another unbelievable dish from Sailu…Thanks for sharing!

    Take care!


  • Easily Pleased

    these uthappams look delicious and i was so surprised to read really how easy it is. i must try this. I have always been a fan of an Ethiopian bread called injira, and the reason i like it so much is because it has a delicious sour flavor. so uthappams are going to be on my menu to try!
    thanks for the great post – i like your blog, it is my first visit

  • Malar Gandhi

    Hai There,
    Your site looks amazing! You have good collection of recipes.

  • sailu

    Krithika,thanks for dropping by and do let me know how it turns out.

    Anonymous,thanks for your kind words.I will post some low carb vegetarian recipes.

    Thanks,Lera,its sure is appetizing..:)

    KA,I do add cooked rice at time or attukulu (flattened rice)


    Thanks so much for dropping by,EP,and for your kind words.I need to find out more about this Ethopian bread,Injira.

    I am so glad you dropped by as I have discovered your wonderful blog.Thanks for dropping by,Malar, and your kind words.

  • Kay

    Sailu, Uthappam is one of the south Indian comfort foods! Love them! Like BDSN, Onion uthappams are my favourite too.

  • Priya

    i love those oothappams, they look yummy, and like kay i love onion oothappams.Thanx for sharing the recipe and thanks for linking my post :)

  • stef

    sailu, i’ll have to try your utthapam sometime. question: would the parboiled rice found in american groceries (which i’ve never used) do? or should i get parboiled rice from the indian markets here?

  • sailu

    Uthappams seems to be everybody’s all time favorite tiffin,Kay..:)

    Your welcome,Priya.

    Stef,I suggest you buy the parboiled rice from an Indian store as I am sure you would get the kind of parboiled rice which goes into making uthappam.



  • Nischala.c

    Heyyy !!
    just saw your web site .Its really wonderful & helpful :)
    Thanks to every one who are behind this gr8 work , keep it up

    Nischala :)

  • aparna

    sailu, i am confused with all ingrediants, tell me the difference between setdosa and uttapam.

  • an

    hi dear,
    you can make idly without soda.

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  • Sindhu

    Wat is mean by par boiled rice nd white rice