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Sunday, March 12, 2017

MULTI-GRAIN UTTAPAM (SAVORY INDIAN "PANCAKES") FROM KATHY HESTER'S NEW INSTANT POT COOKBOOK

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These are the Uttapam that I made from Kathy's recipe.
Kathy's Uttapam (picture from the book-- pictured with Cilantro Coconut Chutney, which I didn't make because we're not big cilantro fans. )

With the wild popularity of the Instant Pot these days (a Canadian product, I just have to add!), cookbook author Kathy Hester has done vegans a massive favor with the publication of her new book "The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot".  

I've had an Instant Pot for more than a year now and I love it. It saves counter space, it makes lovely soy yogurt, it's a slow-cooker, a pressure cooker, a steamer and more. I cook big batches of beans in it for freezing, and brown rice, too. Obviously, I highly recommend it.

This new book is full of tempting recipes, but, when I was trying to decide what to make for this review, I was immediately drawn to the uttapam recipe.  I love uttapam and we have it for breakfast or lunch fairly often.  It's a mixture of dal (dried legumes-- usually urad dal, which is white, but is actually split black urad dal, minus the black skins-- it's sometimes called white lentils) and some sort of grain, soaked, ground and fermented before cooking like small pancakes, often with thinly-sliced veggies cooked into the flip side. 

I make my uttapam with urad dal and oats, but I was intrigued by Kathy's mixture of Urad dal, brown rice, millet and quinoa-- wow!  This is a wonderful high protein, whole grain mixture. Uttapam is blissfully easy to make and the batter will last for a week in fridge.

Kathy's recipe makes alot of batter, so I halved the recipe for just the two of us. I also added 1/2 cup more water to the half batch of batter because I like my uttapam a bit thinner. (I also added a bit of salt to the batter because it brings out the flavors-- Kathy avoids salt in her recipes, but I'm afraid I'm not anti-salt.) I usually top the uttapam with thinly-shredded veggies, like cabbage, carrot, peppers, or even thawed frozen peas and/or corn.  You can use Kathy's suggestions, or anything that sounds good to you and cooks quickly.

Uttapam is served with dal, sambar, chutney, etc. If I have nothing else suitable, I just serve them with chutney and soy yogurt, as in my photo above.

These pancakes are light and tasty and full of little holes, but two or three make a substantial meal and leave you well satisfied. A terrific way to eat cheap and nutritious beans and whole grains!


Note from Bryanna: If you are going to have uttapam for breakfast the next morning, soak them in the morning of the the day before. And if you are going to have the uttapam for breakfast the next morning, blend and leave in the IP to ferment, as directed in the recipe below, before you go to bed.)

Printable Copy

UTTAPAM Note: I didn't make the Cilantro Coconut Chutney which went with this recipe  because we're not big cilantro fans. 

(From Kathy Hester's new book, "The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot")
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup (151 g) urad dal (which is skinned split black urad dal)
1 cup (190 g) brown rice (I used brown jasmine rice; BCG)
1 cup (119 g) millet
1 cup (170 g) quinoa, washed well to remove the seed coating (Many brands of quinoa are already pre-washed when you buy them now, so check the package info; BCG)
5 cups (1.2 L) water
Spray oil (optional)

TOPPINGS:
Grated carrots
Grated summer squash
Chopped cilantro
Peas
Shredded vegan cheese
Leftover curries

INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix the urad dal, rice, millet, quinoa and water in a large bowl. Cover and let soak to soften for 8 hours.

Next, puree the mixture in your blender in batches and add to your Instant Pot liner. Place the liner in your Instant Pot, cover and press the yogurt setting. Leave it at the default 8 hours for it to ferment.

You can store the fermented mixture in your fridge for up to 1 week or you can cook up all the pancakes at once and freeze them to heat for later.

Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray (if using) and place over medium heat. Once hot, add ½ cup (120 ml) of the batter per pancake and shape into a circle. (I use a small ladle to pour the batter and use the bottom of the ladle in a circular motion to form the circle shape. BCG) Cook until bubbles begin to form. (I use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle.  I rub the pan with a bit of oil on a paper towel before cooking each uttapam. In India they often use a halved potato or onion to rub a bit of oil on the pan. BCG)

Sprinkle the topping you choose (I used sliced green onion this time; BCG) over the top of the pancake and press in a little with your spatula. Flip the pancake and cook until both sides are browned.

Place on a plate and cook the next one. You could also have more than one skillet going at a time. (I keep them warm in the oven at low heat while I cook them all. BCG)
Note from Bryanna: I served these with soy yogurt and chutney this time.


Enjoy!


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