Thursday, February 9, 2017

Uttapam! And, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for your Instant Pot.

kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook              kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook

I haven't had my paws on Kathy Hester's latest, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot, long enough to take it on a proper recipe romp. However, as soon as I noticed it contained a recipe for uttapam, I got straight to work soaking and fermenting. I FREAKING ADORE uttapam.

If you've never had uttapam before, it's a super common savory pancake devoured regularly in South India. When Dazee and I spent three weeks traveling down the west coast of South India in 2007, I literally ate uttapam once or twice a day for three weeks, and never tired of them. In restaurants in India, they're only served during the magickal "dosa hour," so we had to time our meals just right so I could be sure to get them.

kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook
Uttapam topped with cilantro and jalapeño.
Traditional uttapam are made from soaked white rice and urad dal, ground into a batter and fermented. They can be eaten plain or cooked with vegetables on top like jalapeno, onion, tomato, cilantro and fresh peas. They're also usually eaten with sambar (a delicious thin, lentil based soup), and coconut chutney.

In Kathy's book, TUVCFYIP, she makes uttapam from brown rice, urad dal, quinoa, and millet and uses the yogurt setting on the Instant Pot to keep the batter very warm, so it ferments lickety split. I was really surprised and delighted to find Kathy's take on uttapam tasted very traditional made completely from whole grains/seeds and dal. 
kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook
Eating uttapam in a restaurant on Mahadwar Road in Kerala, South India.
If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe, but you'll need to find a warm spot in your house to ferment the batter. The top of the refrigerator is usually a good spot, and it'll probably take at least 24 hours to get tangy--the Instant Pot speeds this process up by keeping the batter at a sustained temperature over a period of many hours. 

If you're a fan of chickpea flour pancakes, AKA, pudla, or of savory breakfast/brunch, you'll love uttapam. Since uttapam is made from a fermented batter, you can make some up and keep it in your fridge for days to make rilllly fast, delicious, and nutritious meals.

kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook

kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook

Uttapam with Cilantro Coconut Chutney
Makes about 10 large savory pancakes.

My adaptations on Kathy's recipe:
*I made a couple of pancakes following Kathy's recipe to a tee. I found that after fermenting the batter for 8 hours on the yogurt setting, the batter was not as tangy as I wanted. If you follow me and ferment over the 8 hour mark, watch your batter closely! I let mine go a little too long (about 13 hours), and the batter over fermented and got a bit funky (my house smelled like bleu cheese whenever I cooked up a batch of these).

*I added about a teaspoon of salt to the fermented batter.

*I cooked the uttapam in a little coconut oil, instead of cooking spray and topped them with cilantro, minced onion and thinly sliced jalapeño slices.

What You Need:
1 cup (151 g) urad dal (skinned split urad)
1 cup (190 g) brown rice
1 cup (119 g) millet
1 cup (170 g) quinoa, washed well to remove the seed coating
5 cups (1.2 L) water
Spray oil (optional)
Grated carrots
Grated summer squash
Chopped cilantro
Shredded vegan cheese
Leftover curries
What You Do:
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. Cook until bubbles begin to form.
Sprinkle the topping you choose 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.
Cilantro Coconut Chutney
What You Need:
1 cup (93 g) shredded coconut
½ cup (120 ml) water
½ cup (8 g) fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
1 tbsp (6 g) grated ginger
1 tbsp (6 g) curry leaves (optional)
2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp mustard powder
What You Do:
Place all the ingredients into your blender and pulverize. You will need to scrape down a few times and may need to add an additional tablespoon or two (15 or  30 ml) of water.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Shared with permission from Kathy Hester and Page Street Publishing.
kathy hester, instant pot recipes, vegan, gluten free, uttapam, south indian recipe, vegan cookbook

For more Instant Pot recipes from Kathy Hester, visit here!

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Come back soon!  
xo kittee

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on a product link and purchase an item, I'll receive a very small compensation.

I received a free copy of The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot for the purpose of review. No compensation or gift was exchanged for this post, and as always, the rad opinion posted here is my own. 


  1. YUM!! thanks for sharing this recipe Kittee xx

  2. **Drool** Magical Dosa & Uttapam hour is a happy hour I can enthusiastically get behind!! I have got to pick up these ingredients when the snow storm subsides. Interesting to see the variations of grams to cup, it's now very apparent why gram based recipes I've tried with out a scale have turned out wonky, thanks for including those conversions Kittee. I'll be slathering coconut chutney on uttapam soon!

  3. This looks delicious, I'm going to try this recipe.

    I was going to forward you a pincushion crochet pattern I thought you'd like via fb but no luck. And the email link here isn't working for me. I wanted to say hi and let you know I think it's good that Seattle voted to end their connection with W.F. I've been thinking a lot about the people I know who live in the USA and want to send good energy to all of you in these difficult times. Hope your creative projects, friends, and community gatherings are keeping you in good spirits

    1. Hi Lyse!
      I deactivated my FB account! Thanks for your good wishes!!

  4. beautiful uttapam! i love south indian food so much. oh just realized that mung beans are actually urad dahl except not split, and... *mentally adds uttapam batter to her evening's Make List*. nice recipe share <3

    1. I think you're thinking of mungo beans, which are not the same as mung!! Mung and urad are totally different legumes. <3

    2. thank you, you're totally right, now that I check it! So, I went ahead and used the green ones anyway to make the pancakes and they were *awesome*... I gotta favour to ask though, can I post about them on my blog with the recipe?

    3. It's not my recipe to share. You'll have to ask the author, Kathy Hester. <3

  5. Yummmmm! I don't have an Instant Pot (yet), but I do have a yogurt maker and I might try my hand at this in that. Wish me luck!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe. I agree with you that the batter isn't as sharp after 8 hours, but I tend to make the batter, then store in the fridge and make a couple everyday. They get more sour as they go on. But your idea of fermenting them longer is great - I could cook the whole batch and freeze them!

  7. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Interesting that the batter wasn't sour enough using the yogurt setting. I had trouble making yogurt on the same setting! It didn't thicken like it does in my warm oven in half the time. Haven't gotten around to trying again. I'm very interested in Kathy's book and am considering buying it for my son and daughter-in-law.

    1. Oh! It did get sour using the yogurt setting, it just needed a bit more than 8 hours...

  8. Looks amazing! I don't have an instant pot (yet...) so may try using my bread proofing box to hold a warm temp for fermentation.


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