Anybody who's made idli / dosa batter in its standard minimum industrial quantity knows the drill.
- Make batter on Friday
- Leave to ferment overnight
- Make Idlies for Saturday morning breakfast.
- Make Masala dosas for Saturday's supper
- Plain dosa for Sunday brunch
Back to those two cups of flat runny batter. They don't take kindly to making any more dosas. The end result is flat, greasy tart and has the texture of gelatinous sourdough (thanks to the starch from the rice that gels up in the batter). It needs copious amounts of oil before the pancake can be scraped out of the griddle even if its a non stick. And in the end, the rest of the family ignores it completely.
My usual solution is to make Uthappams, and some of my friends add Garbanzo flour and spices to the mix, dip in various veggies and deep fry into a tempura / Bhajia. This time around, I happened to spot a bag of semolina flour left over from a previous baking project, and since I didn't have much to 'lose' decided to throw in a few ingredients like shallots and cilantro along with the semolina, and tossed in a packet of rapid rise yeast. As I switched on the oven to pre-heat, I was still undecided whether I wanted to even play around, but with a little encouragement from my 9 year old 'sous' chef, I scooped out the batter into those little mini baking cups. It turned out to be a wonderful snack that he completely polished off with a generous 'frosting' of ketchup.
The only drawback was that I had no measurements on hand and so had to wait for a second batch of 'over-the-hill' batter to repeat the session and get accurate measurements. As of today, the kid is proudly carrying it for his school lunch two days in a row.
The word 'Uthappam' comes from Tamil and literally translates to a puffed pancake that's been 'poured' onto a griddle and cooked (the prefix 'Uth' or 'Ooth' means 'to pour' in the language).
Uthappam mini muffins (makes 36 mini cupcake sized servings)
- 2 cups (16 oz) 'deflated tart fermented dosa batter
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 1/2 cup (heaped) finely chopped shallots or scallions
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (or mint)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (as per your preference)
- 1/4 cup oil (untoasted sesame, or olive)
- pinch of asafetida or any spice blend of your choice
- Salt to taste
There often is a bit of misunderstanding when using the term semolina w.r.t Indian recipes. Semolina flour as its sold in the US of A is much finer in texture compared to the finest grade of Rava available at the Indian grocery and is a pale yellow in color. In other words, I would not use the semolina flour to make Upma. but yes, fine rava can be used for these muffins, just let the batter sit for an extra 15 minutes to allow the rava to soak in some moisture.
Combine the batter, semolina, scallions (or shallots), cilantro, spices, oil and salt in a large mixing bowl. Depending upon how thick your deflated batter is, add about a cup of the semolina and adjust for consistency with the remaining 1/2 cup. The consistency should be that of thick corn bread (or cake ) batter. Stir in the yeast and allow the batter to rest for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the little baking cups in a mini muffin tin and using a cookie scoop dole out the batter.
Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. At this point the tops of the baked uthappams will still be pale, Brush the tops with a bit of oil. Increase the temperature to 400 F and bake for 10 minutes more.
I served up these along with a cup of coffee and a Kumquat-ginger relish.
That recipe will be up in the next post along with another Kumquat recipe which will be a sponsored one by OXO & Melissa's Produce . But here's a heads up.. those green savers are definitely a worthwhile investment. Details coming up!