Over time it’s important to learn fundamental foods such as chili, the perfect burger, dal, aloo dum, etc. From the the South Indian cannon I’d add sambhar and uttapams among other items to that list. Sometimes though, convenience wins the day.
These Gits mixes, on sale for only $0.99, require little prep and a just a few veggies often already on hand. Both the uttapam and sambhar mixes feature no gluten ingredients. Be sure to check this with other brands as many will sneak in wheat.
Sambhar is a brothy, hot and sour lentil and vegetable soup often served in conjunction with uttapam, dosas or idlis. Uttapams are rice and lentil based savory pancakes. The flavor is akin to a dosa with it’s pleasant sourdough after taste. They’re often studded with chopped tomato, cilantro, chillies and onion.
The preparation was quite simple. First the sambhar mix, 2 chopped medium tomatoes and 40 oz of water (5 cups) are added into a pot and simmered for about 20 minutes. (The package gives a range of 20-30 depending on desired consistency).
Open the uttapam into a bowl and mix with the suggested amount of water +10%. Let it rest about 5 minutes. In the meantime chop another medium tomato, a handful of cilantro and onion into small pieces. Add a little oil to a pan and turn to medium low. Ladle out the first uttapam. Quickly add in some chopped tomato, cilantro and onion to the side facing up. We made ours into roughly 4 inch diameters. Each side cooked for around 3 minutes. Just like with pancakes, the first one took the longest, the rest about 1 minute less. And just like pancakes it’s ready to be flip when it begins to bubble and curl up a little on the edges. We went to just shy of golden brown. This pack yielded 8 pancakes.
I’m very happy with the product. It’s a light breakfast or lunch but very tasty. How they got that level of sour in the sambhar without the use of black magic is unclear but it will make you smile. Note1: The spice will sneak up on you. Note2: The only suggestion is to let the batter for the uttapam thicken for around 5 minutes otherwise you might wonder why it’s so thin. (That’s not written on the box). Note3: It bears repeating that other brands sell uttapam mixes but this one mentions no glutinous ingredients. Enjoy. And happy convenience eating. They can be purchased an Indo-Pak stores everywhere. These were from Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights Queens.