Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular around the world, with South India’s uttapam serving as a delicious example. In a recent viral video, a London-based chef prepared this traditional Indian dish as part of a global exploration of plant-based foods. Uttapam, like idli and dosa, is made with a fermented batter of rice and lentils, which improves digestibility and nutrient absorption, making it one of South India’s healthiest breakfasts. Unlike idli’s steamed trays or dosa’s thin pan preparation, uttapam is a fluffy pancake fried to perfection and topped with aromatic ingredients such as onions, chillies, tomatoes, and coriander. This breakfast delicacy can be served with fresh coriander chutney or topped with Milagai Podi, an explosive condiment.
During a recent cooking session, the chef demonstrated a popular South Indian dish. He began by soaking and washing the rice before grinding it into a smooth batter with a mixer. Following the same procedure as with Urad Dal, he emphasised the importance of maintaining smooth consistency. After combining the two pastes, he added salt, hand-mixed the batter, and left it to ferment for a few hours.
He finely chopped onions, tomatoes, chilies, and coriander and mixed them with salt to make the topping. To cook, he brushed oil into a hot pan and poured the batter, then added the prepared toppings. He skillfully flipped it until both sides were a golden brown colour. After removing it from the pan, he sprinkled Milagai Podi (gunpowder) for an “explosive flavour.” Served hot, the Uttapam was a flavorful and satisfying meal. The chef recommends serving it with fresh coriander chutney.
The video has gone viral, and viewers are impressed with the UK chef’s abilities.
- One user said, “Bro cooks better Indian food than Indians.”
- One “proud” reader commented, “I’m a South Indian (Tamil Nadu), and whoever taught you how to make the batter did a pretty good job, and I’m so proud of you for making it from scratch.”
- “Perfect—from a South Indian,” another commenter wrote.
- Someone praised, “He made perfect uttapam, which most of us Indians can’t do,” and another agreed, saying, “The Indian in me is super happy.”