Written By Anika Goyal (Grade 5)
People all over the world enjoy a variety of dishes. I am a North Indian, so one would assume that parantha, pulao or aloo puri may be some of my favourites. But my favourite dish is Uttapam, which is more common in South India. The main ingredients used in Uttapam are suji, yoghurt and water in North India whereas in South India, Uttapam is prepared using rice and urad dal batter which is also used for making idli and dosa.
Uttapam is quite similar to dosa but it is a bit thicker and fluffier and is usually topped with vegetables. In contrast, dosa has vegetable fillings, mainly potato, inside it. Uttapam existed before dosa, around the first century CE. Uttapam is the most popular in Tamil Nadu. After India’s Independence, it reached North India and the rest of the world. Uttapam is an extremely lip-smacking dish. My mother makes it very often with simple vegetables like onion, tomato, carrot and capsicum. I usually like it with ketchup but sometimes, I have it with green chutney. You can add any vegetable you want in uttapams and you can put your own creativity in its size, shape, toppings or anything that comes to your mind! For instance, you can make a normal uttapam with vegetables and make two eyes and a smile on it with ketchup or some chutney (never add pineapples!) If my mom asks me what I want to have as a snack, the word uttapam comes out of my mouth faster than a rocket. Whenever my mother says, “We’re having uttapam for breakfast,” a glistening smile comes on my face. Some of the famous eateries in Delhi where Uttapam is served are Naivedyam, Chattynadu and Sagar Ratna. Try out these places and you’ll soon know what I mean when I say their uttapam is ‘the best’.
As a four-year-old, I used to dislike Uttapam. I didn’t like the vegetables my mother put on it and I avoided it for three years straight. However, after I turned seven, my mother insisted I try it again. She gave me a full Uttapam, sure that I would make a huge fuss over it. But to her utter astonishment, I gobbled up the whole of it. It was so scrumptious that I pleaded for another one. After eating to my heart’s content, I felt that I was such a crazy person to avoid it when I was little. That’s the head-spinning story behind Uttapam’s friendship with me.
Featured Image Courtesy – Chef Kunal Kapur