Oothapam or uttapam is generally made with fermented rice and urad dal batter, most of the times using the idli dosa batter that is made in bulk in almost every family in south India.
In the north, people do all sorts of short cuts to make uttapams like making an instant batter of soaked semolina in buttermilk or dahi or even bread slices soaked in buttermilk to make uttapams. I used to make the semolina (sooji) uttapam earlier sometimes whenever there was excess sour dahi or buttermilk to use up. Slowly I converter that recipe to use daliya or broken wheat and have never looked back.
This recipe needs an overnight soak and you can slow cook the uttapam in the morning while you finish your morning chores or workouts.
daliya or broken wheat 3/4 cup , soaked in a cup of buttermilk ( done in the previous night n kept in the fridge)
Onions chopped 1/2 cup
Curry patta chopped finely 1 tbsp
Green chillies chopped 2 tbsp
Ginger chopped 1 tbsp
( all the chopping done in the previous night and kept in the fridge in an airtight wide container so that you can proceed in the morning in the same container) besan or chickpea flour 1/2 cup or more
Besan 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder 1 tbsp or more
Ghee or oil to fry the cheelas ( 1.5 tsp for each one)
At the time of preparing the uttapam, mix all the ingredients, except ghee, to make a thick batter.
Heat a heavy bottomed tawa or flat bottom griddle on medium flame, smear 3/4 tsp ghee on it and pour 2 ladlefuls of the batter on it ( 2-3 ladlefuls, as big you want for yourself) and spread a thick layer of it. You can sprinkle a little bit of chopped onions over the griddle before pouring the batter if you wish, the caramelised onions on the base taste really good.
Now cover it with a dome lid, lower the flame to minimum and leave it for 5-8 minutes, depending on how thick the griddle is and how big an uttapam you are making.
You could actually go take a quick shower if it’s a big uttapam and you trust your cast iron griddle with thick base.
I usually serve it with coconut chutney or tomato peanut chutney that comes out of the fridge. The chutneys can always be made for a week to last.
For coconut chutney you can grind 1 grated fresh coconut with either 1/2 cup raw mango or 3-4 amlas or 1 tbsp lime juice and lots of green chillies and some garlic.
To make tomato peanut chutney, chop 2 big tomatoes in halves and cook them on a hot griddle or Kadhai (after cooking something else) briefly till they are soft. Cool and grind them with 2 tsp of roasted or soaked peanuts, 2 fat cloves of garlic and 2-3 whole red chillies and salt to taste. No need to add any water to it as the tomatoes are quite watery.
( you get the lycopene of tomatoes after cooking them and it is absorbed in the presence of fat, here coming from peanuts. Also, the liberal use of curry patta ensures you are sticking to your wt. loss goal as it is considered to help in it when used in liberal quantity...besides giving all it's Vitamins and minerals..)