Recipe: Pesarattu (పెసరట్టు)

Pesarattu (పెసరట్టు) is a crepe-like pancake from Andhra, a state in South India. It is made from whole green moong dal, called pesalu in Telugu language and lü dou / lv dou (绿豆) in Chinese. The dish is gluten free and very healthy. It is very similar to dosa in shape but different in way of making. First, dosa uses urad dal and pesarattu uses moong dal. Second, dosa uses a lot of rice, more rice than dal, and the proportion of rice:dal is 4:1 or 3:1. Pesarattu doesn’t even need to have rice in it, and if it does have rice, it has very little. Third, dosa is fermented, and pesarattu is not. Pesarattu is also a lot easier than dosa because it doesn’t use fermentation. There are also some other differences, like pesarattu having ginger, chilies, and cumin in the batter while dosa doesn’t.

There is also a faster version using split and peeled moong dal. You can find it on Swasthi’s Recipes, where I adapted this recipe from. It’s called “Instant Pesarattu”.

Pesarattu is served with allam pachadi, a chutney/pickle made from ginger. I will post a recipe for both the regular way and the “instant” way. It can also be served with coconut chutney (I have the recipe in the blog already), or many other chutneys, like cilantro chutney, etc.

Pesarattu is also often served with upma. I did not serve it with upma this time, but you are welcome to do so.

Adapted from Swasthi’s Recipes (Check out the website for healthy South India cuisine recipes :))

Makes: about 7 (serves about 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 cup whole unpeeled green moong dal (also called mung beans)

if using rice: 1/4 cup white rice (optional)

water

3/4 inch ginger (optional but traditional)

2-3 green chilies (I skip for non-spicy version, but traditional)

1/2 to 1 tsp cumin seeds (optional, but traditional)

small handful cilantro, 1/4 cup (optional)

1/2 tsp salt (I used 1/4 tsp for lower sodium)

an onion, chopped finely

oil

Directions:

1. Wash and soak dal preferably 4-6 hours. I soaked overnight, 8 hours, which is too much. If you only soak a short time, the pesarattu is more crispy. But if you can’t, then just soak overnight. (If using rice, soak along with the dal!)

2. Drain the dal, add to a powerful blender. Add all of the other ingredients except onion, oil, and water. Now, to add water, just add just to cover the dal. (I use the soaking liquid) Don’t add more or less. That is the perfect amount of water.

3. Blend very smooth. In my Blendtec, I use 50 seconds on high. The Blendtec is VERY POWERFUL! I think that if your blender isn’t powerful enough, you shouldn’t make this dish.

4. Pour everything into a bowl. Take a ladle that can hold about 1/4 cup or so.

5. Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and stir-fry. You can also add 2 green chilies, chopped for more spiciness. When onion is translucent and lightly browned, transfer to a bowl.

6. For making pesarattu or dosa, you need a seasoned pan or nonstick pan. Using a nonstick pan is poisonous, so I don’t use it. I use a Staub enameled pan. Cast iron is the best material for dosa making. Heat the pan until very hot (that’s why nonstick is poisonous).

7. Add 1 drop of oil and spread very evenly over the surface of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat.

8. Now take the ladle and add a heaping ladle or so of batter in the center. Then, use the back of the ladle, slowly forming circles from the center, spreading the batter into about 8 inches diameter circle. Maybe watch a video of dosa making if you don’t understand.

9. Your first pesarattu may be not shaped well. Don’t worry! The later ones will be better. Now, see the edges. When they are brown, flip it over. But meanwhile add a few small drops of oil on the sides of the pesarattu.

10. Flip! See if it is brown enough (look at a picture). If it isn’t, cook more less time. If it’s burnt, cook less next time. Now cook until this side is brown enough. Flip again.

11. Now lower to medium-low heat (if the side wasn’t brown enough, use a higher heat). At this point, I spread a spoonful of allam pachadi or a chutney on top evenly, then sprinkle about 2 spoonfuls of cooked onion. Then I fold it in half and take it out of the pan. You can also put upma on it. The masala dosa potato filling would also be very delicious.

12. Serve! You can enjoy with sambar, rasam, or neither. This is traditionally a breakfast food, but would also be good for lunch. About 2 pesarattu serves 1 person. Enjoy!

I usually cook 1 pesarattu, then make the next one while eating the first one or give to someone to eat. That’s the best way. 🙂

Allam pachadi recipe coming soon.

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