I found a new favorite breakfast item today in Trader Joe’s uttapam with coconut chutney. Some people might not want to eat these delicious little Indian pancakes for breakfast, but they are a perfectly acceptable meal for lunch or dinner (or a snack) as well. I happen to really enjoy them for breakfast, but I did grow up eating rice and fish for breakfast in Southeast Asia. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy an omelet or a pancake now and then though. Mmm…French toast too. I’m getting off topic here. Back to the uttapam!
A little bit about uttapam: Uttapam are oftened referred to as Indian syle pizza. However, I prefer to compare it to a pancake as opposed to a pizza because the dough is more spongy. Naan would be more suited for Indian pizza (in my opinion). The uttapam dough is made from fermented rice and black lentils, then topped with vegetables. Also, a little fyi, uttapam are gluten free and vegan.
Trader Joe’s has an amazing selection of frozen food, particularly Indian food. Their samosas as well as their palak paneer and their garlic naan (shall I go on?) are some of the best frozen Indian food I’ve ever had, and I live right next door to a pretty large Indian and Asian food market. So, when I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s uttapam with coconut chutney, I immediately decided I had to buy it and try it. This morning, I pulled out one of the four frozen uttapam from the package and zapped it in the microwave for 1 minute, 30 seconds. The package says to microwave for 45 seconds, but it was still frozen in the center after 45 seconds so I zapped it for another 45 and that seemed to do the trick. You can also cook these on top of the stove, but I never have time for that in the morning. The kitchen smelled wonderful as the uttapam cooked. After microwaving the chutney for 20 seconds (again, longer than the package recommends. Maybe I need a new microwave?) I spooned some over the uttapam and dug in.
Immediately, you notice the texture and taste of the bread itself. It’s tangy and spongy (in a good way). The taste reminds me of the Ethiopian Injera flatbread I order at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Makeda, in New Brunswick. The uttapam are topped with a savory mixture of onions, green bell peppers and cilantro. The coconut chutney is a nice addition. It’s tangy with just a hint of sweetness from the coconut and a bit of spice from some chiles.
It was the perfect breakfast this morning.
You can also get creative with the toppings. I like this guy’s idea of topping the uttapam with a fried egg. Totally going to try that this weekend.