Washington D.C. is home to a wealth of beloved restaurants, but Rasika stands out for its longevity and popularity. The modern Indian eatery takes classic preparations and modernizes them using local, seasonal produce. The ambiance, service and beverage program have all contributed to Rasika’s long reign as one of the Capitol’s favorites. Ready to learn how to make rice and dal pancakes? 

This thick, topped pancake is made from a fermented batter of rice and dal. It is a popular southern dish, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where people eat it for breakfast or with afternoon tea. Chopped onions and tomatoes are a common topping that we sometimes add at Rasika. We’ve also made uttapam with fava beans when in season and asparagus, as we have here.

You need to prepare a bit in advance to make this dish. The rice and urad dal need to soak overnight and then the batter you make from them needs to ferment overnight. Fermenting the batter makes the flavor profile more interesting by virtue of the sourness, as with sourdough bread.

You drizzle oil around the outside edge of the pancake while it’s cooking to keep it moist and to achieve a nice golden color.

It’s best to make uttapam when you want to eat it, although I can’t say it’s exactly bad if you were to reheat leftovers.

Reprinted with permission from Rasika