The word “peas” in English comes from the Tamil words, pitham (green) and atta (flour).
Pesarattu literally means green flour, which makes sense because that is exactly what this dish consists of.
This healthy South Indian breakfast meal is usually eaten as an accompaniment to rice, but you can also eat it on its own if you prefer.
The crispy flatbreads called dosas are traditionally used to serve pesarattu, but any kind of bread will do.
What Are The Ingredients Needed To Make A Pesarattu Recipe?
There are two main components in this dish: green moong dal and spices.
Moong dal has a mild flavor, so most people opt for using only one variety of lentil to add interest to their dishes.
You could use red lentils instead to change things up, but they won’t have quite the same texture.
- Green moong dal – This legume is commonly found in supermarkets, grocery stores, health food shops, and online.
- It is available year round, though it tends to be more abundant during the winter months due to the colder temperatures.
- Black salt/kala namak – This seasoning is a combination of black pepper, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, carom seeds, and other spices.
- Black salt is widely available at Asian markets and some grocery stores, though it may not be labeled specifically as kala namak.
- Coriander leaves – Freshly picked coriander leaves give your plate a nice peppery taste and provide color and nutrients.
- Chickpeas (dried beans) – These small dried chickpeas are very versatile and can be used in many different dishes.
- They are often added to curries, soups, stews, salads, and side dishes.
- Ginger powder – Ginger adds a nice kick to dishes, especially those containing hot foods like curry, chili peppers, and chillies.
- It also helps digestion after eating spicy food.
- Garlic cloves – Garlic is another staple ingredient in just about every cuisine around the world.
- In India, garlic is considered a vital part of life and is used extensively in both sweet and savory recipes.
- For this reason, it is essential to always include fresh garlic when making Indian dishes like pesarattu.
- Onions – Onions lend a rich flavor to many dishes, including this one.
- Their sweetness complements the earthy flavors of the spices used in this recipe.
- Red chili flakes – Small amounts of these fiery little red peppers add spice without having too much effect on the overall flavor profile.
- Salt – Salt brings out all of the natural flavors in a dish.
- Since this is a salty snack, adding extra salt isn’t necessary.
- However, salt does help balance out the spiciness of the other ingredients.
- Sugar – Sugar brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables and fruits while balancing the heat of the spices.
- If you don’t want to use sugar, try substituting honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup.
- Turmeric powder – Turmeric is a bright yellow root vegetable known for helping to prevent inflammation and fight off infections.
- It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it perfect for treating joint pain and arthritis.
- Turmeric is native to southern Asia, where it was once used as a dye before being discovered by Europeans and brought back to Europe.
What Type Of Chutney Is Served With Pesarattu?
Pesarattu is normally served with a spicy, tangy chutney known as sambhar.
You may have seen this chutney at restaurants serving other dishes like idli batter, rajma and so on.
This thickish, savory soup is often accompanied by steamed rice and some pickles too.
Sambhar powder is a popular ingredient in many curry recipes across India.
Sometimes, sambhar is referred to as saag, which translates into spinach.
However, there is no connection between these two terms whatsoever.
Sambhar is actually a combination of cooked lentils, vegetables, herbs, and spices, while saag refers to fresh greens only.
So relax – the confusion isn’t worth stressing about.
There are several variations of sambhar available in different parts of India.
Some people use red lentils instead of green ones.
If you want to go vegetarian, use split mung beans instead of urad dal.
There are even recipes using potatoes instead of vegetables.
You can try making your own sambhar powder, by adding equal amounts of coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder, ginger paste, garlic cloves, dried chillies, salt, black pepper, and water to a blender jar.
Blend all the ingredients together until they form a fine powder.
Store the mixture in an airtight container.
Alternatively, buy ready-made sambhar powder from grocery stores and spice shops.
What Is The Traditional Method For Preparing A Pesarattu?
Pesarattu is often prepared by grinding fresh green gram lentils into a fine powder, mixing them with water, adding salt, turmeric, and oil, then leaving it overnight to ferment.
In the morning, the batter must be strained through a muslin cloth strainer before frying in hot oil.
If your kitchen isn’t equipped with a straining bag, use two layers of cheesecloth instead.
This prevents small pieces of lentil from getting stuck in the mesh.
Once the batter has been cooked, remove it from the pan immediately so it doesn’t continue cooking.
Once cooled down, cut it into triangles using a knife or pizza cutter, and fry again until golden brown.
You might want to try making pesarattu at home.
You don’t need special equipment to make this simple yet tasty breakfast meal.
All you need is a blender, a bowl, a whisk, some metal tongs, and a large skillet.
Here’s how to prepare pesarattu:
- Put 1 cup of green lentils in the blender along with ½ cup of water and blend until smooth.
- Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 3 tablespoons of yogurt.
- Transfer the blended mixture back into the bowl, add 1½ cups of warm water, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight.
- When you wake up in the morning, strain the batter through a clean muslin cloth strainer, discarding the liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add half a teaspoon of oil, and wait for the oil to get very hot.
- When the oil starts bubbling, pour 2 tablespoons of batter onto the pan, cook until bubbles appear on top, flip it over, and repeat with another 2 tablespoons of batter.
- Repeat steps 4–5 twice more.
How Is Pesarattu Different From Other Dosa Recipes?
There are many variations of how to make pesarattu.
Traditionally, it was cooked by grinding green mung beans into a paste using mortar and pestle.
However, today we have machines that grind our pulses to perfection.
In some areas, especially in Andhra Pradesh, people still use their hands or feet to grind the ingredients before cooking them.
This gives the final product a unique texture and taste.
In fact, there are even videos online showing people making pesarattu in their kitchens!
How to Make Dosa at Home
- Soak your lentils overnight.
- Next morning, drain off water, rinse and place the soaked lentil along with rest of the ingredients under pressure cooker.
- After 15 minutes, open the lid and check if the batter has thickened up enough to be poured onto hot pan.
- If yes, pour out excess batter onto clean dry tray.
- If not, close lid again and cook for another 5-10 minutes until batter thickens.
- Once you see the batter getting thicker, remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Once cooled down, cut into small pieces and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame.
- Place a handful of pesarattu mixture into the hot oil.
- You should hear a crackling sound when you flip it over.
- Cook both sides till golden brown.
- Drain excess oil and store in airtight containers.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pesarattu?
Pesarattu is considered one of the most important dishes in India.
In fact, it is often compared to our famous potato pancake known as chapati.
Both these foods originated in Southern India, where they were originally developed for people who could not digest wheat products well due to some form of digestive disorder.
But there are several more reasons why pesarattu is so popular all over India.
Here are just a few examples of how pesarattu is beneficial to your overall health.
- It contains high amounts of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It helps fight heart disease.
- It boosts immunity.
- It improves brain function.
- It protects against cancer.
- It provides antioxidants.
- It promotes weight loss.
So next time you have leftover roti, add some pesarattu batter instead.
You won’t be disappointed!
What Is The Best Way To Cook The Pesarattu Batter?
You can either use your hands to mix all ingredients together into a thick batter, or you can use a spoon for easier mixing.
I have found both methods work well.
If you decide to go by hand, make sure not to overmix the batter so that it stays light and fluffy.
- Mixing by hand: You need about 1 cup of water along with ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add the water gradually while stirring until it becomes smooth and lump-free.
- Mix in ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds and 2 tablespoons jaggery.
- Then add the remaining dry ingredients one at a time, including the baking powder.
- At first, there may be some lumps, but once everything has been added, gently fold them in until they disappear completely.
- This should take around 5 minutes.
- Using a spoon: Combine all ingredients except the baking soda into a bowl.
- Use a whisk to combine thoroughly.
- When mixed using a whisk, the batter will stay lighter than when done by hand.
- Add the baking soda last and stir quickly before adding more liquid.
- Once all the ingredients are incorporated, continue to stir until no dry bits remain.
Is It Possible To Make Pesarattu Glutenfree?
Pesarattu is a perfect example of how even though we have adopted a Western lifestyle, our food still reflects our heritage.
You see, while most people living in North America would agree that eating grains like wheat and barley is unhealthy for us, they would probably be surprised at how popular these foods were among ancient civilizations such as India.
In fact, many of them considered these flours sacred and highly beneficial to human health – especially when combined with other ingredients.
In addition to being nutritious, pesarattu tastes great too.
That’s why it has been around since time immemorial.
If you want to keep your diet gluten-free, then here are some tips to help you replace those pesky grains with healthier alternatives.
- Use quinoa instead of rice.
- Quinoa is a grain native to Central and South America.
- It also happens to be one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops.
- Unlike rice, quinoa does not require much water to grow, making it ideal for drought conditions.
- Try millet instead of wheat/barley/rice.
- Millet is another ancient crop found all over Africa, Asia, and Europe.
- It is a good source of protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Eat beans instead of meat.
- Beans are high in proteins, minerals, and nutrients, including folate, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, copper, iron, and zinc.
- They are also relatively low in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to red meats.
- Add vegetables into the mix.
- Vegetables add flavor to dishes, and they are also very filling.
- Add veggies to your meals whenever you can so you don’t end up overeating later.
How to Make Peasantatru Gluten Free
To get started, first check out the video below where Chef Manoj reveals his easy steps for cooking pesarattu.
He uses brown basmati rice, but you could use white basmati rice or wild rice instead.
Here are the basic ingredients needed for the pesarattu batter:
- 1 cup raw moong dal (moong dal is a small black lentil)
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
You may need to adjust the amounts depending on whether you plan to make more than one batch of pesarattu.
For instance, 1 cup of Moong Dals equals about ½ cups cooked rice.
What Are The Variations Of Pesarattu Recipes?
Pesarattu is one of those dishes that has many different versions, depending on where you live.
A typical pesarattu recipe might have a few ingredients like urad dal, Bengal gram, coriander leaves, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chillies, turmeric powder, salt, mustard oil, fenugreek leaves, etc., but there are many more things that go into making pesarattu.
Here are some popular variants of pesarattu recipes that you may find around your neighborhood.
- In Karnataka, they use red lentils instead of Bengal gram, along with a little bit of coconut milk, jaggery and cardamom powder.
- People in Andhra Pradesh use black gram for this dish, while people in Kerala add tamarind paste and kokum rind to give it a sour taste.
- Some people add fried peanuts to their pesarattu, whereas others don’t.
- They say adding nuts gives it a nice crunchy texture.
- Some even fry them first before using them in pesarattu.
- You could try frying up some dried chickpeas too, just be sure not to over-fry them.
- If you want to switch up the flavors, why not try experimenting with these other varieties of pesarattu recipes?
How Long Does It
It takes about half an hour for the pesarattu batter to be ready enough to be cooked.
You don’t have to worry that your batter won’t hold up while cooking because they’re very thick.
You can make pesarattu ahead of time and then cook them when you’re ready to eat.
For The Batter
- ½ cup whole moong beans
- 2 tablespoons rice optional
- water for soaking
- ½ cup water for blending
- 1 inch ginger chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 green chilli chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
- 1 pinch asafoetida hing
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- salt as required
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- ¼ to ⅓ cup onions finely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped
- oil as required
- upma as required
- coconut chutney as required
- Coriander Chutney as required
- ginger chutney as required
- Pick and rinse the moong beans and rice first.
- Then soak the moong beans and rice in enough water for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- In a grinder jar, combine the moong beans and rice with the ginger, green chilies, asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander leaves, and salt.
- Blend in the water to make a smooth batter.
- Place the batter in a bowl or frying pan.
- The batter should have the consistency of a regular dosa batter.
- Spread a little oil or ghee on a griddle or flat pan with paper towels.
- Pour the pesarattu batter onto the griddle with a ladle and spread the batter into a round shape with the same spoon.
- Drizzle some oil on the pesarattu dosa’s sides and in the center.
- Finely chop the onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves.
- Press these down with the spatula so that they adhere to the cooking batter.
- Cook both sides several times until crisp and browned.
- With upma and coconut chutney, serve the moong dal dosa or pesarattu hot.