Sarojini and Rao's
South Indian
Cooking Lessons

Lesson 2:

In today's lesson we give recipes for making two South Indian favourites ; one is PESARATTU, wholemeal pancake made of whole Mung, and the other UPMA, some sort of vegetables and cream of wheat pudding. Both can be eaten together as is done in Andhra Pradesh in South India, or can be taken individually. We are also giving here the recipe for making sweet and spicy GINGER CHUTNEY which goes well with both Pesarattu and Upma.


1 Cup ( about 250 ml ) whole MOONG
1 table spoon rice
2 onions
4 green chilies
About 1 in. long ginger piece
2 teaspoons cummin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sun flower oil

The above measures will give you about 4 Pesarattus


Add 1 tablespoon rice to 1 cup of whole Moong and soak the mixture in water for 24 hours. Then remove the water and add 1 chopped onion , 4 green chilies , ginger piece , one tea spoon cumin seeds and the salt with a little water. Grind the mixture to a smooth paste. Chop the remaining onion into small pieces, mix the cummin seeds ( If your taste buds want it a little hot, chop one or two chilies into small pieces and add these also to the onion cumin seed combination) . Keep this aside.

Keep the frying pan on medium heat and grease it with little oil. Pour half of paste on it and spread it into a thin round layer like a pan cake and drizzle 1 tea spoon of oil around the edges of Pesarattu. Sprinkle small quantity of chopped onions, cummin seeds and green chilies on the Pesarattu. Cook until the edges become brown. Then flip the Pesarattu over and sprinkle 1 tea spoon of oil over the edges. Cook it for a minute , keeping a watch that it does not get charred. Remove from the pan, and your Pesarattu is ready for eating. Sprinkle a little water on the pan and use the same proceedure for making your next Pesarattu. Serve it hot with Upma and Ginger chutney.



1 cup cream of wheat
2 cups water
1 teaspoon chena dal
1 teaspoon Urad dal
1\4 spoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon oil
2 green chilies
Small piece of ginger
Half a dozen curry leaves ( available in Indian shops)
3\4 teaspoon salt
Carrots cut into small pieces
Fresh peas
1 chopped onion
1 tablespoon of salt free butter


Heat the oil in a suace pan. Add chena dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and heat on a low fire. When the dals become light brown and the mustard seeds crack up, add the green chilis after cutting them into small pieces, chopped ginger, onion pieces and curry leaves. When the onions are cooked soft, add the other cut vegitables like peas and carrots. Add 2 cups of water and salt.

When water starts boiling add one cup of cream of wheat continuously stirring. Then add one table spoon of butter. Reduce the heat and cook till it becomes a soft pudding. Remove from fire and keep it for 5 minutes. Your Upma is ready for serving. Eat it with ginger chutney or any other chutney or pickle. You may add a little lemon juice, if you like . It adds to the taste of the Upma.



1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1\4 cup grated jagary
2 tablespoons chena dal
1 tablespoon urad dal
5 red chilies
1\2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamarind paste ( Tamcon)
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil


Fry chena dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, red chilies and asafoetida in 1 tablespoon oil. Fry till the dals become brown and the mustard seed split. Wait till the mixture becomes lukeworm. Then add salt and grind the mixer into a powder. Add chopped ginger, grated jaggery, tamarind paste and water and grind again to a thick paste. Your ginger chutney is ready.

Eat Pesarattu and Upma with this chutney. In all the recipes add salt and chilies to suit your taste The quantities given here are for one or two persons. For larger numbers increase quantities proportionately.

Sarojini and Rao

Posted by: Ashok Erramilli

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