Pesarattu or green gram lentil crepe is a delicacy from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. It is usually served for breakfast along with ginger chutney. Some restaurants serve a variation of this crepe called MLA pesarattu with a savory semolina pudding or rava upma filling. The name MLA pesarattu comes from MLA housing cafeteria where this dish was first served. Apparently a chef at the cafeteria came up with this filling breakfast for Members of the Legislative Assembly(MLAs) to keep them going till their lunch break.
Pesarattu is quite easy to make compared to dosa, a rice based crepe because it doesn’t require fermentation. For a simpler version of this crepe, you can mix some finely chopped onions and cilantro into the batter and leave out the upma. This recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s “Cook and See” part 2 is simple, nutritious and delicious.
Ingredients for Pesarattu
2 cups green moong dal/green gram lentils
1/4 cup rice
4 Thai green chilies
1 one inch piece ginger, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Ingredients for upma
1 cup semolina/rava
2 cups water
2 teaspoons oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
5 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon split black gram/urad dal
2 Thai green chilies, minced
1 teaspoon Bengal gram/channa dal
1/4 teaspoon powdered asafetida
1. Soak green gram lentils and rice in water overnight or for at least 4 hours.
2. Drain the water and grind the lentils and rice along with green chilies and ginger to a coarse paste. Do not add too much water. The batter should not be too runny. Add finely chopped onions and cilantro to the batter and mix well.
3. To make upma, heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add black gram and Bengal gram, cook for a minute till the lentils turn red. Add curry leaves and powdered asafetida, cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add finely chopped onions and green chilies, cook till onions turn soft.
5. Add water and bring it to a boil.
6. Add semolina and salt. Stir continuously to avoid lumps.
7. Cover and simmer for 5minutes or until the all the water has been absorbed and the upma is completely cooked. Set it aside.
8.Place a griddle over medium heat and when its hot, pour 1/3 cup of prepared green gram lentil batter and spread it into a circle. Add a teaspoon of oil.
9. Cover the griddle with a tight-fitting lid and let the pesarattu cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
10. Remove the lid, the edges should been brown and and the top should be completely cooked. If not, cook for another 2-3 minutes.
11. Place about 1/4 cup of upma in the center and fold the pesarattu. Serve hot with chutney.