Aficionados of Andhra restaurants are passionate about pesarattus. The golden, crispy texture and the creamy upma filling make the pesarattu a favorite breakfast item to many. It’s easy to understand the name Pesarattu if you are familiar with Telugu language. You see, moong beans are called Pesara and the other name for dosa is Attu in Telugu. When you put the two together, Pesara + Attu = Pesarattu. When you spell it out loud, the name has a nice lyrical quality to it. It’s a good name.
Pesarattus are mainly three types depending on the moong beans (pesalu).
1. Pesarattu with sprouted moong beans: Super nutritious, supreme in taste and my favorite.
2. Pesarattu with split moong beans: The official pesarattu of Andhra. Excellent taste.
3. Pesarattu with yellow moong dal: Golden in color and good taste.
Depending on the filling, pesarattu can be made to our wish and nutritional needs. Traditionally, upma, ginger pickle and spicy powders are applied to the pesarattu just before the pesarattu is fold over. Or simply, cut onions and few cumin seeds are sprinkled over the pesarattu just before it is removed from the skillet. However, we can also fill them with anything we like. For variety, in recent months, I started experimenting by adding different fillings, for example, some minced herbs like mint, methi or dill, steamed or sautéed vegetables and fruit preserve or honey. There are so many combinations; it is really easy to start your own taste of tradition with pesarattu.
Today’s recipe is with yellow moong dal. Warm, golden hued and in good flavor, topped with cumin seeds, these pesarattus are easy to prepare, make a filling meal for those of us who are on diet and can add some variety to routine weekday fare.
Pesara Bedalu (Yellow Moong Dal)
Pesarattu with Pesara Bedalu:
(for 10 to 12 Pesarattus)
2 cups, yellow moong dal
2 tablespoons, rice (uncooked, any variety will do)
4 green chillies (Indian or Thai variety)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, skin peeled and coarsely chopped
We also need a well-seasoned dosa skillet, quarter cup oil or ghee and a tablespoon of cumin seeds to prepare pesarattu.
1. Clean the dal and rice. Take them in a big vessel and cover with water. Soak for at least six hours. When it is time to prepare pesarattu, pour the soaked the dal and rice over a colander and drain water.
2. Take the soaked dal and rice in a mixer or food processor. Add salt, green chillies and ginger. Blend the ingredients to silky- smooth batter. In between, mix and add about a cup of water for easy blending. Remove to a vessel. This is pesarattu batter.
3. Place a dosa skillet over stovetop. Heat over medium-high heat. Rub the skillet surface lightly with half-cut onion or oil. When the skillet is hot, pour a ladleful of batter and spread it thinly into a circle. Sprinkle half teaspoon oil or ghee, and few pinches of cumin seeds over the pesarattu. As the bottom starts to get red, gently lift up the edges with a spatula and turn to the other side. Cook for couple of seconds and turn it over again. Fold to half and remove to a plate.
4. Serve it right away when it is still hot with some chutney, curry or pickle.
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