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What Is Pesarattu?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2016
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Pesarattu is a traditional Indian flat bread made from a moong dal, or mung bean, batter. Originating in India's Andhra Pradesh state, pesarattu is a popular breakfast and snack food both in India at large and globally wherever Indian food is enjoyed. These flatbreads are similar in appearance and presentation to dosa, another Andhra cuisine standard, but are made with a batter that contains no rice or lentils. The moong dal used to make the batter are typically soaked overnight to soften, and then ground into a fine batter which is fried pancake-style in a pan with a little oil. Depending on individual tastes, other ingredients may be added to the batter, including cumin seeds and chilies, with the finished flatbread usually served hot or cold with ginger chutney or upma.

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The ubiquitous flatbread is a perennial favorite on the national cuisine lists of a host of nations across the globe. In India's Andhra state, the pesarattu is one flatbread variety that enjoys considerable popularity as a breakfast and snack food. Prepared from a batter made from finely ground moong dal, the healthy and quick-to-make pesarattu has also found favor with fans of Indian cooking worldwide. Moong dal, or mung beans, and green gram as they are also known, are the seeds of the Vigna radiata and are used in a wide variety of Indian dishes. These include the equally popular dosa, another flatbread dish made from moong dal batter with the addition of rice and black lentils.

The batter used to make pesarattu is prepared by first soaking the moong dal beans in water for approximately eight hours. This is typically done overnight to soften the beans, and often any other batter ingredients, for preparation in the morning. These additional ingredients may include green chilies, ginger, cumin seeds, and onions. Once soft, the batter is prepared by grinding all of the ingredients, along with a little water and salt, into a smooth paste.

The pesarattu batter is then poured into a heated pan in a circular pattern. A small quantity of oil is added to the pan along the edge of the batter. Chopped onions, ginger, and chilies may be sprinkled over the batter at this point. Once browned and crisp underneath, the flatbread is turned over, garnished, and more oil is added along is edges. When crisp and cooked through, it is removed from the pan and may be served hot or cold. Traditionally, these flatbreads are served with a filling of upma and a side dish of ginger chutney.

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