When I went to my friend Annapurna’s home last year, she treated me to a plate of hot, straight-from-the-tava pesarattu, a popular breakfast item from Andhra Pradesh. It was absolutely delicious. The sweet and spicy chutney she had made, perfectly complemented the earthy taste of moong and rice. I had never made pesarattu nor this tomato-peanut chutney. Eating it right at my Andhra friend’s kitchen was a delightful experience.
If you have never made Pesarattu, I urge you to try it for a weekend brunch. It is nutritious and tasty. Green moong dal is packed with protein in its raw form, an essential part of a vegetarian diet. How often do we eat that? And if you are making pesarattu, why not make this chutney also? It is one of the best chutneys I have had and I think pesarattu tastes better with this chutney than even ginger pickle, pesarattu’s traditional accompaniment. Pesarattu is overall, an uncomplicated dosa. The batter doesn’t have to have that superfine texture and doesn’t require any fermentation. All you need is a few basic ingredients and a tava/griddle.
Here is Pesarattu and Tomato-peanut chutney recipes with many thanks to my friend Annapurna.
2 cups split green moong dal with husk (picture shown)
¼ cup rice (Rice makes it a bit taut and crispy)
1.5 tea spoon cumin seeds/jeera
¾ tea spoon salt
½ tea spoon grated ginger
2-3 small green chilies, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
A few tea spoons ghee or oil
2 table spoons chopped cilantro/hara dhaniya/leela dhaNa
Note: I sprinkled chopped onions on the Pesarattu as soon as the batter was spread on the tava.This works if everyone doesn’t want onions. If you are going to use onions on all the pessarttus, I suggest that you chop the onions very finely and mix it with the pesarattu batter itself.
To make the batter:
Wash moong dal and rice together with water and soak in 4-5 cups of water for about 3 hours. Drain all the water and add chopped green chilies, ginger and salt. Grind the mixture until it is almost smooth, i.e. leave it a bit coarse. You will need to add about 1 cup of water while grinding the mixture. Add 2 table spoons of chopped cilantro and mix well. The batter should have the pouring consistency similar to that of dosa.
To make the pesarattus:
Heat the griddle/tave on high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-high. Take a ladleful of batter and spread it thin on the tava like a dosa. Immediately sprinkle a table spoon of chopped onion on the pesarattu. Put a few drops of oil or ghee along the edge of the Pesarattu. After about 30 seconds, fold the pesarattu in half and eat with a chutney of your choice.
3 medium size tomatoes cut into big pieces
2 table spoon roated peanuts
6-8 green chilies
tamarind water or ¼ tea spoon tamarind paste
(To make tamarind water, soak a small lemon size ball of tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes, softly crush it with your fingers and extract the water. Throw away the pulp.)
1 table spoon cumin seeds/jeera
a few curry leaves/mitho limdo
1 inch piece jaggery/gud/goL
1 tea spoon salt
For vaghar: 1 tea spoon of oil, ½ tea spoon mustard seeds, ½ tea spoon urad dal, 2 red chilies and a few curry leaves.
- Heat 1 tea spoon oil in a small pan and do a tadka/vaghar with cumin seeds, green chilies and curry leaves.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are mushy (about 8 minutes). Let the mixture cool a bit.
- Grind tomatoes along with salt, jaggery and peanuts into a slightly coarse paste.
- Empty the paste into a bowl.
Heat oil in a small pan and do a tadka/vaghar with mustard seeds, urad dal (optional), red chilies, and a few curry leaves. Pour this vaghar on chutney.