Simple Savoury Chilli, Tomato & Coriander Pancakes (Uttapams)


Are you (like us) in a bit of a Saturday lunch rut churning out the standard sad looking lacklustre sandwich? And in my world, serving lunch must be served at the greatest of speed in order that the kids (who have ravenous from all their different activities) don’t end up filling themselves on foods with no nutritional value whatsoever (Mum guilt again)!

Plus if you have an aversion to sandwiches like me (honestly way too boring to class as a good meal), I never feel quite satisfied with my Saturday afternoon lunch.

Recently, I’ve decided to change things up and whip up some of these savoury pancakes. The idea of pancakes for lunch got the kids super excited and even the clarification that they were in fact ‘savoury’ pancakes and therefore wouldn’t be served with the obligatory accompaniment of honey or berries, didn’t seem to dampen their sprits. I failed to mention the generous amount of vegetables I planned to include!

And that’s the great thing about these pancakes – I have named mine Chilli, Tomato and Coriander pancakes but that’s because that is my favourite combination. Essentially, (and this is the best thing about this recipe) is that it allows you to use up any leftover veggies that you may have kicking around. Just chop them up finely, throw them in and away you go!

I’ve included ideas for other vegetables you can use below, but essentially its any cooked vegetable that doesn’t have a high water content…. i.e. I wouldn’t recommend using cucumber or courgette.

The pancakes come out lovely and crispy and kids love them (even with the veg)! Chillies are optional for the kids of course! And its definitely made Saturday lunch times a lot more interesting!

Enjoy…. And let me know how you like them!

Vegetable List
Cooked sweetcorn or peas
Peppers – any colour is fine
Onions of any type
Grated carrots
Cooked Beetroot
Cooked potato or sweet potato (finely sliced or chopped)

Ingredients (Makes 5-6 pancakes) 

For the pancake batter
100g fine semolina
50g gram flour (ground chickpea flour)
50g plain yogurt
150-200ml water
1 tsp salt
3 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp baking soda
Light oil (for greasing pan)

For the filling (all optional)
½ medium red onion, very finely chopped
1 small tomato, deseeded, liquid removed and very finely chopped
½ red pepper, very finely chopped
1 red chilli, very finely chopped (this can be left out completely)
2 tbsp’s coriander, stalks chopped finely, leaves roughly chopped


  1. Mix together the semolina, gram flour, plain yogurt and 150ml of water in a bowl. Stir well until there are no lumps remaining. The consistency should be around a pancake batter consistency. Leave to rest for 20-30 mins.
  2. While the batter is resting, prepare your vegetables as noted in the recipe.
  3. After 20-30 mins, stir the batter – you should see that it has thickened in consistency. Add the onion, pepper, tomato, coriander and chilli (if using) and stir through. Now add the salt and enough water to make a thick pancake batter (the batter should be slightly thicker then pouring consistency).
  4. Just before you are ready to fry the pancakes, add the lemon and baking soda at the same time and whisk through quickly. You should see the baking soda creating bubbles through the batter and this should provide light pancakes.
  5. Heat a frying pan with a little oil. When the oil is hot, spread evenly around the pan using a brush. Add ¾ of a large ladle of batter to the oil, using the ladle to draw out a circle. Ensure the pancake is not too thick.
  6. Place a lid on the pan for 30 seconds to allow the pancake to cook through.
  7. When the base is light brown, flip the pancake over carefully and allow to cook on the other side for a few mins until the pancake is golden. You can also flip the pancake a few times for even cooking.
  8. Place in a warming oven and repeat until your batter is complete.
  9. Serve warm with a chutney or spiced dahl.