Seasonal Special - Okra Uttapam with Cranberry Chutney

Posted by Sundari Dasi on

One of the seasonal specialties I make every year around this time! Fall brings in some special flavors and colors. Enjoy another Ayurveda-inspired recipe, as the weather changes with cold and dry qualities. It's time for some warmth and spiced up recipes to be curated in the kitchen. Also, don't forget, regular Abhyanga (self-oil massage) will help you get through the season without aggravating too much Vata where joints pop, and skin cracks. Oleation holds a prime importance in Ritucharya. It creates a strong barrier between your body and the weather to prevent excessive dryness and to maintain body temperature and moisture. The choice of oil depends on one's Prakriti (Ayurvedic bodily constitution) and present Vikriti (current imbalances). Based on your mind and body constitution, an Ayurvedic practitioner will suggest the best way to incorporate these Ayurvedic seasonal rituals.

Now, let's dive into the recipe!

Mixed Millet Okra Uttappam with Cranberry Chutney

Cranberries, although berries cannot be eaten raw as they are quite hard and very tart in taste. They are meant to be made into sauces, chutneys, and jams. Due to their sour taste, they have a warming, cleansing effect on the body.

This unique Uttappam is topped with healthy ingredients like okra, broccoli, sliced cranberries, fresh curry leaves (when available), and freshly grated coconut. It's the perfect blend of spices, making it an ideal fall recipe. And yes, now is the time to welcome some hot chili peppers into our kitchen, but not too many!

Ingredients for the Mixed Millet Batter:

  • 2 cups of urad dal
  • 1.5 cups of hand-pounded Sona Masuri rice/regular Sona Masuri rice/Dili rice
  • 1 cup of whole-grain finger millet (Ragi)
  • 1/2 cup whole foxtail millet
  • 1/2 cup whole grain sorghum
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Step 1: Wash and rinse the urad dal well until the water is semi-clear (about 5 times). Soak it in water, add 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds, and cover it with a lid for 8 hours.

Step 2: Put all the millets and rice in another bowl, rinse and wash until the water is semi-clear. Now soak it in water with a closed lid for 8 hours.

Step 3: After 8 hours of soaking, strain away the soaked water, making sure not to lose the fenugreek seeds. Blend this into a creamy paste by adding 2.5 cups of water. Pour it into a large bowl or pot. Also, blend the millet and rice together with less water to create a semi-coarse batter. Keep the batter thick, not thin and runny. You may need to add a little more or less water based on your grinder's strength to achieve the desired texture. Make sure it's a thick consistency batter.

Step 4: Pour both batters into one bowl and mix well. Cover it with a lid and let it ferment for 10-12 hours. Fermenting will cause the batter to rise, so ensure that the bowl or pot you're using is filled about 3/4 or a bit less to allow room for the batter to rise.

Ingredients for the Seasonal Special Cranberry Chutney:

  • 3/4 cup of raw peanuts/almonds
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 freshly grated ginger
  • 1.5 tbsp unrefined sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

After 12 hours of batter fermentation, you can make the chutney.

Step 1: In a medium-sized skillet, heat the sesame oil, add the cumin seeds, wait for 5 seconds, then add the peanuts. Sauté for 20 seconds, now add coriander seeds and sauté for 5 seconds. Add the fresh cranberries and ginger. Mix and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes. Then add Kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Mix and cover with a lid, letting it cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down. Now, add it to the blender and add 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth and creamy. Chutneys taste best when you add a fresh tempering with curry leaves.

Ingredients for Tempering:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 thin slices of Serrano peppers
  • 8-10 fresh curry leaves

Tempering Procedure: Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds, wait until they crackle, add the peppers, and wait for 5 seconds. Turn off the heat and add the fresh curry leaves. Now, add this tempering to the chutney and give it a gentle stir.

Get ready to make the Uttapams.

Open the lid of the fermented batter, add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 cup of water. Give it a thorough mix and set it aside.

Prepare the Toppings:

  • Slice 10 okras into thin slices.
  • Slice a few cranberries and broccoli.
  • Prepare some fresh coconut and curry leaves, as shown in the image.

Place the dosa pan on heat, drizzle it with some ghee, and wipe off any excess with a clean kitchen cloth. Now, add one ladle full of batter. Quickly top it with slices of okra, broccoli, curry leaves, and some coconut. Drizzle 2 tsp of ghee around and on top of the Uttapam. Cover it with a lid. Once the surface looks cooked, and the veggies appear slightly steamed (this will take about 2-3 minutes only and should be on low heat), slowly flip the Uttapam using a flat spoon, and cover with a lid. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat the process to make the desired amount of Uttapams and serve with Cranberry Chutney.

This recipe is perfect for when you have guests or a family gathering and wish to serve something warm and spiced. Finger millet and sorghum make a perfect choice for the fall and winter due to their nourishing and warming qualities. Fermentation makes them easy to digest.

This recipe is more on the warming side, as we use fermented batter and sour chutney with some chilies and hot spices. Cooking in ghee ignites the digestive fire and enhances the absorption of the dense nutrition of high protein content in urad dal. Chutney made with sesame oil is very beneficial for the body during fall and winter due to its healing and warming qualities that help eliminate Vata, which is characterized by cold and dryness of the mind and body. This makes a healthy, filling, and satisfying lunch recipe. It's suitable for those with predominantly Kapha or Vata Prakriti. For those with a Pitta Constitution, you may skip the Serrano peppers, substitute Kashmiri red chili powder with white peppercorns, and cook everything in ghee. For a vegan options, use coconut oil.

Ayurveda emphasizes balance and tailoring each recipe with carefully selected spices, oils, and ingredients to suit one's Prakriti and the state of Agni, ensuring good digestion and overall health.

Feel free to explore our website and read our informative blogs to learn more about Ayurveda.

We hope you enjoy this seasonal special recipe. Please let us know in the comments section how you liked it or if you have any questions. We'll be more than happy to assist you.

Sundari Dasi

Ayurveda Wellness Consultant

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