Mini Paneer Uttapam: An Instant Lunchbox Recipe

Uttapam is a South Indian dish. It is a pancake-like savoury dish that is loaded with vegetables. Thicker than dosa yet crispy in texture, it is a great breakfast option for all age groups. The mini uttapams are quick to make and easy to pack. The paneer adds to the nutritional value and makes it more attractive for the children to pick up and eat. With this recipe, they will return home with an empty tiffin and a full heart.

The word paneer is Persian, as it entered through the Iranians. It is called cottage cheese and is a non-aged variety of cheese. Extremely common in Indian vegetarian households as a protein staple, it is cooked in a huge variety of styles. Here, we add it as a topping.

Uttapam is derived from the Tamil word appam, which means ‘poured appam’. This is made in a flat skillet though. This is also a fermented dish so it improves digestion and is low in fat. This South Indian delicacy is a pizza of sorts as it is flexible in the number and diversity of toppings options but its health benefits outscore the Italian delicacy. 

As a lunch option for kids, it works wonders as it is very presentable in the lunchbox and does not look mundane to kids. Because of the toppings and cooking techniques, it is great for gut health.

Here’s the recipe for Mini Paneer Uttapam.


  • 1 cup rava 
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cumin
  • Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fruit salt
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 2 tbsps chopped coriander
  • Oil, as required


  • Mix the yoghurt and the rawa in a bowl.
  • Add salt to taste, cumin, and red chilli powder. 
  • Add water as required to make a smooth batter of dropping consistency.
  • Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Then, add fruit salt and salt.
  • Heat a pan, and add a few drops of oil to it and wipe the pan.
  • Add 1 ladle full of the batter and spread to a ½ cm thick circle.
  • Spread grated carrots and other vegetables on top.
  • Spread the tomatoes and add full-fat paneer.
  • Now, add pepper or even chilli flakes and pizza toppings.
  • Spread 1 tsp oil over it.
  • Cook on medium heat till the underside is lightly coloured, and the batter is firm to touch on top.
  • Flip and cook until the vegetables take a light colour, and the uttapam is firm.
  • Remove and set aside.