Vendhaya Oothapam: Soft, Spongy Bites Flavoured With Fenugreek
Image Credit: Image credit- Youtube/Cluelesstamil

A South Indian breakfast is one of the healthiest. Idli and Dosa are well known items to savour in the mornings but there is also Oothapam, which is just as tasty and nutritious. Oothapam is a delightful pancake-like dish made from a batter of rice and different kinds of dal or lentils with toppings of various vegetables, and garnished with green chilies and coriander leaves. It is easy to make and nutritious. It's important to ensure, though, that the ratio of rice to dal is 3:1. The chief ingredient, other than the batter, in Vendhaya Oothapam is Vendhaya (which means fenugreek in Tamil and Methi in Hindi). 


Tomatoes and onions add flavour to Oothapams, however, many different ingredients can be used to make it. At times, plain Oothapams, without many toppings, is also made. The consistency of the Oothapam is thicker than a Dosa, it is spongy and soft, and when dunked in coconut Chutney, Sambar, Rasam, or tomato Chutney, it tastes heavenly. This dish can be eaten for breakfast or even as a light meal. The dish can also be made with ready-made batter available in stores. 

The word Oothapam comes from Tamil and means poured Appam (which is a pancake-like dish, soft, and fluffy, made from  ground, fermented rice and coconut batter). Oothapam is eaten in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Though it is eaten probably once a week, it makes for a yum breakfast. 

Nutrition facts 

Oothapam takes care of your carbohydrate and protein needs. The various veggies used in it doubles its nutritive value. Fenugreek seeds is also excellent for health as it is said to control blood sugar levels, cholesterol, is good for menstruation, and is high in soluble dietary fibre. It is a rich source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin. 

Below is an easy recipe for Oothapam called Vendhaya Oothapam for a serving of 2: 


  • 1 cup rice 
  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/4 cup Urad Dal
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds or Vendhaya
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • Ghee/ refined oil
  • Green chilies
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • Coriander leaves 
  • Salt as per taste 


1. Parboil the rice

2. Cut the onions into slices and the tomatoes into small pieces

3. Then soak the boiled rice and the dals in a bowl of water for 2-3 hours

4. Soak the fenugreek seeds in a bowl of water for 2-3 hours

5. After that, grind the soaked ingredients into a thick-like batter, add the curry leaves and salt to taste

6. Heat a pan and in it, fry the onions and tomatoes 

7. Pour the batter onto it and pat it down till it is round

8. Add Ghee/oil

9. Let one side of the Oothapam cook and then flip to the other side, care must be taken to make it fluffy and not browned

10. Garnish with chopped green chilies and coriander

Serve the Vendhaya Oothapam with Sambar/Rasam/Chutney of your choice along with a hot cup of coffee