Recipe for Udupi Hotel Tomato Omelette | Vegan Chickpea flour and tomato pancakes | Besanache Dhirde
Note: This is not your classic hipster post that tries to make an omelette vegan. Not at all! It’s just how this dish is called in most Udupi Hotels in Bombay.
The Udupi Hotels in Bombay provided cheap meals on-the-run (still do) from their considerably extensive menu of quick eats comprising varieties of idlis, dosas, sandwiches, pizzas (these were completely Indianised, mind you) and some even serving Indo-Chinese food. I’ve eaten in many of them during my first few working years. They were prepared fresh, served in a jiffy and light on the pocket. What else did one want! I still love popping into an Udupi hotels for a quick dosa. [Don’t care much for the sambar here though!]
This thing called ‘Tomato Omelette’ was one of my favourites to order. It could also be ordered in the form of a sandwich, with this thick savoury pancake ‘omelette’ neatly folded between two slices of soft white buttered bread.
Tomato Omelettes qualify as an all day breakfast for me. Given that I’ve turned into a very frugal breakfast eater, I wouldn’t dare eat this for breakfast. But it makes a good lunch for one or an early dinner. Besan / chickpea flour provides good amount of protein (21 grams protein per cup of flour), and the tomatoes, onions and coriander ensure that the vitamins and minerals are adequately provided for too.
I use a bit of rice flour to give the ‘omelette’ a slight crispy texture. You can either omit that or substitute it with maize flour or any other flour.
If you’ve lived in Bombay and eaten one of these in the good old days, I know you can’t wait to try it out and sink your teeth into these delicious Tomato Omelettes, without the eggs, of course!
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- 2 tbsps rice flour
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tomatoes medium
- 2 onions small
- 1 small bunch coriander fresh
- 1 green chili
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 lemon
- To prepare Udupi Hotel style tomato omelette, in a large bowl, mix together flours, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Add 3/4 cup water to this. Mix well. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the vegetables. Halve the tomatoes and slice thinly. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions. Chop the coriander leaves finely. Slice the green chili finely.
Add all the chopped ingredients to the batter.
- Add a pinch of baking soda to the batter and squeeze the lemon over it. The soda will bubble up. Using a spoon, mix it well into the batter. This should have a pouring consistency but not very thin.
- Grease a non-stick tava with 1/2 tsp oil and place on medium flame.
- Pour 2 small ladles of batter. Spread out the vegetables evenly through the 'omelette' using a spoon, but don't spread out the batter thinly. The thickness should be roughly 1/2 cm or more.
- Trickle a teaspoon of oil around the edges and allow this to cook for 3-4 minutes on one side on a medium flame. Once you see bubbles around the edges, you can flip it over. Add a little oil around the edges once again and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Prepare tomato omelettes with the remaining batter.
- Serve warm with tomato ketchup or green chutney or as an 'omelette' sandwich between two slices of buttered bread.