Minappa Rotti ~ Traditional Andhra Recipe with Vedula Satyavati

by on July 15, 2013

Rotis are normally made from dough, but the Andhra Minappa Rotti is a pancake prepared from a batter. Also known as dibba rotti which means a fat bread, this dish is cooked on a low flame in a special brass vessel known as mookudu. The soft centre of this dish combines well with the crisp exterior.


Patience is the first ingredient to prepare this seemingly simple tiffin, a weekend favourite at the home of Smt. Vedula Satyavati, a great-granny from Hyderabad. Perhaps this dish gets its name from the predominance of minapappu or black gram. The proportion of gram and rice varies from one family to another with many preferring even 4 measures of rice to 1 measure of gram, but Smt. Satyavati is quite firm that for 1 measure of black gram, the ideal measure of rice rava should be 1¾.


Andhra recipe-Minappa Rotti


  • Split black gram (husked) – 1 cup
  • Broken rice (also known as rice rava, size of sugar crystals) – 1¾ cups
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – for shallow frying

To prepare the batter:

1. Wash and soak the gram and broken rice separately, each in 3 cups of water for 3-4 hours.
2. Strain the gram, and grind it well, adding water little by little until it becomes soft and fluffy.
3. Strain the broken rice and mix with the gram batter, using a ladle to mix thoroughly. Use some of the strained water if needed. Add salt and cumin seeds and set aside.
4. The batter should be of thick, pouring consistency like a cake batter. As Mrs Satyavati explained, if it is too thick, the rotti will become tough rather than crisp when cooked. If it is too thin, it will not cook fully in the centre.
5. The batter can be used immediately or within 2-3 hours. It can also be refrigerated and used within a couple of days. But care should be taken that it remains unfermented for preparing this minapa rotti.


Making the rottis:

6. Heat a heavy bottomed shallow pan, traditionally a brass vessel known as the mookudu, to prepare this dish. The measure here is for a mookudu of approximately 10 inches in diameter. Add 1 tablespoon of oil in the centre of the vessel.
7. Lower the flame and pour the batter in the centre, allowing it to extend evenly to 1 cm thickness till the sides of the mookudu. (Unlike attu, the ladle is not used in a concentric circular fashion, it is poured more like in an idli mould. The ladle can be used gently to spread the batter.) Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on the sides and the top of the rotti.
8. Smear the inner side of a lid that will fit on the mookudu with oil and place it on the vessel. Now, exercise patience and allow the rotti to cook until it becomes crisp and golden on the underside. This may take approximately 8-10 minutes. Adjust the heat and the vessel to prevent the bottom side of rotti from burning.
9. Now deftly use a flat ladle to flip over the rotti. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on the sides and place the lid again. Once again, allow it to become crisp and golden on the underside.
10. Flip on to a plate and cut into large triangles.
11. Wipe the mookudu with a cloth and pour the next rotti, following the same procedure.
Serve hot with Kobbarakai pachchadi or any pickle or chutney of your choice.


Smt. Satyavati says:

If you do not have a mookudu, you can make this in any non-stick pan. Make smaller rottis so they can be flipped easily. Traditionally, the batter was poured to 1 inch thickness and a few pieces of burning coal were placed on top of the lid, thus allowing the rotti to cook on top and bottom like in an oven. A small banana leaf can be rolled and placed in the centre of the rotti so that it forms a depression, ensuring that it does not remain uncooked in the centre.


This recipe was first published in The Great Granny Diaries – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Vedula Satyavati, a great-granny from Hyderabad.


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