Recipes for all manner of Indian food

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dosas, Some Old, Some New

I. Urud Dal/Rice Dosas (Traditional Dosas)

You can make plain ol' urud dal and rice dosas the traditional way.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 measures of rice;
  2. 1 measure of urud dal (black gram dal);
  3. 2 tsps. raw methi seeds (fenugreek seeds); and
  4. Salt to taste.
Method:
  1. Soak the urud dal and the methi seeds together in a bowl for about 4 hours, with the water fully covering the dal;
  2. Soak the rice separately, also for about 4 hours;
  3. Grind the urud dal, methi seed mix to a smooth paste. Try not to add any water while grinding or as little as possible;
  4. Transfer to a vessel;
  5. Grind the rice coarsely and transfer to the same vessel as the urud dal, methi seed mix;
  6. Mix them well and allow to ferment overnight. In people in cold climates: if you have an oven, just turn the oven light on and leave the vessel in the oven, or if you have a stove with a pilot light, keep the vessel over the pilot light, or if you have the heating system on in the house, leave the vessel close to a vent. Make sure that there is a plate below the vessel to catch any spillage.
  7. The next morning, stir the batter well to make sure it has a pouring consistency (add water as necessary, but not too much) and add salt.
If I were you, however, I would go to the nearest Indian store in the US and pick up a few boxes of the Gits mix and follow the directions on the box. Or here, in India, I would go to to the nearest grocery store and pick up a few packets of the dosa batter (Surabhi, for example) from the refrigerated shelves near the milk and curds. They both work wonderfully well.

A well-used, greasy-edged, rarely-washed cast iron pan is the best equipment you can have to make crispy golden dosas. Moms and moms-in-law need to be coaxed to part with these from their own kitches. Don't let them fop off a brand new pan on you. Failing that, non-stick pans are the way to go.

Roasting the Dosa:
  1. Before you start pouring the dosas, make sure the pan is hot and lightly greased with fresh grease;
  2. Pick up a ladle full of batter, pour in at the center of the pan and with the ladle, make quick, concentric motions until the batter is spread around the pan but not touching the edges;
  3. Trickle a spoonful of oil around the edges of the dosa;
  4. When you see the edges browning, flip the dosa with the appropriate pancake flipper (metal for cast iron pans and wood for non-stick pans);
  5. A minute later, pick the edges off of one side of the dosa with the flipper, fold it over the other side and transfer to a plate.
Now, for some newer, quicker-to-make, but delicious and healthy dosas.

II. Moong Dal Dosas

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups moong dal;
  2. 1/2 an onion;
  3. Green chillies to taste;
  4. Salt to taste; and
  5. Coriander leaves (cilantro).
Method:
  1. Soak the moong dal for a couple of hours in enough water to cover the dal completely;
  2. Grind the moong dal to a smooth batter;
  3. Chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro finely and mix them well into the batter;
  4. Add salt;
  5. Make sure that the batter has a pouring consistency, a little bit more watery than the traditional dosa batter mix.
  6. Roast the dosa as in the the same way as in the instructions for the traditional dosa above, but do not spread the batter around in the pan as you would the traditional dosa. Let it cook on the pan where you pour it.
An even easier method is to get the moong dal flour (I know these are available in the Indian stores in the US, will try to find it in India), add water to it and follow the instructions from no. 3 above.

III. Channa Dal Dosas

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups Channa dal;
  2. 1/2 an onion;
  3. Green chillies to taste;
  4. Salt to taste; and
  5. Coriander leaves (cilantro).
Method:
  1. Soak the channa dal for a couple of hours in enough water to cover the dal completely;
  2. Pinch the dal to make sure it's soaked enough; you should be able to cut it easily with your finger nails;
  3. Grind the channa dal to a smooth batter;
  4. Chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro finely and mix them well into the batter;
  5. Add salt;
  6. Make sure that the batter has a pouring consistency, a little bit more watery than the traditional dosa batter mix.
  7. Roast the dosa as in the the same way as in the instructions above, but do not spread the batter around in the pan as you would the traditional dosa. Let it cook on the pan where you pour it.
Unfortunately, channa dal flour is not available in the stores. This is the only way to make it. Channa dal is extremely good for the body, especially if you are on a diet and you need to lower the amount of high-glycemic index foods (such as rice) in your diet.

IV. Ragi Dosas

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups ragi (millett) flour;
  2. 1/2 an onion;
  3. Green chillies to taste;
  4. Curds (or yogurt) mixed with water and stirred enough to eliminate the lumps in the curds;
  5. Salt to taste; and
  6. Coriander leaves (cilantro).
Method:
  1. Chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro finely;
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl;
  3. Make sure that the batter has a pouring consistency, a little bit more watery than the traditional dosa batter mix;
  4. Roast the dosa as in the the same way as in the instructions for the traditional dosa above, but do not spread the batter around in the pan as you would the traditional dosa. Let it cook on the pan where you pour it.
V. Rava Dosas

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups rava (upma or uppittu rava);
  2. 1 cup rice flour;
  3. 1/2 an onion;
  4. Green chillies to taste;
  5. Curds (or yogurt) mixed with water and stirred enough to eliminate the lumps in the curds;
  6. Salt to taste; and
  7. Coriander leaves (cilantro).
Method:
  1. Chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro finely;
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl;
  3. Make sure that the batter has a pouring consistency, a little bit more watery than the traditional dosa batter mix;
  4. Roast the dosa as in the the same way as in the instructions for the traditional dosa above, but do not spread the batter around in the pan as you would the traditional dosa. Let it cook on the pan where you pour it.
If this is the first time you are making dosas, expect diasters. I had quite a few of them. But persist. Fiddle around with the consistency. And grease that pan. Bribe it to give up those dosas. Weekend mornings were made for them.

Dosas are best enjoyed with chutneys (recipe for raw onion cutney here and for coconut chutney here), chutney pudi (MTR has a really good chutney pudi) and molaga pudi (that atom bomb, that staple of every self-respecting Tamilian household, of which MTR, again, makes a very good imitation, and is available in the Indian grocery stores in the US) mixed with a teaspoonful of oil.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Rajeshwari said...

Sujatha
Now you gave me an overdose :-))

6:11 PM

 
Anonymous rajeshwari said...

Tried your channa dal dosa. If you are on a protein diet, it is a good option for vegetarians.

7:24 AM

 
Blogger Sujatha said...

hey, so how was it?

9:12 AM

 
Anonymous rajeshwari said...

It was pretty good, but if your are a picky eater then go for the original dosa.
I don't mind making it again to substitute rice.

12:06 PM

 
Blogger Ferocious Killer Kat said...

got to try the moong and millet versions..

1:35 PM

 
Anonymous Raj said...

Have you ever tried Momos ???
If you have, then you love them and if you’re wondering what they are it’s time to let your taste buds explore the flavour of Tibetan cuisine. Here’s where you can get a taste in Bangalore. They serve as both a snack and as a meal...
Chicken momos with the spicy sauce on the side, tastes even better!
Any one and Every one who likes momos must eat the ones I make and see..
I do cattering for birthday parties, aniversary and all other small occasions..
To order and buy momos contact me at 080-41634153

1:33 PM

 
Anonymous Deepshikha said...

We have something called MOLAGA PUDI in south india which goes tooooo good with Idli & Dosa.
Can u please send me the recepie?
My mail id is

deepshikha.kulkarni@rediffmail.com

9:57 AM

 
Anonymous tejaswi said...

hi!!i got newly married.ur recipe helped me.rava dosa is so good.thanku.

2:29 PM

 

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