DOSA- A SOUTH INDIAN SPECIALITY
Imagine going to your in-laws’ home for the first time, that itself is nerve wrecking(it was for me). How would you react if they ask you to make dosa? It was quite overwhelming. At that time, I didn’t know how to make coffee to save my life, leave alone the art of making a perfect crispy dosa. I slowly made my way to the kichen, kept the flat iron pan, and started making my dosas. That was not so bad until my father-in-law came and said, “hold on, let me show you how to make a proper dosa”(in a nice tone). My ego was hurt, and I was not a happy girl.
Back at my parents’ home, we did make dosa, but it is not as popular as it is in some parts of Southern India. My hubby comes from Coimbatore, a place known for its idli and dosa. Well, along the years, I’ve learnt much traditional cooking from my in laws, and I love their cooking style.
So, now when I go visit my in-laws, I do manage to ask my father-in-law how my cooking is, he never stops amazing me with his sweetest compliments as to how great a cook I am, but just next to his wife..;).
Dosa is a rice and lentil pancake which, to me, is similar to INJERA. It’s much easier to make dosa, which has to be fermented overnight, than Injera, which requires way more effort(I’m still working on perfecting it). There are many variations; it’s made paper thin, thick and medium, stuffed, plain with egg, anything your heart desires.
Generally, I do not mess around with authentic and traditional recipes but this is one of those mixes I enjoy and I think it is a little bit better than the original. Here goes, the most traditional breakfast in most South Indian homes. The accompaniments are endless: coconut chutney, peanut chutney, tomato chutney, onion tomato chutney(my kid’s favorite), sambhar, corinader chutney, potato and peas curry stuffing and much much more.
I love my dosa crispy with my mom’s peanut chutney and a little sugar sprinkled over it, which is exactly how my dad prefers it. It is freaky how similar our habits are to our parents.
DOSA with PEANUT CHUTNEY
4 cups medium grain Indian rice(Sona Masoori)
1/2 cup green whole green daal(moong daal)
1/2 cup split white lentils (urad daal)
1/2 tbsp meethi seeds
Water to soak-4-5 cups
1/2 cup leftover cooked rice(any kind)
Water to grind-1/2-3/4 cups
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1. Wash the rice and lentils well until the water runs clear. Soak all the ingredients for the dosa overnight. You have to soak this for at least 7-8 hours because the green lentil takes a bit longer to get soft.
2. Make 2 portions of the soaked grains, drain all the water. It will be hard to grind the whole thing at once. Grind the soaked rice and lentil with 1/2 cup of cooked rice in a heavy duty blender with water adding it little at a time until you achieve a semi-smooth consistency. It should not be too pasty or too watery. Take it out in a large vessel, add the salt, mix well and cover. Leave it in a warm place for 6-7 hours or until it ferments or rises an inch or two.
REMEMBER– In colder months it does not rise that well. I turn on my oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, turn it off and keep the mixture in the oven overnight. It does the trick. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN WHEN THE MIXTURE IS IN.
3. Once it ferments, add baking soda and baking powder, mix well and make your dosas on a medium hot griddle. SERVE HOT with any sauce of your choice.
NOTE:MAKE sure to use a good heavy duty blender.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts without skin
1 cup grated coconut
4-5 whole red chillies
1/4 inch ginger
pinch of cumin
a very small piece of tamarind
water needed to grind it -1/4- 1/2 cup
GRIND everything in a blender with water as needed until everything is well ground and not too smooth or watery. You can temper it with some mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
ENJOY DOSA WITH CHUTNEY!!
I’m sure most of you have tried dosa, do you like it? Have you made it at hoem? Would love to hear from you.
Have a great week!!
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