Dosa Masala

Possibly my favorite Indian dish ! Dosa is a thin and crispy rice crepe which is often served with a potato mixture called Aloo Masala.
This thin pancake or crepe, originating from South India, is made from a fermented batter consisting of white lentils called Urad dal and Basmati rice. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance, although savoury flavours are generally emphasized.
I discovered them in Mumbai on my first trip… and boy, was I ever hooked ! The combination of flavours and texture all compounded with the many chutneys they are often served with, make for a feast… and it is considered breakfast food !!!
…and a good morning to you !
To make dosa requires a little patience, ok a lot of patience as the ingredients have to soak in water for at least 5 hours. The recipe in itself is rather easy to make and requires little time to prepare, but time is of the essence. The beauty of this recipe is that it that you can, not only make those wonderful pancakes, but also make three other dishes using the same batter ; dosa as above, Idli which are little steamed cakes, uttapam which a fried pancakes sprinkled with a few vegetables and finally, paniyaram which are puffed up pancakes, also filled with vegetables. All of them different in texture, but with a common outstanding taste. Worth the efforts.

INGREDIENTS
Serve 16…or a family of 4 for 4 breakfasts.
3 Cups of Basmati Rice
1 1/2 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1 Cup Urad Dal – White lentils either whole or split
Water

PREPARATION
In a large bowl, stir in all the ingredients and cover with water at room temperature. Let the mixture
soak in water for 5 hours.
After 5 hours, drain the rice mixture and keep the water aside. If you have a good blender you can use it, but I have a Nutri-bullet which literally grinds the mixture into a fine puree. The trick is to add just a little soaking liquid to facilitate the grinding of the mixture. You should end up with a very thick pancake batter. Do it in steps using a little of the mixture at a time and transfer the puree into a dish which can be sealed.
Once you have pureed everything, place the batter in a plastic container with a lid. Leave it on the counter overnight so you can use it the following morning.
The batter will ferment overnight and will grow, just like bread. If you find the batter did not rise overnight, like me the first time I made it, add 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast and mix well. After two hours, your batter will come to life and you can then use it.
I know the task seems daunting, but trust me, it is well worth the effort.

To make the pancakes, using a non-stick pan, heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil and when it starts to smoke, pour in a large ladle full of batter into the pan. Using the bottom of the ladle, spread the dough as thin as you can.
Cook the pancake, until very brown and crispy. Flip the pancake over and cook until brown and crispy.
Roll the pancake and serve immediately . Repeat, eat and repeat and eat and repeat….

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