Thursday, September 22, 2011

And Now Back to Our Cooking Blog

Just wanted to mention that after watching all those dosa videos (see below) I gathered up the courage to actually MAKE dosas!  

Two years ago, at Camp Masala, a lovely lady showed us how to make dosas with potato filling.  Yum.  She gave us the recipe and everything.  But since it involved making the dosa batter from scratch and fermenting things, I never was brave enough to try.

This summer I got up the courage to buy the ingredients when I was at the Indian grocery.  They sat in my cupboard for 3 months.  Until Dosa Video Day.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe.

Dosai Batter

1 part lentils (Urad Dah) 
3 parts Ponni rice (Ponni rice is best, but you CAN use basmati rice)

Soak these, separately, for at least 8 hours.  (Lentils should soak 1 part lentils to 3 parts water (or 1 cup to 3 cups) and Rice should soak 1 part rice to 2 parts water).

Blend lentils and water in blender and then rice and water.  (They take different times to blend, so it is better to do them separately).  Should be like a thin pancake batter.

Pour together into a bowl and let set for 24 hours or so at room temperature to ferment.  (In the winter, you might need to give it a head start – preheat your oven to warm, then turn it off and put the bowl in there until it just starts to ferment).

When you are ready to cook them, heat your skillet to high.  If you are not using a non-stick pan, grease lightly.  Pour approx. 1/3-1/2 cup of batter on skillet.  Using scoop bottom, spread the batter thinly to about an 8-10” diameter.  Drizzle approx. ½ t of oil on the top. 

When the dosai starts to brown and the edges curl up, flip it over and brown the other side (just for a minute)

Fill with potato curry or serve with chutney (or both!)

Batter stores in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  You may need to add some water if it’s been sitting.

I also watched this video to help.

I did add the fenugreek seeds.  The grinding (in my blender and I used all the soaking water) really did take as long as in the video.  20 min. for the dal and 15 min for the rice.  I had to do the rice in two batches.  My batter sat for 30 hours, covered with a dish towel and did nothing except get a layer of water on top of the rice/dal.  I went to work and when I got home late that night, ta-da! It was fermenting!  I was so excited!  So be patient with the fermenting.

I did not have a flat-bottomed scoop to use for spreading the batter on the pan.  I watched another video where the guy making the dosas just swirled his pan around as you would with crepe batter.  I tried this and it worked perfectly.  

I used 1 c. dal and 3 cups idli rava with the above mentioned ratios of water and it made LOTS of batter!  I think I had 15 dosas.  Then I made idli TWICE (my idli maker holds 16 idlis) and then I still made about 5 more dosas the next day for lunch before I used up all the batter.  By the end, those last dosas were very tangy tasting, even tho the batter had been in the refrigerator.

All in all, it is not so much difficult as time-consuming.  You need to soak the dal and rice for 8 hours.  Then grind.  Then ferment (took 36 hours or so).  Then cook all the dosas standing at the stove, one at a time.

But, mmm, were they good!

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