Dosas are south indian crisp pancakes filled with a spicy potato filling and served with a coconut chutney and a spicy lentil called sambhar. They are very popular all over with world with us desis and many people have this belief that they are very difficult to make or that you need a special skillet (tawa) to make them. I myself was very sceptical to try it out. I first used to buy the ready made dosa mix for my first attempt to make these delicacies which have a fame for being next to impossible to make! Well…i have gone through many many flops with the ready made mix also. Dosas like crepes have a tact and if you love them or have your family who loves them and live in a city where you cannot have them in any restaurant, i would suggest you try your hand at them. They are gluten free, healthy and once you have mastered the art of making them you can do so much more than just having a normal spicy potato stuffing (masala dosa). In India we have modern dosa restaurants mushrooming all over that boast of so many different kinds of stuffings right from mughlai to chinese! And yes with the same batter you can make uttapams whch are thicker dosas . There is a whole world to this simple crispy crepe !!! Lets start with the basic dosa? I have researched this a lot, made so many errors, watched so many tutorials and even had the chance to see someone making a dosa on my trip to Dubai. Everyone will have their own two cents to their recipe and their “trick” for the crispiest perfect dosa. I can only speak for myself and my experience. I do not own a dosa tawa(non stick flat skillet) I make my dosas in a crepe pan and recently when i went to a local desi restaurant in my city i made them in an ordinary tawa for making chapattis!!! Yes they turned out!
My foodie blogger pal from Mumbai Uttpal Khot of fashionable foods gave me his input for my dosa picture. This is what he had to say”The mesh (jaali) which appears in a cooked Dosa proves its fermented well and got spread well on the Tawa. The crispiness increases as we overcook it. For a Masala Dosa or a regular dosa, this color and cooking is perfect. if we overcook it a bit the Dosa may not fold smoothly and may become a “paper Dosa” the crispy one which tastes best with sambhar..
Ok this is the recipe which i make and which works out for me. I know many will say they do this and they do that… I can only speak for the recipe and the pic… and ofcoruse give you a few tips.
FOR THE DOSAS:
1 cup of white urad dal – white urad lentils(please use the same measuring cup)
3 cups of ordinary white rice (some people use par boiled rice, some basmati, i used ordinary long grain white rice)
1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (methi daane)
Soak the dal, rice and the fenugreek seeds SEPARATELY in about 3 times of water. Say for 1 cup of urad dal use 3 cups of water overnight. Next day remove the water from the dal. Put the dal into a blender with 1/3 cup of water and blend till very smooth ( i used my magic bullet). Next grind the rice with the fenugreek seeds in the same way til smooth. Mix both the batters well and grind once more till well blended. Put it in a big container and cover it with a well fitting lid and leave it in the kitchen to ferment for at least 12 hours. I just leave it to ferment for at least 24 hours. If i grind it at noon i leave it till noon the next day.
The next day the batter will have risen till at least double and your kitchen will have a peculiar fermenting smell. If this happens your on the right track!
Mix it well. Take out a small portion in a bowl and add salt to it. Now lets try making dosas!!
Heat a non stick pan/tawa, crepe pan or dosa tawa on medium heat. Take a quarter of a peeled onion and pierce it with a fork. Dip it into oil and rub the onion on the heating tawa. This helps the dosas not to stick to the pan.
Take a big spoonfull of batter and spread it in the middle of the pan. Quickly take a spoon and spread it in a circular motion to spread it into a really thin round. Dont worry if it has a few holes. Try to make it as perfect as possible. Drizzle a bit of oil on the sides and let it cook on medium heat.
Once it is slightly browning try lifting it off the pan carefully. It will come off easily. The first dosa always sticks so be prepared and don´t feel disheartened. Your dosa is now ready to eat or to stuff with the potato filling!!!
FOR THE POTATO FILLING
2 boiled potatoes, peeled and diced
2 onions sliced
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 curry leaves
1/2″ piece ginger
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric powder
juice of 1/2 lime or to taste
chopped green chillies and coriander leaves
4 tablespoons of oil
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves and then the chopped ginger and cook for a few seconds and then add the chopped onions and salt. Cook till the onions are transparent and then add the turmeric powder, green chillies and the chopped potaoes. Cook on low heat and mix well. Mash the potatoes a bit. Let it cook for a minute and take off heat. This is your basic masala filling.
EASY COCONUT CHUTNEY
This is an easy way to make coconut chutney without much fuss.
100 grams of sour yogurt
3 tablespoons of dessicated coconut, powdered in the blender to a smooth powder
1 clove of garlic
1 tiny piece of ginger
2-3 green chillies
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
juice of half a lime and salt to taste
2 tablespoons of water if too thick
Put all the ingredients except the dessicated coconut into the blender and blend.(I used my amazing bullet) . Add the coconut and mix. Leave for an hour, it will thicken and if its too thick you can add some water to it. Some people then heat some oil and add some mustard seeds, whole grains of urad dal and some red chillies and pour it on top of the chutney.
NITU DIDI TIP:
The left over dosa batter can be frozen . Please do not add salt to it. Salt is to be added when the batter is ready to be used to make dosas. You can even make thicker dosas called uttapams.
FOR JAIN RECIPE: Just omit the onions and ginger from the potato recipe
For a dosa and idli batter : Follow the same recipe and just add 1/2 cup of boiled white rice while grinding the mixture . This makes softer dosas and you can even make idlis out of the batter. If you live in Spain and want to know which rice i use, i use Mercadona arroz largo.