Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dosa, the demure damsel

Dosa and peanut coriander chutney

The other day, I posted this dosa and peanut chutney in a fun cook-off organised by Sikandalous Cuisine, my first and favourite food group.

The theme was breakfast.

I wanted to participate, sportingly of course. Too busy to write a story and with none brewing in my head, I made that rare departure from the norm and posted the recipe without further ado.

Although the dosa and the chutney were appreciated by dozens of friends and didn't lack colour or lustre, the post seemed hollow and devoid of personality. 

Then came along my Facebook friend and fellow blogger Suranga Date who often writes poems inspired by things that capture her imagination in her blog Strewn Ashes

She filled this void and personified the dosa, in yet another of her apposite verses.

Here is Suranga’s poem about the delicate and demure damsel that the dosa really is!

लहानपणापासून डोळ्यासमोर डाळ तांदुळाचे आदर्श, काहींचे उकडे पारदर्शक व्यक्तिमत्व, रात्र रात्र जागून , तरी पण फ्रेश राहून कमावलेले हलके फुलके चेहरे, मेथी आजींचा मान राखून थोडेसे आठवणींचे दाणे ; सर्व एकत्र करून ती आपल्याच स्वप्नांच्या उबेत गुरफटून बसते .
दुसर्या दिवशी सकाळी सकाळी विस्तवाला स्मरून, देवाचे नाव घेउन ती डावाला सामोरी जाते, आणि चटके बसले तरी "अरे संसार संसार " म्हणात तव्यावर ऐसपैस पसरते . सोनेरी छटा यायच्या आधी थोडी झाकणाखालि लपते, आणि चटणीशी दोन बोटे करण्याची मनाची तयारी कर्ते.
अचानक एक मोठी खोली, स्वच्च प्लेट मध्ये ती उतरते , आणि भोवताली इतक्या टाळ्या वाजवणार्या सिकनदलीय महिलां बघून लाजते , आपलाच सोनेरी पदर स्वतः भोवती गोल गुंडाळून घेते, आणि चटणी कडे पाठ फिरवून म्हणते, "इश्श्य ! आम्ही नाही जा …।"

I am sure now Suranga will translate this for you all! 

Over to you, Suranga Tai!

Dosa and peanut coriander chutney



2 cups ponni (idly) rice
2 cups raw rice
1 cup split/whole white urad dal
2 tablespoons chana dal
1 teaspoon methi seeds (it adds not only to the taste but also adds a shine to the dosa)
Salt to taste


Wash and soak the rice in plenty of water. Wash and soak the urad dal, chana dal and methi seeds together. Methi seeds give a great flavour and also a lovely sheen to the dosa.

After 5-6 hours, grind the soaked ingredients in a mixer with water into a fine batter of pouring consistency. It’s best to use the water in which the dal and rice have been soaked. Keep the batter slightly thick as you can adjust the consistency later. Remove it in a steel container large enough to allow for the rising of the batter. Add salt to taste.

Cover and place in a warm spot in the kitchen for at least 8-10 hours, or overnight. In winters I keep the batter in the oven after heating it for a few minutes. The batter will ferment and rise. If you are using a mixture of raw and boiled rice, the batter will ferment faster as boiled rice ferments faster. Some people add some cooked rice or poha to expedite the fermenting.

When you are ready to make the dosas, heat a non-stick dosa tava and brush it with oil. Some people use a half cut onion to smear the oil. It’s important to cure the tava so your dosas don’t stick to the tava. Bring it almost to the smoking point and then remove from the heat. When it cools down, rinse it with water and wipe it fry. Then brush it very lightly with oil and remove excess oil with a tissue paper. 

Then heat the tava again till a few drops of water sprinkled on it make a hissing sound.

Portion out some batter from the master batter in a smaller bow so you can hold it in one hand as you pour out dosas with the other.

You might want to adjust the consistency of the dosa according to the type of dosa you want to pour out. For thickset dosas, keep the batter thick. For thin and crispy dosas, add a little water to make the batter easy to spread.

Take a soup ladle with a long handle and a flat bottom. Pour a ladle full of batter in the centre of the tava and start making increasingly larger circles in the batter with the ladle. Remember to move from the centre outwards. This makes the batter stick to the tava and roast well.

If you want a paper-thin dosa, pour less batter and spread it thinly. Scrape off any excess batter from the top. Pour a teaspoon full of oil or ghee (or more- restaurants pour quite a lot!) all over the dosa and cover it with a domed lid with a handle.

Reduce heat and after a few minutes remove cover and check if the dosa is done. Usually, there is no need to flip the dosa. Also, the edges of a well cooked dosa on a properly cured pan will rise easily, making it easy to lift.

Serve hot with peanut coriander chutney.

Peanut coriander chutney


1 cup roasted and skinned peanuts
1 tbsp roasted chana dal
2 tbsp dry or fresh grated coconut
¾ cup coriander leaves, loosely packed
2-3 green chilies
¾ tsp cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
A pinch of sugar/sweetener
Salt to taste


Wash and chop the coriander. Grind all the ingredients together using a little water. Check and adjust the flavours.

Add a little mustard tadka if you really want it.

1 comment:

  1. Looks so crispy n crunchy!!! I never added chana dal in making of dosa batter.. But next time, will use this trick for sure :) Lovely clicks, Aunty...


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