Dosa is a traditional south-indian snack that is similar to a crepe/pancake. The batter is made of rice and lentils.
I have been posting only the instant and quicker versions of the dosa/dosai varieties I had tried. This time I thought of posting the recipe for making it by the traditional soaking method. It is quite a simple dish actually. Each family has its own proportion for idlis and dosas – so many of them around as well. Here’s my version.
Rice flour: 2 cups (You can use raw rice too – I don’t because I use the food processor and don’t have a mixer/grinder)
Idli rava (cream of rice): ½ cup (You can use raw boiled rice too – I don’t because I use the food processor and don’t have a mixer/grinder)
Black gram skinned and split (Udad dal): ½ cup
Fenugreek [Methi] seeds: ¼ teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking the dosas (Sesame/Til oil tastes the best)
* The proportion I use for dosa is 1:4:1 (udad dal:raw rice:boiled rice). For larger quantities, you can increase according to this the proportion.
Here’s the Method in Pictures:
- Wash once and soak the udad dal and methi seeds in sufficient water – about 3 cups or so. Here in the US, the fermentation is a problem at times – so use filtered water and don’t wash the dal too many times. Adding methis seeds also aids fermentation.
- Also, soak the idli rava in sufficient water (about a cup or to immerse the rava). If using the raw rice, soak that as well in sufficient water.
- The dal and idli rava/rice need to be soaked for at least 6 hours – preferably overnight. During winter, I place these vessels in a warm oven (with the power off) to help better soaking.
- In the morning, drain the dal and idli rava (and raw rice if using). Reserve the water. This water can be used while grinding – this applies for places with colder climates where fermentation is a problem. Else, in hotter places, you can use fresh water and discard the soaked water as it might cause over-fermentation.
- Grind the dal and methi seeds to a fine, smooth paste – add a tablespoon of water at a time as required to grind. Take care that the batter is as thick as possible. If using a food-processor, grind and stop for one minute intervals.
- When the udad dal is a smooth batter, add the idli rava and grind for about 5 minutes (in multiple one minute durations).
- Make a stiff/thick dough with the rice flour a large vessel – in which the batter would be at around half level. (Skip this if soaking and grinding raw rice. If using raw rice and raw boiled rice, you can grind them separately to fine, smooth pastes separately – again, try to keep these batters as thick as possible by using little water.)
- Transfer the udad dal batter to this vessel with the rice flour dough. Add salt to taste. If grinding raw rice and raw boiled rice separately, mix them in as well. Mix the batter well by hand for a couple of minutes – this too helps fermentation.
- For dosas, you may use the batter immediately. However, if you prefer a lighter and fermented dosa, keep the vessel partially covered and set aside overnight (or upto 16 hours in colder places) for fermentation – till it rises in volume. In colder places, place these vessels in a warm oven (with the power off) for fermentation. Once fermented, stir the batter well. The batter can now be refrigerated till you want to make dosas or uthappams.
- When you want to make dosas, take the required amount of batter in a vessel and add a little water (about 2 tablespoons or so for each cup of batter). Mix well to make the batter of a pouring consistency.
- To make dosas, heat a griddle/skillet (tava). Grease the tava with a few drops of oil.
- When the tava is hot (check by sprinkling a few drops of water), turn the heat to low-medium. Pour a ladle-full of batter and spread with the back of the ladle in concentric circular motion to form the dosa – like a pancake. The first dosa might not come well, but if you try, soon you’ll be able to make good ones . You can make thin ones for crispy dosas or slightly thicker ones for softer ones.
- Grease both sides of the dosa with a few drops of oil as required and cook for a couple of minutes on each side while turning over. The dosa is ready when nicely browned on both sides.
- Take off the griddle and serve. The dosas are ready to be enjoyed garma-garam. You can serve it with coconut chutney, sambar, and the dry chutney powder for idli/dosas.