Dosa (Rice & Lentil Crepe)

Dosa has become almost a national dish in India. It is widely available all over the country, even with street vendors. Though the basic ingredients are the same, the preparation varies widely to suit individual tastes. Some like their dosa soft, others crisp. The homemade ones are about 6″ in diameter whereas the ones served in restaurants are about 10″. South Indian normally have this for breakfast (though occasionally for dinner too) while the rest of India have it more as an anytime snack or even meal replacer. Sometimes, dosas come with a filling – normally a cooked potato stuffing. However, in several specialty outlets, there are dozens of different types of filling. So, this simple dosa has spawned a lot of creativity.
I will present the basic dosa.

2 cups red/brown rice
1/2 cup split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds (methidhana, venthiyam) – optional
Salt to taste
Wash the rice and soak for 4-5 hours
Wash the black gram and soak for 1 hour
Grind both separately into a fine batter, of pouring consistency
Mix both the batters
Add salt
Ferment for a few hours or overnight (the batter will rise, so it is important to use a vessel that has enough head space to provide for it)
The batter is now ready
Heat a tawa (girdle) on medium flame
Cut an onion or potato (breadthwise) and use the flat surface to moisten the tawa
Scoop a ladle of the batter and pour in the centre of the tawa
Using the back of the ladle, spread the batter outwards to make a circular crepe (should be thin
Cook for about a minute
Using a flat spatula, flip it over and cook the other side
Remove from the tawa and store in a casserole
Repeat for the remaining batter
Serve hot with your favourite chutney or sambar

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