Vella Dosai (Sweet Crepe)

This is a sweet crepe that is made with jaggery. But this version has no refined ingredients. This dish is normally made on the occasion of Vaikunta Ekadashi – a festival that falls towards end-December/early-January. People who observe a fast on this day and finally break the fast with no-salt food are believed to go directly to Vaikuntam (the abode of Lord Vishnu). They are eternally freed from the cycle of birth and death. While it is a festival, there are no celebrations. People observe a strict fast (not even water) throughout the day. After sundown, they make this sweet crepe and a payasam (like a sweet soup) for dinner. There is no salt in either of them. I have tried to observe this fast, but my blood sugar falls rapidly and I am forced to eat. Hari, however, observes the full fast. There is a lot more associated with this festival, but let me get on with the recipe for the sweet crepe. I will post the recipe for the payasam in my next.

Vella Dosai

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rice flour (I used brown rice flour)
1 cup date paste
3 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder (elaichi powder, elakkai podi)
Soak the dates for at least 4 hours
De-seed and grind into a thin paste, adding water
Cool completely
Add the wheat flour, rice flour, cardamom powder, grated coconut and the date paste to a bowl
Add enough water to get a medium consistency (it should be pouring consistency, neither thick nor thin)
Set aside
Heat a griddle on low flame
Take a ladle of the batter and pour it in the centre of the griddle
Using the back of the ladle, gently spread the batter outwards
Do not spread too much, make small crepes
When the edges of the crepe begin to lift, flip it over with a spatula
Cook the other side
Once cooked, remove it to a casserole
Repeat the process for the remaining batter
Serve as a snack or as an offertory to the God on Vaikunta Ekadashi day
Note: My crepes are lacy. But it is difficult to get it in this form, but I prefer it this way. Normally, these crepes are not lacy.

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