Recipes

Dosa

Breads of various shapes and textures are made with rice flour in south India. The dosa is one such crepe, which can be eaten with chutneys, pickles, or may be stuffed with potatoes, vegetables, chicken or any meat for that matter. Dosas, because they are fermented, are light and easy to digest and versatile – they can be had as a snack or a turned into a main meal depending on the filling.

2 cups long grain rice
½ cup skinned split black lentil
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil or ghee to pan fry dosa
(Makes about 15 dosas)

Method
Wash the rice and put in a bowl, covered with water by about 5 cm and leave to soak for 6 hours. Soak the lentils the same way in a separate bowl.

Drain the rice. Grind in a food processer till it becomes a fine paste. Slowly add about 175 mls of water to form a thick batter. Empty this batter into a large bowl. Then put the drained lentils into the food processer and grind as finely as possible. Slowly add about 150 ml of water, keeping the machine running until the batter is light and forthy. Empty this into the bowl with the rice batter.

Add salt and mix the rice and lentil batter gently. Cover the bowl and leave to ferment in a warm place overnight. Once fermented thin it out with aout 1½ cups of water till its flows like crepe batter.

Heat a cast iron griddle till it is hot. Season it with oil to prevent the batter from sticking. Pour a ladle of about 75 ml batter at a time in the centre of the griddle and spread evenly using the rounded bottom of the ladle in a continuous spiral motion, spreading the batter outwards till the crepe measures about 15 cm diameter.

Dribble about 1 to 2 tsp of oil/ghee over the dosa and cook on medium heat till the dosa is golden brown on the bottom.

Place a filling of your choice in the centre of the dosa and roll or fold over.

Potato filling

1 kilo potatoes, boiled, peeled and roughly mashed
200 gm Spanish onions finely sliced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp split black lentils
2 tsp split chickpea lentils
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 whole dry red chilli
1 sprig curry leaf
2 tblsp finely chopped coriander leaf
2 tblsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Method
Heat oil in a wok or heavy frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, put in the black mustard seeds, allow to splutter for 5 seconds.
Add the two lentils and the dry red chillies. Stir till the lentils turn light golden in colour.
Add fresh curry leaves and stir for 5 seconds.
Add chopped onions, turmeric and salt and cook till the onions turn translucent.
Add the potatoes and mix evenly. Cook for a 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the chopped coriander.