One of the most well known and loved food from South India is the Dosa. I’m from the city of Bengalooru, that is well known for its software industry and pubs and dosa places.
Of the various types of Dosa, the ‘Masala Dosa’ is very popular. Here is my version of this classic-
1. Rice- 2 cups
2. Urad Dal- 1/2 cup
3. Beaten Rice( Avalakki or Poha)- A fistful
4. Fenugreek seeds- 1 Tbspn
5. Channa Dal- A fistful
6. Salt- to taste
Soak all the ingredients separately overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Drain the water and grind using as little water as needed. A small table top wet grinder like Ultra comes in most handy for this purpose. The batter turns out better because there is a control on the amount of water that needs to be added, and the motion of the stones aerates the batter better than a normal grinder, creating a much better final product. Well, for those of us who do not have such luxuries, a normal grinder works just fine…….
Allow the batter to ferment in a warm place for about 8 hours, or till it rises slightly. I prefer grinding the batter in the morning, as we stay in a really cold place, and the batter needs to go in a 200 Degree preheated oven, which I need to keep checking on periodically. The longer the batter is let to ferment, the sourer it gets. Add the salt to the batter after it has fermented.
For the Stuffing-
1. Potatoes- 4 large, Boiled and peeled
2. Onion- 1 Large, chopped
3. Green Chilies- 3 to 4, sliced
4. Curry leaves- 6 to 8
5. Fresh Ginger- 1 inch piece, finely chopped
6. Coriander- 1 Tbspn, finely chopped
7. Mustard seeds- 1/2 Tsp
8. Urad Dal- 1 1/2 Tsp
9. Channa Dal- 1 1/2 Tsp
10. Oil- 2 Tbsp
11. Turmeric powder- 1/2 Tsp
12. Salt to Taste
13. Juice from 1/2 lemon
Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan. Add the mustard seed, after they splutter, add the urad dal and channa dal and allow to turn slightly brown. Add the green chilies, ginger and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds. Add the onions, and saute till they become transparent. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Mash the potatoes slightly, and mix with the onions. Turn off the heat. Mix the lemon juice and garnish with the fresh coriander.
For a version of this curry without onions. Follow the initial steps as above, and use a pinch of asafetida for the tadka, but skip the onions. Before adding the mashed potatoes, add a tsp of rasam powder and a tsp of sugar to the oil. Mix the lemon juice as before, and garnish with fresh coriander. Boiled Peas make a good addition to this dish.
This curry goes great with Pooris too…..
For the onion chutney-
Onion- 1 medium, chopped
Tamarind paste- 1/4 Tsp
Red chilies- 2
salt to taste
Grind all the above to make a thick chutney to spread on the dosa.
Alternatively, a mixture of ghee and Chutney powder can be used as a spread.
To assemble the Masala Dosa-
Stick half an onion on a fork and use this to clean the tava, each time after making a dosa. Heat the Tava on medium, spread the batter into a thin, round, approximately 8′ diameter, pancake, and turn the heat on high. Add oil( or a mixture of oil and Ghee) all around the sides of the dosa to prevent sticking. After the dosa turns golden, spread some onion chutney, or chutney powder-ghee mixture, over it, put some potato curry in the center, and fold. Top with a blob of butter, and serve with some coconut chutney and Sambhar( Recipes coming up).
Hey, do you have the tradition of throwing away the first dosa????