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Dosa ka Masala

Indian crispy pancake 

Dosas are a really popular South Indian pancake eaten at any time of the day, for breakfast, as a snack or more substantially with spiced (potato) fillings and a variety of chutneys for lunch or evening meals. Made from a bizarrely sounding, bubbly batter of fermented rice and black lentils, they are an absolute treat and extremely versatile. I suppose you could consider them a cross between the French sour-dough bread and Western style pancakes. You’ll need to plan ahead for this one, as between the soaking time and fermenting you’re looking at a prep time of over 28 hours! However, after a little effort, they are really worth the time they take to prepare… 

Click Dosa ka Masala to download a printable pdf

Makes about 10-12 Dosa

Ingredients:

Basmati rice                                350g/12oz, rinsed

Urid Dahl (skinned black lentils)    150g/5oz, picked over for stones, then rinsed

Fenugreek seeds                          ½ tsp

Salt                                            1 tsp

Water                                          (as required)

Sunflower Oil                               20 tsp (two for each Dosa)

 

How to make your Dosa:

Right, here we go….!

  1. Take two large mixing bowls, pop the rice into one and the dahl into the other. Pour enough cold water into each bowl to very generously cover the rice and the lentils. Cover each bowl with a cloth and leave to soak overnight and no less than 8 hours. Pop the fenugreek seeds into a cup, cover with two tablespoons of cold water and leave to soak overnight and no less than 8 hours.
  2. When all three have had their time soaking, drain the lentils, pop them into a food processor bowl (or blender jug) with 150ml of cold water and blitz to a smooth, pale, fluffy (as possible) paste, about 4 to 5 minutes, then pour and scrape into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, drain the rice, pop it into your food processor bowl (or blender jug) with 150ml of cold water and blitz to a fine, granular paste and add to the mixing bowl. Add the soaked fenugreek seeds and their ‘soaking water’ to the mixing bowl. Then combine all the ingredients to form a thick batter, thick enough to coat a spoon, like warm, gloopy jam.
  4. Cover the bowl with a cloth, pop onto a tray and place in a warm place, like your hot-press or airing-cupboard. Leave the bowl there for at least 20 hours.…….tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…
  5. …20 hours later, add the salt to the bowl, stir the (now) fermented batter really well and it’s ready to cook!
  6. Then, take your favourite non-stick frying pan, about 8inches or 20cm in diameter. Add the first teaspoon of oil to the pan, pop the pan on to a medium, high heat. Using a medium sized ladle or a ½ cup measure, dip into the Dosa batter and fill; you’re looking for about 120ml of the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the centre of the pan and, using the back of the ladle and in circular, spiral motions gently spread the batter across the pan’s surface. Now, get another teaspoon (or so) of oil and drizzle over the batter’s surface and around its edges. Put the spoon down, grab the pan handle and swirl the oil around so it runs all around the Dosa as it continues to cook.
  8. Once the upper side of the Dosa has changed to an opaque colour, the edges begin to look cooked and golden brown, after roughly 1½ minutes, turn the Dosa over. I find a silicon spatula is best for this. And cook for another minute or so. When cooked, slide the Dosa out of the frying pan and onto a warm plate…it’s done!
  9. Before you start the next one, by following steps 10 to 14, gently wipe the pan’s frying surface with a sheet of the kitchen towel lightly dampened in the ice-cold water, to cool its surface slightly, then on you go!

Serving suggestions:

Serve with a beautifully spicy Masala filling of potatoes, ginger, dahl pulses, onion, spices and a little fresh tomato….(please see below)

Masala Dosa Filling 

Ingredients:

Urid Dahl (skinned black lentils)    3 tsp, picked over for stones

Sunflower oil                               3 tblsp

Onions, medium                          2, thinly sliced

1 sachet Green Saffron Dosa blend

Salt                                            1 tsp

Ginger, fresh root                         30g/1oz finely grated

Potatoes, Roosters or Maris Piper   600g/1lb5oz peeled, diced and boiled, but still holding firm shape

Tomatoes, fresh                           2, roughly diced

Coriander, fresh                           small handful, roughly chopped.

Lime, fresh                                  ½, juice of

Method:

  1. Put the lentils into small bowl, cover with hot water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Take a frying pan, put onto a medium heat, add the oil, heat, then add the onions and gently fry.
  3. When the onions are light brown and slightly soft add your Green Saffron Dosa spices and stir around for a minute or so.
  4. Then, add the salt, ginger, potatoes, tomatoes and stir to thoroughly mix.
  5. Take the pan off the heat, sprinkle with the coriander, squeeze in the lime juice and stir….
  6. You now have your beautifully fragrant filling ready for your freshly made Dosas…!!

 

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