Friday, November 25, 2011

Dosa Sambhar

Masala dosa with sambhar and coconut chutney
Continuing with the series of breakfast dishes from southern India, the topic would be incomplete without dosa. Probably one of the most popular fare all over India, dosa is a savoury crepe or pancake made from fermented rice and lentils. It can be had as is with coconut chutney and sambhar or stuffed with any stuffing. The most widely used is the onion-potato stuffing.


3 cups rice flour
1 cup dehusked urad dal soaked overnight
salt to taste
1 tbsp yeast (optional)
oil for frying
For the onion-potato filling
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida(hing)
sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal soaked and drained
2 whole dry red chillies
1 large red onion thinly sliced
3 large potatoes boiled and chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
red chillie powder
salt to taste

Keep batter for rising
  1. Drain dal and gring it to a smooth paste using water. 
  2. Pour this in a large container and add the rice flour to it. 
  3. Add warm water and salt to make a smooth purable batter. 
  4. Cover tightly and leave it in a warm place for 5-8 hours to rise (double its volume). If you live in a cold place (like me) you might need yeast to help rise the batter. 
Make the filling
  1. While the batter is rising make your filling. Heat oil in a pan and add hing and mustard seeds. Let spatter for 30 seconds. 
  2. Add curry leaves, whole red chillies, urad and chana dal. Cook for another 30 seconds before adding onions. Cook while stirring till they turn pink. 
  3. Add chopped potatoes along with all the dry spices. Stir well to blend the flavors together for about 3-5 minutes. Keep aside.
Assemble Dosas
  1. Once the batter has risen, stir the batter lightly (too mush stirring will remove the aie bubbles). 
  2. Heat a flat bottomed non-stick pan to medium high. Add a few drops of oil and spread it all around the pan to grease it. Then sprinkle a few drops of water and wait till water bubbles and evaporates. This ensures that your pan is not too hot and dosas will spread without resistance evenly. This step is necessary for each dosa. 
  3. Pour a large ladle full of batter in the center and spread it in a circular motion to form a circle.
  4. Apply a tsp oil on the surface of the crepe and also on the edges. Continue cooking till you see the thin areas turning brown.
  5. Spread a tablespoon of filling one side and turn the crepe into half.
  6. If you want you can flip and crisp the other side too but its not necessary.
  7. Serve with coconut chutney and sambhar.
Cook till small bubbles appear & edges brown
Flipping is not necessary if dosas are very thin
Dosa stuffed with onion-potato filling

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