Dosa is the Indian pancake/crepe. You can make it as a thin crepe or as a thick pancake. Plain dosai recipe is actually a vegan gluten-free crepe. This dish has gained popularity all over thanks to Udupi restaurants. It is that tiffin recipe which has gain cult status. While the west goes with pancake, this is a vegan gluten-free version. It is loaded with proteins thanks to the lentils in it.
Nowadays very popular even in the western world. Thanks to eateries like Saravana Bhavan, Dosa Plaza and Dosa hut. It is as versatile as your pita bread a wrap. Add any filling to it and make it your own special recipe.
How to make dosa batter?
Dosa ingredients are simple. We soak rice and black split gram overnight in different bowls. Add rice flakes/poha to rice and fenugreek seeds/methi dana to dal, to make it extra crispy. We then grind rice first. Then the dal (after removing the water used for soaking)to make a good batter. Mix rice and lentil batter together. Let it ferment for few hours, until it rises.
If you reside in a cold country, preheat the oven for few minutes. Switch it off. Put the batter in a steel/oven friendly vessel and leave it for few hours. It surely rises and doubles. I use the same trick for fermenting yogurt.
Nowadays people even use instant pot to ferment dosa batter.
Crispy rava dosa recipe also comes to rescue if you forget to soak this batter. Make thin crepes or pancakes as per your choice. Trivia: Rava dosa is generally made in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh while batter with idli rice is made in Tamil Nadu.
Is dosa healthy?
Yes this dish is rich in Iron and protein. It is also great for your bones and gut as it is fermented. Also, low on fat. Serve it with coconut chutney. Coconut gives you enough fiber to help digest the dal. Instant tomato chutney also goes great with it.
Why is it popular?
You can find it everywhere, from streets of Benaras to down south in Kanyakumari. Some like it plain others with mashed potato filling. Nowadays, people even make different types of masala. I have attended food festivals as a kid. Hotel Green Park Vizag would sell 108 types in their food festival. There were so many types of masala dosa both traditional and fusion ones. Rava masala, onion masala, schezwan, mutton, chicken keema and even chopsuey.
Some eateries like Sai Ram parlor are famous for their crispy and cheap fare. The most unique stuff, I have even seen is butter loaded version on a mobile stove in the streets of Benaras some years back. Seeing this south Indian dish in Hindi heartland shows its popularity Typical street food made mobile as butter is easy to carry. It provides the fat needed for cooking. Thus,you can cook batter and serve fresh to devotees coming from Ghat post morning prayers. Vendors sell fresh butter laden dosai and idli on makeshift stalls on steps of shops which are yet to open for the day. They disappear as soon as the shops are ready to open. Quite unique arrangements I must say, making best of space and time.
- Urad dal/black lentils soaked
- Rice 1.5 cup rice, 1.5 cup idli rice/boiled rice soaked
- Handful of poha /rice flakes
- Tuvar dal/ pigeon pea lentils
- Methidana/fenugreek seeds
Read the dosa recipe below
- For batter:
- 1 cup urad dal/black lentils soaked
- 3 cups rice 1.5 cup rice, 1.5 cup idli rice/boiled rice soaked
- Handful of poha /rice flakes
- 2-3 tbsp tuvar dal/ pigeon pea lentils
- 1 tsp methidana/fenugreek seeds
- 2-3 tsp Salt
- Wash and soak 1 cup urad dal in a bowl with 2 cups of water overnight.
- Wash and soak rice and all the other ingredients except salt in 6 cups of water overnight.
- Blend rice mix in a mixer with little water,once its nearly done, add the urad dal without any water.
- You may blend the above in 2 or more batches depending on the capacity of the mixer.
- Mix salt in the batter.
- Keep the batter aside to ferment overnight in a warm place.
- Heat the cast iron tawa for few mins on low heat.
- In a bowl take some amount of batter and add some water to get a thin pouring consistency.You may add salt if required
- Once its medium hot,add a ladle of batter and spread it evenly.Cover it with a lid
- Let it cook for few minutes ,until rawness dissapear.Flip it and cook on the other side for few mins.
- Using a spatula,take out the dosa.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
- Before you start with the next uttapam, add few drops of water on the tava, so that the temperature of the tava has come down,else the batter will stick.
Mixer grinder/blender (for making batter from scratch)
Cast iron pan for dosa.
How to make a perfect dosa?
To make a perfect dosai, ensure your cast iron pan is hot. If it is too hot, sprinkle some water on the pan. Always put the batter first. Once, you spread the batter with a ladle. Pour few drops of oil and cover it with a lid. Flip once it stops sticking to the pan. If the batter sticks at one end, it still needs few minutes of cooking. So do not rush just wait. Else, the dosa will break. Good seasoned cast iron pan is great for making crisp dosai.
Why is my dosa not crispy?
If you do not follow the batter ingredient ratio correctly, it will not come out perfectly. Also, use a cast iron pan for them. Perfection guaranteed! If your dosa is sticking to the pan, its either too hot or not seasoned properly.