Thursday, February 21, 2008

1001 Dosas

Model Recipes : The blogs below showcase some of the best dosa recipes I have come across

Pesarattu : Recipes don't come clearer than this..
Palak Dosa : Siri adds an interesting twist by using spinach puree.
Poha Dosa Vanaja's pancake sized dosas
Wheat flour Dosa

Dosas - A Primer
Dosa, a wafer thin rice - lentil crepe is a very popular South Indian breakfast food. Dosa is generally served with sambar or chutney. South Indians have been eating dosas for thousands of years

Dosa is normally made from a batter of rice( 3 parts) and urad dal ( 1 part). These are soaked overnight, and ground to a batter the consistency of condensed milk.

Being a thin crepe, Dosa does not require fermentation. Why ? for the same reason Naan's and rotis require fermentation, but chappatis and parathas don't. In all these foods, fermentation is used to make a thick foodstuff spongy. A thin crepe like a dosa or a flatbread like a chapati need not be spongy and so do not require fermentation.

However, in most places the same batter is used for Dosa, Idli and Uttapams. Idli and Uttappams being thick, need to be spongy. So this comon batter is normally fermented.

A variety of cereals and lentils can be used for Dosas. At one end we have the neer dosa made only from a cereal ( rice) and at the other end we have the pesarattu made only from pulses ( Mung dal) . Most dosas however, use a combination of cereals and pulses, thereby providing both carbohydrates and protein.

Restaurant quality thin, crisp dosas are impossible in homes unless you have a large thick skillet. A large, thick skilet soaks up heat and transfers it all at once to the dosa, instantly converting it from batter to wafer. A thin skillet either steams the dosa (if it is not hot enough)and makes it soft or burns the dosa if it is too hot.

Only the dosas made from rice and urad dal and some pulses remain crisp. Many other cereals ( wheat, ragi etc) make perfectly edible, but soft dosas.

Dosa making takes quite a few tries to master. However,do not be worried by the shape or size of your dosas. Even when they become a soggy mess because you are unable to flip them as a single sheet, they still remain very edible !

Folk wisdom has that the first dosa is always a sorry mess and I've found it to be absolutely true, time and time again.


Priya said...

Hi Ramki,

Thanks for adding my Vegetable Upma recipe. I hope more people can relish this simple yet satisfying, wholesome dish.


Siri said...

Ramki - I am so glad u liked my palak dosa and thanks for including it..:D


Anonymous said...

Nice to hear that you liked my recipe for wheat flour dosa. Thanks for adding my recipe to the 1001 dosas cookbook, Ramki! Hope more people try and enjoy this simple, quick, tasty dish … :)

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