What is "Dosa" ?
Dosa is an Indian crepe made with fermented rice and lentil batter. It is one of the most common breakfast item in the Southern part of India . Homemade dosas are much smaller compared to the dosas served in the restaurants. The reason being at Homes we use regular sized cast iron skillets to make dosas. Where as in restaurants they use huge griddles. To make dosa batter, we soak rice and urad dal (a type of lentil) in water for 6 hours. After eight hours the rice and urad dal are ground into a fine batter. In olden days women used to manually grind the batter in a huge mortar and pestle. Thanks to the advancement in technology now we have a machine to make the dosa batter. In India we call it the dosa batter Grinder. Once the batter is ground into fine and smooth texture, it's stored at room temperature to ferment overnight. Usually we make the batter before going to bed , so we can have fresh dosas for breakfast the next day morning.
The huge mortar and pestle used in olden days
Dosa is usually served with Sambar(lentil soup) and chutney. There are a wide variety of chutneys in southern Indian cuisine , such as mint chutney, coconut chutney, cilantro chutney, peanut chutney, onion chutney , tomato chutney etc.
Different variety of chutneys
Dosa is a healthy breakfast , it has no added sugar and it's gluten free. Above all it's absolutely delicious! So the next time you go to an Indian restaurant don't forget to order and enjoy this yummy Southern Indian specialty.
How to make Dosa
Ingredients (you can find both the ingredients in an Indian grocery store)
2 cups idli rice
1/2 cup urad dal
2 teaspoons salt
Add 2 cups idli rice and 1/2 cup urad dal in a large bowl. Soak the rice and urad dal in water for 8 hours.
After 8 hours wash the rice and the urad dal by swirling your hands in the water and mixing the contents. Drain the cloudy water using a strainer. Repeat the same process until the water runs clear.
Once the rice and urad dal are wahed add them in an electric food processor, add add 2 cups water little by little and blend into a smooth liquid.
Add 2 teaspoons salt to the batter and mix it with your hands. The reason for mixing the batter with your hands is we need the good bacteria from our hands to cause the fermentation process. We do not need to add any fermenting agents to the batter.
Once the batter is mixed cover the container with a lid and store it at room temperature for 12 hours. During winter I would suggest to store in room temperature for 14 hours. You can keep it inside the oven with oven lights on which will create some heat.
After 12 hours the batter will rise and become fluffy. Mix the batter well with a spatula.
Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or a non stick skillet on the stove. When the skillet is hot scoop 1/4 cup of batter and pour it in the center of the skillet. Place the bottom of the cup on the batter , by holding the handle of the cup make circular motion on the skillet and spread the batter in a circular pattern on the skillet. Drizzle little oil around the edges of the batter.
When you start seeing brown color along the edges , flip the dosa and cook on the other side for 30 seconds.
After 30 seconds remove the dosa from the skillet and start making the next one.
The dosa has to be served immediately for best taste. Maintain the heat of the skillet in the medium range , the skillet gets heated to a high temperature if it's heated for a longer time. So adjust the heat , to maintain in the medium range.
You can store the batter in the refrigerator for upto one week.