Plain dosai

Oct 23, 2002 at 12:00 am
1 cup urad dhal (white lentils)
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 cup water (to grind with urad dhal)
2 teaspoons. salt
3 cups rice flour
3 cups water (to mix with rice flour)
1/2 cup oil

Soak urad dhal and fenugreek together in water for three hours. Drain the water. Grind the mixture in a blender with 1/2 cup of water and two teaspoons of salt so it forms a smooth batter. Make a second batter by thoroughly mixing rice flour with 3 cups of water. Mix the two batters together and leave mixture on the top of the refrigerator or inside the oven for 12 hours to ferment.

Grease a frying pan or griddle with oil, over medium heat. Pour 1/2 cup of the batter over the griddle and spread it around with a spoon into a thin, round pastry. Pour one teaspoon of oil around it. When tiny bubbles appear on the upper surface and begin to break, lift dosai with a spatula to check if it is golden brown underneath. If so, turn it over. When both sides become golden brown, remove from the griddle and serve hot. Serve dosai with coconut chutney and sambar.

Yields about 50 to 60 dosais.


Masala dosai
(dosai stuffed with potato filling)

4 medium-sized potatoes
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dhal (white lentils)
1 teaspoon channa dhal (split chickpeas)
2 cups onion, cut lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 green peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1/8 teaspoon tumeric
20 curry leaves
1/2 cup carrots and peas (frozen)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 cup water
dosai batter
1 teaspoon salt

Make dosai batter 12 to 16 hours ahead, as explained in the recipe for "Plain dosai." Boil potatoes in water over medium heat until potatoes become tender. Drain water. Peel the skin off the potatoes. Then cut the potatoes into small cubes.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, and sauté urad dhal, mustard seeds and channa dhal. When mustard seeds crack, add onion, ginger, peppers, coriander leaves and tumeric. Stir until onion turns golden. Then add curry leaves.

After a second, stir in carrots, peas and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add potatoes, lime juice and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a full boil. When half of the water evaporates, remove from heat. The stuffing for masala dosai is ready.