Saturday, 10 July 2010

Plain Dosa (Lentil Pancakes)

Dosas (Singular - Dosa) or Dosha are thin and crispy lentil pancakes mainly prepared using a lentil or a combinations of few lentils and rice. The most popular one is this plain dosa which is prepared using Urad (Black) lentils and rice and is almost always served along with sambar, potato masala and a chutney or few chutneys- a favorite South Indian breakfast and sometimes a tea time treat. Sambar is one of the most popular south Indian curry which is a medley of assorted vegetables and have its own distinct and characteristic taste. Dosa served along with potato masala well known as ‘Masala Dosa’ is a world famous South Indian breakfast that you would come across any south Indian restaurant. Chutneys of different flavours are also a favourite accompaniment to these dosas and are usually served alongside. They are mainly coconut based dips, flavoured with different ingredients like chillies, coriander, mint, curry leaves etc. and are seasoned and tempered in different ways. Some of the chutneys can be really hot even for the Indian taste buds, so you might need to be a bit cautious if you are sensitive to heat.

If anyone have’nt had Dosa yet, I strongly recommend that you should. Because these pancakes are not only enjoyed by Indians but by people all across the globe. That reminds me the rush that used to occur at a stall in One of Abu dhabi’ s popular shopping centre where they used to sell Indian street foods like Vada pavs, Vada, pav Bhaji, panoi puri and Dosa. Their food is finger licking good and their queue is as big as their fame. During my university my friends hailing from Oman and UAE had dosas from there and they had told me how much they loved them and they wanted to learn how to make them. Well, that was the time when I didn’t know even the basic of cooking.

Every time I prepare dosa at home, my hubby would ask me if I had posted the recipe of dosa yet. He normally doesn’t bother about me posting a recipe but whenever I prepare dosa’s he used to ask me to post the recipe and give hints on how to shoot pics. I didn’t bother about it because almost anyone would know how to make this dosa and you would find numerous recipes on net as well all of them which are similar or almost same. But since he kept asking, I thought why not post it now? This is my mothers recipe and her ratio is 3:1:1 that is Raw rice: Urad dal: cooked Rice. Fermentation may differ depending on particular region’s temperature. It is very easy to prepare. There are number of recipes that you can make with this dosa batter like egg dosa, vegetable Oothappam, onion oothappam etc. Last weekend I prepared Egg dosa and it came out real good. I would try to post them if it interests anyone probably later. Now to the recipe:

Plain dosa
Serves 3


1 cup Raw rice (Pachari)

1 cup Cooked rice

1/3 cup Urad Dal

½ - ¾ tsp Fenugreek seeds

Salt to taste

Ghee- as required


1. Wash rice and soak it for about 3 - 4 hours along with fenugreek seeds.

2. Wash urad dal and soak it separately in another bowl for equal amount of time.

3. Grind rice + fenugreek using ¾ cup of water until the mixture is smooth.

4. Separately grind urad dal in ¾ cup of water until smooth as well.

5. Combine both batters, add salt and mix well. Cover and keep in a warm place (for eg: Kitchen counter) for about 8-10 hours or overnight to ferment. This time may increase or decrease depending on the temperature and climate of the place.

6. Once the batter has fermented, give it a good stir.

7. To cook dosa, slightly dip a kitchen paper or a muslin cloth or even a coconut husk in coconut oil or ghee and lightly grease the dosa pan by rubbing the pan with oiled kitchen paper.

8. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the centre of the pan. Lightly spread the batter using back of the ladle in a spiral motion starting from the centre and ending outside. The heat should be set to low while pouring and spreading the batter and then increase to medium to cook dosa. Spreading dosa at medium or high heat will be difficult and cooking them on high heat will burn them. So adjust the flame accordingly.

9. Cover and cook till it turns golden or golden brown on the edges. Lightly apply ghee all over if you prefer and serve along with Chutney, Sambar or potato Masala. Leftover batter is said be stored in fridge for upto a week.
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