Dosa (crispy savory pancakes) from South India is a staple food in its home region. I absolutely love them with maple syrup and cinnamon for breakfast (above picture) or with coriander powder, fenugreek seeds, and a pinch of spicy cayenne powder. You can even stuff them with fresh steamed vegetables or spinach and raw organic cheese if you want.
There are an abundance of Indian restaurants that have this on their menu here in NJ. My experience with this dish started while working as a personal chef in Indian house holds. This is one of their normal light meal or snack dishes along with dal (lentils) or rajama (curried kidney beans), as well as many other vegetarian favorites.
Having a need to develop my own recipe for my cafe and to eat this at home the recipe below was created. If you live near an Indian Market you may purchase Dosa batter for a little as $2.99 for a one pound container, but I am always up to a challenge! (try making this in smaller batches until you get comfortable; otherwise you have a huge amount to eat by yourself!)
This recipe is also made with 75/25- white rice/brown rice ratio; which gives it an extra healthier edge. Ingredients: 1 large-deep container (I use a restaurant grade gallon bucket) 2 cups white organic rice 1 cup brown rice 1 cup skinless split urad daal (skinless black gram; if not available use split lentils)
-Many recipes call for salting when it is prepared to cook, but I salt when cooking these tasty treats
Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add to the container and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2" deep. Soak overnight.
The next morning, drain all the water from the rice and urad daal. Now put some in a food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste.
When all the rice-daal mix is ground, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon dipped in it. Set aside covered with a damp cloth; a fermentation will occur and it will swell up in size (not much); stir the batter, and place in a pitcher for pouring, adding small amounts of chlorine free water if needed (will thicken from time to time). Place in airtight container and refrigerator; occasionally you might need to stir, but will keep for up to six weeks.
Heat up a non-stick pan to medium high and using a soup ladle pour a pancake like amount into middle of pan; then take soup ladle and swirl the batter out until it is at least double or more in size; moving quickly you will add spices (picture below is traditional Indian spice holder) to the top side; you will see bubbles coming up just like pancake batter but when edges can be lifted up and away from pan then the spatula is slipped underneath, just flip it over.
Notice how it has browned on the other side, and is somewhat crispy? If you do not want that then do not turn up the heat so high... This will only take a few more minutes on the other side and it is ready...go ahead and make plenty more!
With each new one, you should take a towel/paper towel and wet one end; then lifting the pan off the heat, wiping the pan, and start again. This cools down the pan each time so they do not scorch or stick after a while. (some recipes call for oil; if you want then drip a touch after putting the batter down and swirl it around the edges)
The restaurant versions of these are like gigantic crispy large pizza sized cones that usually are eaten before the meal or by children. Home versions are a bit smaller, thicker, and I fill them with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and red onions for a meal!
I guess you could call this an egg'less omelet...Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, its all good...
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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