Saturday, 17 September 2016




          Masala dosas are created in several ways and varied tastes all over South India. Yet, all of them invariably bring forth that unique, mouthwatering aroma and that addictively enticing look which charms your nostalgic memories and makes you want to enjoy them forevermore. My dear children, who seem to have inherited my father’s gourmet palate, often pester me to make for them tummyfuls of my tastiest masala dosas. I happily share with you one of my finest masala dosa recipes. Do cook and enjoy!

Ingredients for the dosa batter:

     1)    Aged raw rice (see note) – 875 gm.
     2)    Parboiled Ponni rice – 125 gm.
     3)    Fenugreek seeds – 5 gm. (1 teaspoon)
     4)    Urud dal (split black gram lentils) – 250 gm.
     5)    Salt – 10 gm. (2 teaspoons)

Ingredients for the masala (filling):

     1)    Peeled potatoes – 750 gm.
     2)    Peeled beetroot – 250 gm.
     3)    Peeled carrot – 100 gm.
     4)    Stemless hot green chilies – 20 gm.
     5)    Peeled ginger – 7 gm.
     6)    Peeled onion – 150 gm.
     7)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     8)    Cooking oil – 15 ml. (1 tablespoon)
     9)    Mustard seeds – 5 gm. (1 teaspoon)
     10)    Urud dal (split black gram lentils) – 10 gm. (2 teaspoons)
     11)    Garam masala powder – 2 gm. (½ teaspoon)
     12)    Kashmiri chili powder – 10 gm. (2 teaspoons)
     13)    Salt – 10 gm (2 teaspoons)
     14)    Water – 250 ml.
     15)    Coriander leaves of one plant (optional)

Ingredient for roasting the dosa:

     1)    Cooking oil to grease the pan (for cast-iron pan) or to sprinkle over the dosa as it starts to crisp (for non-stick pan) – 7.5 ml. (1 ½ teaspoons for each dosa)

To prepare the batter (make the batter today for masala dosas tomorrow):

          Soak the rice (both) and the fenugreek seeds together in water for 5 to 8 hours. Soak the urud dal (250 gm.) separately likewise.

          Rinse and drain the urud dal. Transfer to a wet grinder (for best results) and grind to superfine fluffy paste, adding water from time to time (when you feel the paste is getting too thick for the grinder). Take out the paste and put it in a large vessel (a 10 litre vessel would be ideal as you do not want the batter to overflow when it rises).

          Now rinse the soaked rice and the fenugreek in water, drain and transfer to the wet grinder. Grind likewise to superfine paste (The paste should not be too thick or too watery – if thick, the wet grinder will suffer, if watery, the dosa will. Dosa batter is just a shade thinner than cake batter).

          Transfer the paste to the same vessel. Cover with a lid and leave to rise overnight. Rinse the wet grinder with a little water and save the wash in a separate vessel.

          After resting overnight, the batter would have risen quite well. Take a look at the vessel in which you kept the milky water from washing the grinder. Gently tilt the vessel and drain off the clear water. Add the paste at the bottom to the dosa batter. Tip in the salt. Stir thoroughly, since the heavier rice paste tends to sink to the bottom. Set aside.

To make the masala:

          Dice the potatoes, the beetroot and the carrot roughly to chunks and put them in a pressure cooker. Pour in a cup (250 ml.) of water, put on the lid and set on high heat. As soon as you hear the first whistle, lower the heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the cooker cool naturally (this provides enough time for the vegetables to cook to perfection).

          Meanwhile, chop the onion to superfine pieces and set aside. Chop the green chilies and the ginger together to superfine pieces and set aside. Pull the curry leaves off their sprigs and set aside.

          Check to see if the cooker is cool enough to open the lid (the steam should have subsided fully). If yes, transfer the contents to a mixing bowl and mash the vegetables with the bottom of a stainless steel glass. It is good to leave some small chunks for texture.

          Set a large cast-iron wok (for better taste) or frying pan on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil (15 ml.) and tip in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish spluttering, tip in the urud dal (10 gm.) and lower the heat. Stir till they turn a light brown in colour.

Throw in the chopped green chilies, the ginger and the curry leaves. Stir for a minute and tip in the powdered salt, the garam masala powder and the Kashmiri chili powder. Stir once. Now put in the mashed vegetables, turn up the heat and stir to mix thoroughly. As soon as the masala is hot, switch off the heat (if you are using coriander leaves to make the masala more aromatic, chop or break, add and stir once more).

To make the masala dosa:

          Set a flat cast-iron pan or a non-stick pan on high heat. Use a ladle (which can hold 150 ml. of batter) to stir the batter thoroughly. If you are using a cast-iron pan, grease it with 1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml.) of cooking oil as soon as it is hot. If you are using a non-stick pan, greasing has to be avoided since the batter will refuse to stick to the pan to form the dosa.

          Pour a ladleful of batter in the center of the pan. Put the bottom of the ladle at the center and softly spread the batter in continuous, ever-widening circles till you get a perfect round dosa.

Cover with a cloche and lower the heat. A minute later, lift off the cloche. If you are using a non-stick wok, just sprinkle 1½ teaspoons (7.5 ml.) of cooking oil over the dosa. Let the dosa roast slowly. Soon, you can see golden spots appearing here and there on the dosa. Use a spoon to spread some masala in a line across the length of the dosa. Use a flat showel headed trowel or spatula to fold either side of the dosa over the masala.

          Lift up the masala dosa and serve hot with green curry leaf chutney or coconut chutney or ekpanni chutney or with tomato chutney and sambar or okra sambar. Eat crispy hot masala dosas, dipping pieces in sambar and different chutneys one after the other as my kids do!

Masala dosa with Kappa bonda and Ekpanni chutney



          New rice from freshly harvested paddy is a translucent white in appearance and tends to be too sticky or gooey for the dosa. So it would be better to buy aged raw rice which is opaque and slightly cream in colour to get the perfect dosa. B.T. rice (Bombay Terminus rice) gives excellent results.

No comments:

Leave a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow us by Email and never miss a new recipe!