(In the pic: dosa served with sambar)
One fine Saturday morning, I soaked some rice and black gram in water. The same evening I ground them to make silky smooth batter. Next morning they were fermented and ready to be made into crispy dosas.
Now I guess you’ve assumed the amount of time involved in the making of these crepes. But for a good reason. Enjoying a classic breakfast with your family or friends on the weekend is something special.
Rice and lentils make up the base of this very popular South Indian breakfast. Very healthy, indeed. The fermentation process doubles the nutritional content of these crepes.
When I made dosas the very first time, I realized that fermentation and cold weather don’t mix. So I had to come up with a technique to facilitate fermentation even in freezing temperature. These days I use a combination these ideas (see below) to make sure I get perfect dosas each and every time.
Before leaving the batter to ferment:
- Mix ½ tsp yeast with ¼ tsp sugar and a little amount of water. Add it in the batter and mix well.
- Place the bowl of batter in a large vessel filled with lukewarm water.
- Place batter in a preheated oven.
Let’s start making dosas:
- 1 ¼ cup raw rice or long grain rice or basmati rice
- ½ cup skinless black gram (urad dal)
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
- ¾ cup cooked rice
- Salt to taste
- or chutney, to serve
- Soak rice and fenugreek seeds in water for 4-6 hours. Set aside.
- Soak black gram in water for 4-6 hours. Set aside.
- Drain water and place rice and fenugreek seeds in a grinder. Cover with water. Grind to make smooth batter. Grind in batches, if needed.
- Place black gram and cooked rice in the grinder. Cover with water. Grind to make smooth batter.
- Place both batter in a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure it has a pouring consistency. If batter is too thick, add water and mix well. At the same time, the batter should not be too thin. (I used about 1 ½ cups water).
- Leave the batter in a warm place for fermenting. This will take around 8-10 hours.
- Season batter with enough salt. Heat a pan over medium heat. Wipe it with oiled kitchen paper. Pour ¼ cup batter into the pan. Move the ladle in circles to spread the batter in a thin layer. Cook, undisturbed, for about 40- 60 seconds. When the sides of the dosa starts leaving the pan, flip it over and cook. When done, transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter until finished. Serve hot.
Fenugreek seeds are optional in this recipe. They enhance the flavour of the dosas. If you don’t like them, just omit them.