Dosai/dosa is a common breakfast item in my kitchen. I generally make enough batter to last two or three days, as it is convenient for my neighbour to make a few for the children when they get back from school, and I am away at work. My daughter loves her dosa paper roast – thin, crisp and done slowly. My son hates it but eats mostly because he knows that if the ‘short break’ snack is his sister’s favourite the ‘long break’ meal will be his favourite dish – Isn’t it amazing how we give thought to such details when we turn into moms?
My husband likes dosa the way Udipi hotels serve (He’s Mangalorean) – Chutney smeared and topped with the masala, sambar and chutney on the side. I feel a little lazy usually to make it as it calls for too much effort on the side. However when I saw that there was a dosa mela hosted by Srivalli of ‘Cooking 4 all seasons‘ I thought, why not? My husband was a little amused when he learnt why I was making his ‘mint masala dosas’. He tells me that I now seem to be preparing more to blog, and to some extent he is right too. He happens to be a good cook when he is in the mood and soon maybe I will be posting his creations too!
This one is a really tasty dosa with only the slightest variation – the flavor added by the mint chutney. It was disappearing so fast that I had hardly any time to take the snaps and after we had all finished, I realised that I hadn’t taken a single snap of the chutneys (Coconut, molagaipodi, and the aloo masala filling) – It was a weekday mayhem as my children leave by 8:20 in the morning and I insist on having a filling breakfast at 8:00. But I am posting it as an entry to the event I spoke of, as the damage cannot be remedied unless I make dosas again tomorrow!
Here is my recipe for the mint masala dosa (I am including variations in italics in brackets) for the dosa mela.
Dish: Mint Masala Dosa ~ Vegan, gluten-free, savoury Tamilian pancakes
For the dosa:
Par-boiled rice / Ukda chaawal – 31/2 cups
De-husked black gram dal / Urad dal – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds / Methi dana – 1tsp.
For the filling:
Potatoes (Boiled and peeled)- 4 large
Onion (Thickly sliced) – 1 medium
Mustard seeds / Rai / Sarson – 1/2 tsp.
Split bengal gram / Chana dal – 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves / Kadi patta – 4
Coriander leaves / Dhania patta (Roughly chopped) – 4 to 5 stems
Ginger (Grated fine) – 1/4 tsp.
Green chillies (Chopped – Optional) – 1
Asafoetida powder / Hing – A pinch
Turmeric powder / Haldi – 1/4 tsp.
Oil – 1 tsp.
For the green chutney please click here.
Preparation of the dosa batter:
1. Wash and soak the rice and dal(With methi dana) in separate vessels in enough water (Water should be nearly double the quantity of rice/dal) overnight or for 4 to 5 hours.
2. Drain and grind the dal in fresh water till soft, light and fluffy. I keep the batter a little thick – dropping consistency but should coat the ladle thickly when mixed.
3. Drain and grind the rice into a smooth batter fresh water – while grinding rice add water little by little as the rice has already soaked up enough water and tends to become runny if you add water in the same quantities as to the dal.
(Tip:If you are grinding in a mixie and not idly grinder use ice cold water to prevent the motor from getting hot – it affects the taste of the dosa.)
Mix the batters and add salt to taste. Beat in a clock-wise motion with a ladle till they blend well and set aside for an hour (For 4 – 5 hrs. if you like it fermented – I prefer dosas not fermented much)
Preparation of the filling:
Crumble potatoes roughly while still warm. (It should not be a cutlet mash). Heat a tsp. of oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add chana dal, green chillies, ginger, kadi patta and hing and saute till the chana dal changes colour slightly. Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt and saute till the onions turn transluscent. Add the crumbled potato and salt to taste and mix well. Sprinkle a little water if it is too dry. Remove from fire and set aside to cool.
Making the masala dosa:
1. Heat a griddle (I use non-stick and almost no oil but if you have a calcutta tawa the dosas turn out better but oil the surface with a half cut onion or potato pricked with a fork / a clean paper). The tawa is ready when water drops sprinkled on the surface start dancing around immediately before drying up.
2. Reduce to medium heat and pour a ladleful of batter in the centre of the griddle spreading in a clockwise circular motion to the outside till thin enough. (As you like it – I like masala dosa to be a little thick as it holds the filling better and doesn’t feel like aloo all over your mouth while eating)
3. Roast till the dosa changes colour and the brown rings start showing through. If the batter is fermented enough you will find bubbles in the surface and the rims of the dosa will not rise like mine. (Mine has started leaving the pan as the batter has not been fermented)
4. Flip with a pancake turner and cook the other side for a few seconds. Flip over and smear the mint chutney as shown.
Keep 11/2 tbsp. of the potato filling in one half of the dosa and flatten it on that half. Fold the other half over OR
If the dosa is big enough, imagine it in three portions. Keep the filling in the centre and flatten in the 1/3rd middle area. Fold the other two 1/3 portions over one another.
6. Remove onto a plate and serve immediately with love, passion, coconut chutney, sambar or molagai podi (the chutney and sambar are not necessary though I always make coconut chutney as my daughter loves it). The dosa has enough mint flavor to entice and activite your taste buds. (I find that the chutney and sambar for this flavor is more an attack on the tongue so I just have it without anything else!)
7. A cup of tea completes the meal!