Few things to keep in mind before starting:
- Dosa is crispy crepe prepared by using fermented whole black gram lentil without skin(urad gota) and idli rice or parboiled rice or any short grained rice batter & is served with sambhar and coconut chutney.
- Whether a beginner or an experienced cook, the tips and tricks mentioned in the blog will definitely help everyone to master the technique of making a perfect dosa.
- Preferably use the skinless whole black gram lentil also called as ‘Urad Gota’ for preparing the batter. You may even use the skinless split urad dal in case urad gota is not available.
- Generally, dosa is prepared with 3:1 ratio of Rice:lentil. You may experiment with different ratios and then use the one which gives you the best results.
- In my case, I have found 2.5:1 ratio of Rice:Lentil works the best for making both Dosas and idlis. I generally use the same batter for making both idli and dosa for my own convenience.
- Always soak rice and lentils separately as they need to be ground to different consistencies.
- Adding a tsp of methi(fenugreek) seeds will help in the fermentation process. Soak the methi seeds along with the lentils and then grind these with lentils.
- I have found that adding 1 tbsp of soaked soyabean lentil paste to the batter really enhances the fermentation process. Soak the soyabean lentil alongwith urad lentils and grind these together.
- Always add non-iodized salt to the ground rice-lentil batter as iodized salt hampers the fermentation process. I always add rock salt.
- Grinding the lentil and rice to a proper consistency plays an important role in preparing perfect dosa. Grinding can be done in stone wet grinder or a mixer grinder. Grind rice and lentils separately using minimal water and that too only chilled as the mixer grinder gets hot while grinding and heat will ruin your batter. Lentils are needed to be ground very well to a very fine & fluffy paste while rice are ground to a slightly coarser paste.
- Mix the rice paste and lentil paste together along with rock salt. You may adjust the water in your batter to a thick but flowing consistency at this stage. The correct amount of water in the batter is really important.
- Also beat both rice and lentil batter well for 3-4 minutes with your hands only as the heat from your hands will help in achieving better and faster fermentation.
- Fermentation plays a key role here. Always keep your batter at some warm place in your house to ferment for 8 hrs(in summers) to sometimes 24 hrs(in winters). The batter should either double up in volume or should at least be having bubbles on the top along with a typical sour fermented aroma.
- In winters, you may preheat your oven at 100 degree C for 10-15 minutes , switch off the oven and then keep your batter in the oven to ferment. A bit of sugar, added to the batter, does help in fermenting during winters.
- Do not use air tight utensils while fermenting the batter. Always use either stainless steel or glass containers. Avoid the plastic ones.
- Always fold the batter gently once it is fermented as vigorous mixing will result in removal of all the entrapped air, ruining your fermented batter.
- Take some fermented batter in a separate container, adjust the amount of water to make a spreadable flowing batter.
- You may use iron griddle(tawa) or a non-stick tawa. I am, personally, against the use of non-stick utensils in my kitchen. Also the taste and the colour of the dosa prepared on iron griddle is much much better than that prepared on non-stick tawa.
- Seasoning the iron griddle or tawa is equally important to prepare crispy dosa. To season the tawa, spread a tbsp of desi ghee or cooking oil over the tawa and let it heat for 2-3 minutes on high flame.Keep on spreading the poured ghee in between. Switch off the flame and remove the excess of ghee using some tissue paper. Your tawa is now seasoned well so as to avoid the dosa from sticking to your tawa.
- Now again switch on the gas, sprinkle some chilled water over the hot tawa, switch the flame to low, immediately pour a laddle full of batter in the middle, spread it with the back of the laddle in a spiral circular motion from centre to outwards, switch the flame to high again, pour some ghee over the spread batter and let it cook till brown colour is visible in the dosa. Do not scrape the dosa till browning has happened. The dosa will be easily scrapped after that.
- You may enjoy plain dosa or you may add potato stuffing in the middle of dosa, roll it and enjoy it hot with hot sambhar & coconut chutney.
- The fermented batter can be stored in air tight container for 2-3 days in refrigerator.
- Ingredients: (for 4-6 persons)
For Plain dosa:
- Idli Rice – 2.5 cups
- Urad Gota (Skinned whole black gram) – 1 cup
- Soyabean lentil – 1 tbsp
- Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) – 1 tsp
- Rock salt – 2 tsp
- Chilled water – as required (to grind rice and lentils)
- Desi Ghee / oil – to shallow fry dosa
For Potato stuffing:
- Potato – 4 (medium, boiled)
- Onion – 1 (medium, thinly sliced)
- Ginger-Green chilli paste – 1 tbsp
- Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Dry red chillies – 1 to 2
- Curry leaves – a few
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chilli powder or black pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Fresh Coriander leaves – a few to garnish
- Wash well your rice and lentils separately and then soak them separately overnight. Add methi seeds to the lentils while soaking them.
- Then grind the lentils and methi seeds together to a smooth, fine and fluffy paste. Use minimal water and that too chilled during grinding. Pour the ground paste to a large bowl.
- Grind the soaked rice too to a bit coarser paste using minimal chilled water and transfer it to the bowl containing the lentil-methi seeds paste.
- Add rock salt to the ground paste and beat these together for 3-4 minutes using your hands only as the heat from your hands will help in a better & faster fermentation.
- You may adjust the amount of water in your batter at this stage to get a thick but flowing consistency batter.
- Keep the batter covered for 8 hrs (in summers) to 24 hrs (in winters) at some warm place to ferment. The batter will double up in volume or will have bubbles on its top along with a typical sour fermented aroma.
- After fermentation, never over mix or vigorously mix your batter as it will result in removal of all the entrapped air ruining your batter. Always fold the fermented batter gently.
- Take some batter in a separate bowl and gently add some water to make a flowing spreadable consistency batter.
- To prepare the potato stuffing, heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds & let them splutter. Now add dry red chillies, onion and curry leaves & let onion get pinkish in colour. Then add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and roughly crushed boiled potato to it, mix and cook for few minutes. Switch off the flame and add finely chopped coriander leaves. Your stuffing is ready. Keep it aside.
- Now season your iron griddle or tawa as explained in the pointers at the start of this blog.
- Sprinkle some chilled water over the hot seasoned tawa, switch the flame to low, pour a laddle full of batter in the centre, spread it with the laddle backside in a spiral circular motion from centre to outwards, switch the flame to high, sprinkle some ghee over it and let it cook till brown colour appears. Do not scrape the dosa till this point. You will have to move the tawa in various directions to get a uniform browning. After the brown colour appears, scrapping the dosa becomes very easy.
- Put some potato stuffing in the centre, roll the dosa and enjoy it hot with hot sambhar and coconut chutney.
‘Cooking for our loved ones with love!’
Link for coconut chutney : https://yoshitaskitchen.com/2020/04/19/fresh-coconut-chutney/
Link for peanut chutney : https://yoshitaskitchen.com/2020/03/10/peanut-chutney/
Link for sambhar : https://yoshitaskitchen.com/2020/03/15/coconut-milk-sambhar/