healthy chola dosai/corn dosai
Cholam means Corn in Tamil language. Before rice became a staple food in Tamilnadu, cultivated cholam/corn, kezhvaragu/finger millet, kambu/pearl millet and many more natural grains which are uncommon in cities and becoming less common in towns and villages these days were used in making kanji/porridge or cooked as main course meal.
Even today, every area – be it rural or urban in Tamilnadu has one or many local grinding mills. Ladies of the household use the local grinding mill to grind their gothumai/wheat, cholam/corn, kezhvaragu/finger millet, kambu/pearl millet and other whole grains to powder for usage in their day-to-day cooking – idli, dosai, upma and so on. Powders to make all staple and speciality gravies like sambar, rasam, puli kuzhambu, kuruma and many more have to be grounded in these mills. Hence, these local grinding mills are indispensable. Nowadays, the whole grain powders are available ready-made in super markets.
Whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber.
The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Few foods can offer such diverse benefits.
People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. They also have lower cholesterol levels. http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101
That is why I thought I could share one of the easiest dosai batters, though needs little practice while making dosais/pancakes – Chola Dosai.
Makka Cholam/Sweet Corn is more common in most of the tourist/picnic spots… in beaches and hill stations – grilled corn, flavoured with juice of lemon, salt and chilly powder makes a spicy-tangy comfort food.
Dried corn is milled into a powder to make different breakfast and dinner main courses in Tamilnadu…. especially in rural Tamilnadu. I think it is slowly becoming a restricted affair in the cities to make idlis or dosais from different kinds of grains. Lack of time due to fast paced life!
Now, to some health benefits and historic facts of corn…
Corn is actually a unique phytonutrient-rich food that provides us with well-documented antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidant nutrients, corn is a good source of vitamin C as well as the mineral manganese. But it is corn’s phytonutrients that have taken center stage in the antioxidant research on corn. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90
Archaeological studies indicate that corn was first cultivated by the primitive people of Mesoamerica at least 5600 years ago.
Corn or maize was the primary starch for Native Americans for centuries. The kernels were boiled or fried, or ground to cornmeal after drying. http://jugalbandi.info/2007/11/indian-corn/
The evidence of maize in archaeological sites in China and its depiction in Hoysala Temples in India, both dated before the 15th century A.D., suggests that this domesticated crop was diffused by human action before the arrival of Columbus in the New World. The implications of this evidence are of great magnitude, since the presence of maize in Asia indicates that humans were able to migrate between both hemispheres; more than likely through trans-oceanic means of travel. http://geography.uoregon.edu/carljohannessen/research.html
While coming from Chennai, I had brought chola maavu or the corn powder milled from the nearest grinding mill. After that was done, I get the packed yellow corn flour from the indian store.
chola maavu/corn flour
Ingredients (makes approximately 4 dosais)
- chola maavu/yellow corn flour – 1 cup
- salt – as needed
- water – enough to make batter
Mix chola maavu, salt and water into a lumpless loose batter.
pour in patches
more if required
spread to make it even
turn to cook
Method of Preparation
- Heat dosaikal/tawa/flat pan on stove
- When hot, grease well with gingelly oil or any cooking oil
- Take enough batter in a ladle and pour in circular motion from inner to outer or outer to inner side of pan
- Pour more batter if needed and spread to make a crispy fine dosai/pancake
- Do not make like normal dosai method – pouring the dosai batter in the middle of the tawa and spreading it evenly in circular motion; see http://dosaikal.com/2011/08/14/basic-dosaidosa/
- Pouring the batter in patches, and then quickly spreading it evenly on pan makes perfect chola dosai
- Sprinkle oil on the outer edge of the dosai and let it cook till brown
- Turn the dosai to cook on both sides
- Serve hot with preferred chutney. see http://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/.
cooked well on the other side
ready to serve
- This batter would stick to the dosaikal/pan immediately – hence cannot be made like the normal dosai – in circular motion from inside to outside.
- Pouring in patches from outside to inside or vice versa and then spreading helps to avoid broken dosais.
- Takes a little practice to be successful. Good Luck!