Category Archives: Breakfast/Dinner

Maargazhi Maadhathil Ven Pongal/Ven Pongal in the month of Maargazhi

 The Tamil Calender starts with Chithirai Maadham which starts from 14th of April. Chithirai is the name of the month and maadham means month. Chithirai, Vaikasi, Aani, Aadi, Aavani, Purattasi, Aippasi, Kaarthikai, Maargazhi, Thai, Maasi, and Panguni are the twelve tamil months. Among all the months, in hindu religious terms, Maargazhi maadham- (mid december to mid january) is considered auspicious – especially to the followers of Lord Vishnu. But mostly, irrespective of the sects, we can see most of the young girls singing Thiruppavai in temples.

 

Andal 

 

Thiruppavai

Thiruppavai is a collection of thirty songs on Lord Vishnu, sung by Andal – one of the twelve Alvars of the Bhakthi Movement in Tamil Literature. Alvars were Vaishnavite Saints as Nayanmars were Saivaite Saints. The quote below gives a better view on Alvars and Bhakti Movement.

 

Andal is one of the most extraordinary personalities in religious history. She is known in her native tongue of Tamil as an Alvar, one who is “immersed” in the depths of enjoyment of God, the omnipresent mysterious One. Tradition reckons 12 Alvars, of which Andal is the only female. Between the fifth and ninth centuries, in the Tamil-speaking region of South India, these saints revitalized the Indian religious milieu, sparking a renewal of devotional worship throughout the subcontinent. Traveling from place to place, from temple to temple, from holy site to holy site, they composed exceedingly beautiful poetry to their Divine Beloved, Vishnu, as an expression of their love for Him. Anyone can see why their poetry was so attractive; at once both impassioned and philosophical, their words cut across all barriers of caste and class, attracting all to their faith. In doing so, they sculpted a new religious heritage of intensely emotional bhakti, or love of the Divine, whose impact is still felt today in the Indian religious life. Andal, whose life and poetry are celebrated every December-January, is the most visible contributor to this heritage. http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/alvars/andal/

 

Andal observed Paavai Nonbu – the simple norms of which are explained in Thiruppavai, to attain Lord Vishnu as her husband. Andal imagines herself as a cowgirl, wakes up all the girls in Aayarpadi/hamlet of cowherds,  early in the morning, to proceed towards the river bed for the early morning rituals of bathing the Lord and worshipping the Lord in tamil hymns. It used to be believed that if young girls observed Paavai Nonbu and sang Thiruppavai – the sacred hymns of Andal, they would get good husbands. Andal has also written Naachiyar Thirumozhi.

Beyond the marriage connection, I think singing Thiruppavai in temples has become more of  religious inclination and healthy spiritual introduction for the young in the later generations. The concept of waking up early in the morning, having a fresh shower, collecting all our friends and proceeding towards the nearby temple to sing Thiruppavai still remains fresh in my mind and heart.

The thought of Maargazhi Maadham brings in wonderful memories of mist filled early mornings, the cold shower, ringing the bells of neighbourhood girls, then walking together to the temple and singing Thiruppavai… not to forget the big colourful kolams/traditional rangolis of south india,  in front of every house.

So, the day would start at the temple at five in the morning. We would wake up at four o’clock, have a shower and thanks to a lenient amma, have a glass of hot milk and would run to call our friends. This feels so tiring today! But it used to be really interesting those days.  Every morning all the thirty stanzas are sung in a group and at the end, stanza of the day is sung.

After some food for thought, there is always food for the starving tummy! As we finish singing, we collect your Prasadham – generally piping hot Ven Pongal in Dhonnai. Dhonnai is the ever special disposable cup made of palm leaves. Ven pongal is the mildly pepper spiced rice and lentil dish for those young ones who have been starving nearly for two hours singing thiruppavai.

Ven Pongal has never been so tasty… may be the spiritual and literary singing made it a well earned treat! The dhonnais are so easy to dispose and give an authentic flavour to the ven pongal. The time is nearly half past six. The morning wouldn’t be over with this. After Vishnu Temple, then is the turn of Shiva temple. We move on to the nearby shiva temple – for me it used to be the Rathnagireeswarar temple in chennai. It is the time to wake up Lord Shiva with Thiruppalli Ezhuchi and also sing Thiruvembaavai. Thiruppalli Ezhuchi and Thiruvembaavai are written by Manickavaasagar – one of the sixty three saiva nayanmars or saints and one of the four main saints of Saivism.

 

‘Few of the world’s biographies are more interesting than that of this man of rare genius.’ says G.U. Pope, of Manicka-vachagar, (660 – 692 C.E.) the fourth of the four grandmasters. http://www.krishnamurthys.com/profvk/WOVpage11.html

 

We have some more prasadham in the Shiva temple- generally puliyodharai/tamarind rice in the disposable dhonnais and walk back home to get ready to go to school. From where did the energy come to wake up early as four and come back nearly at eight, after four hours of spiritual practice in a very playful and interesting way – then proceed towards school for a whole seven hours of education…. I suppose the month of maargazhi is magical! Truly the tamil saints have made literature and religion a part of a healthy life style for generations now.

It is kind of living in the present with the essence of the rich literary past. Today, priorities have changed and the world is slipping into a different culture. This new culture is to hang on to the well spread branches, than clinging on to the roots. This concept of glorifiying the mesmerising past would be minimalised to nothing, if not for those who still believe in the strong roots.

But, beyond the roots and branches, Venpongal (spiced lentil rice), Sarkkarai Pongal (jaggery rice) or puliyodharai (tamarind rice) is still the most sort after things in any temple, next to the deity (or sometimes more than the deity).

 

So now it is ven pongal time!

The word Pongal as a verb means to boil or sometimes to cook in tamil. The spilling over of boiled milk is always referred to the verb pongal. As a noun, it is Pongal – the festival and Pongal – the food. The festival PONGAL  – the harvest festival of the tamils falls in mid january when the new tamil month Thai starts. We shall talk about it in the forth coming posts.

Now, to Ven Pongal – the rice and lentil meal! Venmai – the word from which ven pongal comes means white. The sweet pongal or sarkkarai pongal is dark brown in colour due to the jaggery in it. Ven Pongal, the salted, spiced meal is not exactly white but a little lentillish in colour. This is a wonderful breakfast food – especially on cold or rainy days – spiced with black pepper, ginger and cumin seeds, it works as a cold/cough reliever. All these and the added cashewnuts in ghee makes ven pongal the most favourite breakfast dish after idli or dosai in tamilnadu.

 

the spices

 

 

Ven Pongal

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • paccharisi/south indian raw rice – 1 cup
  • paasi paruppu/split greengram-yellow lentil/moong dhal – 1/2 cup
  • water – nearly 6 cups (to slightly overcook rice and lentil together)
  • salt – as needed
  • whole black pepper – 2 tsp
  • grated ginger – 1 tsp
  • cumin seeds – 2 tsp 
  • nei/ghee/clarified butter – 2 tbsp
  • cashew nuts – 2 tsp

 

rice and lentil cooked in pressure cooker with cumin seeds and whole black peppers

 

Method of Preparation 

  1. Wash rice and lentil together
  2. Add water, black pepper, cumin seeds and salt and cook till very soft
  3. For seasoning, heat ghee in a kadai – add cashew nuts and fry till golden brown
  4. Mix into the rice and lentil preparation
  5. Serve hot with coconut chutney (https://dosaikal.com/2011/09/20/thengai-chutney-coconut-chutney/), sambar or kathirikkai gothsu/eggplant gothsu.

 

ven pongal with thengai chutney

 

Variation

Ven pongal is always cooked with whole black pepper. Most of the kids and some elders would keep the whole black pepper aside due to the spice aspect of it. Dry grinding the spices and blending it well in the rice avoids wastage of spices and helps in better utilisation of the goodness of the spices. This way, pongal is more spicy and a very good home remedy for cold and cough. This also gives the taste of  ‘kovil ven pongal’ or the ven pongal served in temples. While making in this method, black pepper can be reduced to 1 tsp.

  1. Cook rice and lentil in salt and water with 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp whole black pepper
  2. Coarsely dry grind 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp black pepper and grated ginger and fry in gingelly oil/ghee
  3. Fry cashew nuts separately in ghee
  4. Mix spices and nuts together into rice and lentil and serve hot.

 

ven pongal with murungaikkai sambar/drumstick sambar 

 

Note

  1. Cook rice and lentil in more than normal water as it would turn very hard in very less time
  2. Ven Pongal is always served hot and the glow of ghee is a compulsory requisite while serving for better taste
  3. If Pongal has turned out little thick/hard, hot water with little salt can be added and brought to right consistency while serving
  4. South Indian Pachirisi or raw rice is preferred as other starchy rice varieties would make ven pongal sticky.

Adai Dosai/Dosa

When there is information about sudden guests and you want to give them a quick dosai, this is a perfect recipe. It is also a healthy dosai because of the types of lentils that go into it. This can be spread thin to make it crispy but is generally made thick.  Adais are always consumed immedietely, directly from the dosaikal or tawa to the plate for better or best taste. This is a breakfast as well as a dinner snack.

Adai-chutney, adai-avial (a gravy dish – will be posted in future) or adai-vellam (jaggery) – adai is had most commonly with these combinations.

The batter should always be kept in fridge immedietely after grinding. Otherwise the lentils would become stale very soon. 

Adai Dosai/Dosa (makes approximately 15 dosais)

Ingredients

  • parboiled rice – 1/2 cup
  • raw rice – 1/2 cup
  • thuvaram paruppu/split yellow gram- 1/2 cup
  • kadalai paruppu/split bengal gram – 1/2 cup
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 2 tbsp
  • ginger – 1 inch piece
  • red chillies – 4 no.s
  • salt – 1 tsp

To temper

  • oil – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • split urad dal – 1 tsp
  • finely chopped onions – 1 cup
  • curry leaves – a few

 

adai maavu/batter

 

folded adai on dosaikal

 

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak rice and dals together for 4 hours. In case of sudden guests, soak for an hour
  2. Grind to a coarse batter with ginger and red chillies
  3. Add salt and mix well
  4. In a pan, add oil, fry mustard seeds, when it splutters add urad dal, add chopped onions and curry leaves
  5. Pour this tempering into the batter and mix well
  6. Make crispy or soft adais immedietely
  7. Serve hot with chutney of preference (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/)
  8. Adai is specially had with grated jaggery or avial – a gravy vegetable dish.

Tip

  1. Always try to finish the batter within the same day.. The batter would lose its freshness and goodness very soon.
  2. For preparing batter for  two persons, just reduce the quantity to half or any measurement with the ratio intact.

Idly/Dosa for two!

This batter would be just enough for two persons. I also tried making the batter in a mixer/blender.

These are some details about Parboiled Rice.  Parboiled rice is produced through the process of parboiling or partially boiling. Harvested paddy or rice with husk is hydrated and then steamed, before drying them. Once dried, the husk of the rice is removed. Traditionally, the husk of rice is removed manually and not mechanically. The process of parboiling makes it easier for the husk to be removed by hand. Another advantage of parboiled rice is that, the process of steaming or heating the hydrated paddy, forces the nutrients in the bran (especially, vitamin B1) to get absorbed into the grains, making the rice, nutritious. While, parboiling, the broken kernels inside the husk may get glued together, thereby reducing the number of broken grains. Parboiling process helps in the sterilization of the harvested rice, which may contain impurities and insect eggs. Parboiled rice takes longer to cook and is not sticky. Once cooked, the rice will be firmer and retain its shape too. Apart from being nutritious, parboiled rice tastes delicious. Parboiled rice is said to be more nutritious than white rice and at the same time, easily digestible, as compared to brown rice. ( http://www.buzzle.com/articles/parboiled-rice.html)

Among the parboiled rice varieties, the rice to be cooked and consumed directly is different from parboiled idli rice. The normal cooking rice looks more polished. Parboiled idli rice has more brownish tan on it. To choose the best rice, go to an indian shop – if it is a shop familiar with south indian food items, ask specifically for idli rice, they would mostly have parboiled rice.

parboiled rice

 

Idli/Dosa for two (makes approximately 22 idlis or 15 dosais)

  • parboiled rice – 2 cups
  • urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – 3/4 tsp

 

soaked parboiled rice

 

soaked urad dal 

 

 Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak rice and urad dal separately for 6 hours or overnight
  2. Wash fenugreek seeds and add to urad dal before soaking
  3. Grind urad dal and fenugreek seeds first to a smooth paste
  4. Remove from blender
  5. Grind soaked rice to a smooth paste
  6. Mix dal and rice together adding salt
  7. Always mix with hand
  8. Cover and leave this batter for a minimum 12 hours so that it ferments well
  9. During colder temperatures, the batter can be kept in an oven at warm position overnight
  10. Generally if the batter is ground in the evening hours, it is fermented and ready to make dosais or idlis next morning during summers
  11. After each time of using the batter, it should be stored in the refrigerator
  12. For more on basic batter see https://dosaikal.com/2011/09/16/basic-idlidosa-batter/
  13. After the batter is well fermented, make idlis or dosais as preferred
  14. Serve them with chutney of choice (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/).

grinding it in a blender

fermented batter

Idli – Steamed Rice Cakes

Idli is a breakfast food of south india. Very light and fluffy, easy to digest and very healthy – no oil involved and no frying – hurrah – it is steamed! It is the same fermented batter we saw for dosai – the combination of parboiled rice and dehusked black gram. It goes generally like this – idlis for breakfast, rice and curries for lunch and dosais for dinner. Idlis and dosais can be interchanged between breakfasts and dinners. Idlis are had with different kinds of chutneys (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/) and sambars.

When one has a stomach upset, fever or the simplest ailment of all – laziness – if the batter is already made and stored in fridge – not to worry at all – quick and easy – soft and fluffy – idlis can take care of most of the simple health problems.

Idlis are usually never steamed beforehand and stored in hotcases. People get ready to go to the dining table – the women of the house start steaming idlis. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to be ready. They go piping hot from the steaming mould to the breakfast or dinner plates or banana leaves. Immediately greased with ghee or gingelly oil as per preference and without delay soaked in sambar with a roll of the day’s chutney – are transferred straight into the tummy after some teeth work!

How much impatient a person might be, he would always be patient to wait for the steaming hot idlis. When thatha/grandfather is called to the breakfast table, he takes his plate, serves himself chutney and starts tapping the table like a tabla player, patiently waiting for not less than 5 minutes till idlis are ready to arrive on his plate.

When there are four or five members on the breakfast table or traditionally on the floor, each gets two idlis initially. By the time these are done, there might be a waiting time for quick eaters – till the next set arrives from the steamer. There is no problem waiting – what is most important is the piping hot soft texture of Idlis!

Truly, the lifetime of Idlis is too short. If we calculate from the time they are steamed to the time they go to the plate and within seconds they enter one’s food system – poor idlis… they live for a very little time – but deliver so well in such a short life span!

modern idli cooker

 

traditional idli kopparai

 

Idli/Steamed Rice Cakes

Ingredients

Idli Batter – as needed (https://dosaikal.com/tag/idli/dosa-batter/)

Method of Preparation

  1. Idli is made from a mould. The modern idli cooker generally has a stand with 4 layers or more – each plate makes 4 idlis
  2. The traditional idli maker is called Idli Kopparai – the idlis are comparatively bigger in size – the idli kopparai I have makes 13 idlis at a time – quite big ones
  3. Boil water in the steamer vessel 
  4. Grease the idli moulds with very little oil – this helps idlis to come out easily
  5. Mix the batter well and pour into mould till 3/4th to give space to rise well
  6. Steam in medium heat for 10 minutes
  7. To check whether idlis are done, prick either with a toothpick or knife – it should come out clean

 idli in mould

 

bowl with water and ladle

 

 

 To remove Idlis from mould

  1. Take a small bowl with water
  2. Easiest article to take idlis out is the plastic ladle of mixer grinder
  3. After the idlis are done, take the moulds out of the steamer and wait for 2 minutes
  4. Taking the idlis immediately out of the moulds might disfigure the idlis
  5. Dip the ladle in water and remove idlis
  6. Serve idlis with the day’s chutney (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/), sambar or gun powder chutney.

steamed idlis

Basic Idli/Dosa Batter

Idlis and Dosais/Dosas are the most common and popular breakfast snacks of south india and especially tamilnadu. The soft and fluffy quality of Idlis or the crispy crunchy texture of Dosais – all depends on the perfect consistency of the batter. Par boiled rice and dehusked black lentils soaked, ground and left to ferment for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight – sounds like a tedious process! But having done this, there is no problem every breakfast or dinner time or even when we come back after a tired day’s work – the batter is handy for a quick breakfast or dinner or even inbetween hunger pranks!

The ground batter is used as Idli for the first day. The second day, when the batter becomes more sour is fit for making dosais. But I make dosais out of the first day batter too. The fenugreek seeds in the batter brings out the colour of the dosais.

parboiled rice

 

 dehusked black gram

 

 

 Basic Idli/Dosai/Dosa Batter

Ingredients (makes approximately 50 idlis or 40 dosais)

  • Parboiled Rice – 4 cups
  • Dehusked Black Gram (Urad Dhal) – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 11/2 tsp

Method of Preparation of Batter

  1. Wash Urad Dhal and Rice separately until clean
  2. Soak the Black Gram (Urad Dal) and Parboiled Rice in water separately for minimum 6 hours or overnight
  3. Add the fenugreek seeds to the Urad Dhal before soaking
  4. First, grind the soaked Dhal and fenugreek seeds
  5. Use the soaked water for grinding to make a foamy batter – use only required water to make the batter foamy
  6. When it comes out foamy and soft, remove it in a big vessel
  7. Next, using the same soaked water, grind the rice until smooth
  8. Here too, use only required quantity of water for grinding
  9. Add salt to the big vessel and mix ground dhal and rice well with hand
  10. Cover and leave this batter for a minimum 12 hours so that it ferments well
  11. During colder temperatures, the batter can be kept in an oven at warm position overnight
  12. Generally if the batter is ground in the evening hours, it is fermented and ready to make dosais or idlis next morning during summers
  13. After each time of using the batter, it should be stored in the refrigerator

Stone wet grinder with batter

 

 well fermented foamy batter

 

Things to remember while preparing batter

  1. The quality of ground dhal makes all the difference – it should be foamy, silky and very soft
  2. Quality check – Dip your hand in water and immediately give a soft touch to the batter. If the batter doesn’t stick to your hand, it is ready and is right time to remove from grinder or blender
  3. Rice should be ground smooth without any granules
  4. Always mix salt to the ground dhal and rice with your hands. Body temperature helps in proper fermentation
  5. Make idlis or dosais only after batter is well fermented – it should rise well.

Storage of Dosai/Dosa Batter

  1. Once the batter is done and fermented, it should be stored in the refrigerator
  2. Each time idli or dosai is made, take the needed quantity in a separate vessel and keep the rest back in the fridge again
  3. Do not mix water to the whole batter to make the consistency better. Each time you take out the required quantity of batter, adjust water accordingly
  4. While making batter in more quantities, after it is fermented and ready, mix it well from the bottom of the vessel, transfer it to two separate bowls
  5. The bowl with the top part of the batter should be used later
  6. The bowl with the bottom part of the batter should be used first as it may contain more of the rice paste settled at the bottom and it may make the batter thicken and sour faster
  7. Once the first bowl is over, even after a couple of days, the second bowl is fresh enough to make fresh idlis like the first day batter
  8. This is how my mother and grandmother uses the batter made from huge wet grinders.

Vengaya Dosai/ Onion Dosa

There are different kinds of dosais.. plain dosai, masala dosai, adai dosai, paruppu dosai, vengaya (onion) dosai, thakkali (tomato) dosai, kal dosai, uthappam, mini uthappam and many more never ending varieties. Dosai is like a flexible daughter-in-law, always ready to get accustomed to all kinds of situations!

Now, let’s make vengaya dosai or onion pancakes! The crispy taste of fresh onions roasted very lightly on top of the dosai is something to relish. The preparation of this dosai is very simple, yet could be a big hit with guests!

Vengaya Dosai/ Onion Dosa

 

Ingredients (makes 6 dosais)

  • basic dosai batter – approximately 4 cups
  • onions – 3 medium
  • oil  -as needed
  • ghee – as needed

Spread dosai on tawa and sprinkle onions

a closer view


Method of Preparation

  1. Take approximately 4 cups of basic dosai batter (See basic dosai recipe in https://dosaikal.com/2011/08/14/basic-dosaidosa/)
  2. Adjust water for consistency of batter
  3. Finely chop onions and keep them separately in a bowl
  4. Heat the dosaikal/ tawa and grease with little oil
  5. Spread the dosai batter and make a medium crispy dosai
  6. Sprinkle some chopped onions and oil around the edges
  7. Let it cook well and turn golden brown
  8. Turn it on the other side
  9. While turning dosai on the other side, onions would spill
  10. Do not panic. But take care while turning. If much of the onions spill on the tawa, spread it again on the tawa and place the dosai on top. Press the dosai well with the onions below
  11. Let the onions become brown
  12. Convert the dosai in a serving plate
  13. Spread a little ghee for better taste.. but this is optional
  14. Serve with any chutney of preference (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/).

Payaru Dosai/Whole lentil Dosai/Dosa

This is a dosai/dosa with the goodness of many kinds of lentils in it. Lentils are a rich source of protein. They also contain dietary fiber, folate, B vitamins, minerals and are also a good source of iron. Generally, paruppu/dhal or sundal/cooked lentil snacks can be made of pachai payaru/whole green gram and karuppu kondaikadalai/black chickpea. Muzhu ulundhu/whole black gram is used in dhal makhni in north indian cuisine and some specialities like ulundhankali/black gram halwa (recipe would follow later) in tamilnadu cuisine.

This dosai combines whole green gram, whole black gram and black chick peas with both raw rice and par boiled rice.

 

 

Ingredients

  • pachai payaru/whole green gram – 100 gms
  • muzhu ulundhu/whole black gram – 100 gms
  • karuppu kondaikkadalai/black chick peas – 100 gms
  • pacharisi/raw rice – 50 gms
  • puzhungal arisi/parboiled rice – 50gms
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • red chillies – 4 nos.
  • salt – 1 tsp

Method of preparation

  1. Take all the lentils and rice together in a wide vessel and wash well
  2. Soak the washed rice and lentil in nearly double quantity of water
  3. Add fenugreek seeds
  4. Cover with loose lid and let it soak for 8 hours
  5. In a wet grinder or blender, with 4 red chillies grind the above ingredients to a smooth paste
  6. Number of red chillies can be adjusted according to each household
  7. Add salt to the ground batter
  8. Dosais can be made immediately
  9. Alternatively, the lentils and rice can be soaked overnight and ground in the morning and dosais are ready for breakfast immediately

whole lentil dosai with onion chutnie, yoghurt and filter coffee

TIPS

  1. Beware: the batter tends to become sour and unfit for making dosais if not stored in fridge immediately
  2. The above mentioned quantity would make approximately 12 dosais
  3. Lentils may cause bloating, gas and heart burns. Hence, garlic could be added to the chutnie  to be had with the dosais
  4. Any spicy, red chilly chutnie would go well with this dosai
  5. With the red chutnie, a bowl of yoghurt could also aid in tackling the spice
  6. I always make the vengaya (onion) chutnie for this (please see chutnie category)
  7. Nothing can beat a hot cup of filter coffee to end it all.

Plain Dosai/Dosa

 Dosais/Dosas or Pancakes

Dosais/Dosas can be called the south indian pancake. The staple food of the tamils has been rice and other grains. In Tamilnadu, idlis and dosais – the blend of parboiled rice and dehusked black gram – are taken for breakfast and dinner with several varieties of chutneys to go with it.

These dosais are made soft and fluffy as a day-to-day affair. Elders at home prefer it this way as it is easier for their teeth. The children like them crispy. The elders have  the dosais with gingellyoil, where mothers prefer to give the kids with lots of ghee or clarified butter. Gingelly oil is another name to sesame oil. Wikipedia mentions that chinese, japanese and koreans use it as a flavour enhancer. In the south of india, gingelly oil is a cooking medium by itself. It is also used as a raw mixture to chutneys and chutnie powders.

Dosais can also be made from other different kinds of grains. In this section, we shall see the different kinds of dosais.

Plain Dosai/Dosa

The ground batter is used as Idli for the first day. The second day, when the batter becomes more sour is fit for making dosais. But I make dosais out of the first day batter too. The fenugreek seeds in the batter brings out the colour of the dosais.

Ingredients

  • Idli/Dosai Batter – as per need

What brings out better dosais/dosas

  1. The best dosais come out of wet grinders which are the traditional stone grinders
  2. Nevertheless, good blenders could do a good job
  3. The quality of dosaikal or the tawa/pan is important 
  4. Cast iron pans give out very good dosais but nonstick pans are good with less oil consumption
  5. Well fermented batters bring out the best dosais 
  6. The consistency of batter – not too thick and not too watery to pour in the pan

Method of Preparation

  1. When the batter is well fermented, mix it well from the bottom with a ladle
  2. Adjust water – the batter should be medium thick pouring consistency
  3. Turn on the stove and keep the pan on it
  4. Heat up the pan
  5. Sprinkle some water on the pan
  6. Apply 1/2 tsp gingelly oil preferably or any cooking oil to the dosaikal/pan
  7. Rub the oil evenly on the dosaikal with a kitchen tissue
  8. Pour the dosai batter in the middle of the tawa and spread it evenly in circular motion
  9. Let the stove be in full position
  10. Sprinkle droplets of oil around the corners
  11. After the dosai turns a little brownish, simmer the stove and turn it to the other side
  12. In less than 30 seconds on the other side, dosai is ready
  13. Apply a bit of ghee or clarified butter on top and serve
  14. The first dosai may not be the best. After the tawa is well used to oil, dosais come out better. So, better not ask for the first!

 

Dosai made in cast iron dosaikal/tawa, with oil spread around the corners

 

Turned on the other side – dosai is ready

 

 the third or fourth dosai is the best  

 

 

Serve the dosais with chutney (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/), sambar or gun powder chutney.