Tag Archives: Dosai/Dosa Varieties

Vellai Chola Dosai/White Corn Pancakes (Whole Grain Dosai Series)

Vellai Cholam/White Corn is next on the list. This is a pancake using fresh corn.
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Now, with the title, whole grain dosais/pancakes, can fresh corn be included?

Is Corn a vegetable, grain or a fruit?

 

Corn seed is actually a vegetable, a grain, and a fruit. Corn seed is a vegetable because it is harvested for eating. (Usually sweet corn when grain is harvested at the milk stage.) Corn seed is a grain because it is a dry seed of a grass species. (Usually field corn when harvested after the grain is relatively dry.) Corn seed is a fruit because that is the botanical definition.http://www.extension.org/pages/36971/please-settle-a-dispute-is-sweet-corn-a-vegetable-or-a-grain-what-is-the-difference-how-about-field-#.U6LYm3bZU3A

 

According to the Whole Grains Council, fresh corn is usually classified as a vegetable and dried corn (including popcorn) as a grain.

Corn is a whole grain if the bran, germ, and endosperm are all left intact, just like whole wheat. If the corn is milled or degermed to remove the bran and germ, then it is a refined grain. http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/2013/07

 

Of course, if one has dried corn,  replace in place of fresh corn in this recipe and soak with the lentil for 4-6 hours, grind to a smooth batter and let it ferment overnight and make pancakes. (Target sort of justified isn’t it).

Still, I am courageous enough to post this under a whole grain dosai-  with two things in mind-

1. the very kind readers who don’t oppose

2. the goodness of fresh corn that gives equal nutrients to fit as a whole grain
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Interesting facts about white corn

 

White maize is biologically and genetically very similar to yellow maize, although there is a difference in appearance due to the absence of carotin oil pigments in the kernel which otherwise cause the yellow colour of the grain. Production conditions and cultivation methods are largely identical.

Among the individual geographical regions of the developing countries, white maize production is of paramount importance in Africa. In this region, which produces about one-third of the global white maize crop, it represents about 90 percent of the total regional maize output. The main producers include Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, countries in which white maize represents between two-thirds and 90 percent of total cereals production. Other important producers of the region include Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, where white maize constitutes from 15-35 percent of total cereals production. In these latter countries, white maize rivals in importance other cereals, such as wheat, rice, millet and sorghum. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w2698e/w2698e03.htm#TopOfPage

 

Corns come in various colours – among them, the yellow corn, common on the cob; white corn is more chewy. But makes very good pancakes. I have already posted chola dosai/corn dosai with milled yellow corn – the powder version. see – https://dosaikal.com/2012/05/24/chola-dosaiyellow-corn-flour-pancake/

This one is with fresh white corn. Here in Cambodia, the markets are filled with yellow and white corns. Depending on the season, sometimes yellow and sometimes white is in bulk.

I like the yellow ones to be pressure cooked as a snack with salt and pepper, the yellow corn, the more chewy among the two is preferred as dosai/pancake.

White Corn Dosai can be made with white corn alone as the ingredient without black gram, blended with water and salt to make a batter. Dosai comes out good, but should administer caution while spreading in the pan.

The one I have made in this post is with the combination of dehusked black gram as in Idly or Plain dosai. Since I have used fresh white corn, I soaked the black gram alone with fenugreek seeds. After grinding the batter, fermentation is not needed. The batter might become sour or even go waste as the fresh white corn would get spoilt soon.
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A Few Health Benefits of Corn

Anti-oxidant
You can get health-supportive antioxidant benefits from all varieties of corn, including white, yellow, blue, purple and red corn. But recent research has shown the antioxidant benefits from different varieties of corn actually come from different combinations of phytonutrients.

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 the mineral manganese. But it is corn’s phytonutrients that have taken center stage in the antioxidant research on corn. Different varieties of corn highlight different combinations of antioxidant phytonutrients.
Fibre
Corn is a food that gives us plenty of chewing satisfaction, and its high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fiber is partly the reason.
Digestive properties
Recent research has shown that corn can support the growth of friendly bacteria in our large intestine and can also be transformed by these bacteria into short chain fatty acids, or SCFAs. These SCFAs can supply energy to our intestinal cells and thereby help lower our risk of intestinal problems, including our risk of colon cancer.
Tackles blood sugar
Given its good fiber content, its ability to provide many B-complex vitamins including vitamins B1, B5 and folic acid, and its notable protein content (about 5-6 grams per cup), corn is a food that would be expected to provide blood sugar benefits.
Sufficient fiber and protein content in a food helps prevent too rapid or too slow digestion of that food. protein and fiber also help prevent too rapid or too slow uptake of sugar from the digestive tract up into the bloodstream. Once the uptake of sugar is steadied, it is easier to avoid sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90
Vellai Chola Dosai/White Corn Pancake

 

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Ingredients (makes approximately 10-12 dosais)

  • vellai cholam/white corn – fresh kernels- when removed – 2 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1/2 cup
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – to make dosais

 

white corn – soaked them for 15 mins. as I had refrigerated them the previous night

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Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak dehusked black gram and fenugreek seeds in enough water for 2-3 hrs or if the weather is not too hot, can soak overnight
  2. Grind the black gram-fenugreek with fresh white corn kernels together in a grinder/blender to a smooth and fine paste
  3. Mix  enough salt and the batter is ready to make dosais
  4. The extra batter should be kept refrigerated for further use
  5. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  6. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant
  7. The buttermilk aids in digestion.

 

the batter

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Note:

  1. If one is using dried corn, soak overnight like the black gram
  2. Dry red chillies can be ground together with the soaked ingredients for a spicy taste
  3. Chopped shallots mixed to the batter or spread over the dosai while cooking adds a different flavor to the pancake
  4. Any chutney of choice, but preferably with garlic, that would aid in digestion suits well
  5. The chutney can also contain shallots that would aid in cooling the system.
  6. Buttermilk is highly preferred with asafoetida to avoid gastric problems and also acts as a coolant.

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Varagarisi Dosai/Kodo Millet Pancake (whole grain dosai series)

The next power packed pancake is Varagarisi Dosai. Varagarisi is Kodo millet in English.

Scientific name – Paspalum scrobiculatum L.

 

varagu/kodo in close up

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Kodo millet was domesticated in India almost 3000 years ago. It is found across the old world in humid habitats of tropics and subtropics. It is a minor grain crop in India and an important crop in the Deccan plateau.

The fiber content of the whole grain is very high. Kodo millet has around 11% protein, and the nutritional value of the protein has been found to be slightly better than that of foxtail millet but comparable to that of other small millets. As with other food grains, the nutritive value of Kodo millet protein could be improved by supplementation with legume protein. http://www.icrisat.org/crop-kodomillet.html

 

Points that struck me while searching for true facts on the ‘Goodness of Millets’ –

Millets are also unique due to their short growing season. They can develop from planted seeds to mature, ready to harvest plants in as little as 65 days. This is important in heavily populated areas. When properly stored, whole millets will keep for two or more years.

Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rainfed crops. By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions. This is a step towards sustainable cropping practices where by introducing diversity in our diets, we respect the biodiversity in nature rather than forcefully changing cropping patterns to grow wheat and rice everywhere. http://millets.wordpress.com/millets/

 

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Health benefits of millets

 

  • Regular consumption of millet is very beneficial for postmenopausal women suffering from signs of cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • Children’s intake of whole grains like millet and fish has been shown to reduce the occurrence of wheezing and asthma.
  • A high source of fiber, millet is very beneficial against breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
  • According to research and recent studies, consumption of millet can help women combat the occurrence of gallstones, as they are a very high source of insoluble fiber.
  • This form of cereal grain is very high in phosphorus content, which plays a vital role in maintaining the cell structure of the human body. The key role of this mineral is that it helps in the formation of the mineral matrix of the bone and is also an essential component of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate), which is the energy currency of the body.
  • A single cup of millet provides around 24.0% of the body’s daily phosphorus requirement. This mineral is a very important constituent of nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of genetic code.
  • Recent research has indicated that the regular consumption of millet is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This is mainly due to the fact that whole grains like millet are a rich source of magnesium, which acts as a co-factor in a number of enzymatic reactions in the body, regulating the secretion of glucose and insulin.
  • Magnesium is also beneficial in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. It is even very useful for people who are suffering from atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
  • To get the health benefits of millet, serve it warm with milk as an alternative to hot oatmeal in the morning. Its nutty taste can be enhanced by gently roasting the grains in a pan on the stovetop.
  • It can also be popped like popcorn to create a healthy “puffed” cereal. It can be ground into gluten-free flour and added to baked goods. One can also use it in soups, casseroles, and as a side-dish in place of rice. Enjoy the many health benefits millet has to offer!
    http://www.ilsi-india.org/conference-on-processed-foods-and-beverages-for-health/Session-IV/Prof-Suresh-Prasad-Delhi-Conf-on-millets-presentation.pdf

 

 

ALL MILLET VARIETIES SHOW HIGH ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY
At the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, a team of biochemists analyzed the antioxidant activity and phenolic content of several varieties of millet: kodo, finger, foxtail, proso, pearl, and little millets. Kodo millet showed the highest phenolic content, and proso millet the least. All varieties showed high antioxidant activity, in both soluble and bound fractions.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 9 June 2010; 58(11):6706-14. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/node/7722/print

 

Varagu/Kodo Millet could be enjoyed in different forms and preparations. Varagarisi Idli/Rice Cakes, Varagarisi Dosai/Pancakes, Varagarisi Kanji/Porridge, Varagarisi Upma and many more.
Varagarisi Dosai/Kodo Millet Dosai

 

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Kodo millet is a nutritious grain and a good substitute to rice or wheat. The grain is composed of 11% of protein, providing 9 grams/100 g consumed. It is an excellent source of fibre at 10 grams (37-38%), as opposed to rice, which provides 0.2/100 g, and wheat, which provides 1.2/100 g. An adequate fibre source helps combat the feeling of hunger. Kodo millet contains 66.6 g of carbohydrates and 353 kcal per 100 g of grain, comparable to other millets. It also contains 3.6 g of fat per 100 g. It provides minimal amounts of iron, at 0.5/100 mg, and minimal amounts of calcium, and 27/100 mg. Kodo millets also contain high amounts of polyphenols, an antioxidant compound. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paspalum_scrobiculatum

 

Ingredients (makes approximately 20-25 dosais) make half the quantity to make 10-12 dosais

  • varagarisi /kodo millet – 4 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1 cup
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • uppu/salt – as needed approx. 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp
  • oil – to make dosai

Note:

  1. Unlike the previous Dosais with finger millet and pearl millet, here kodo millet batter is made exactly like the normal Idli/dosai batter
  2. Dehusked black gram is soaked separately with fenugreek seeds and the millet is soaked separately. The gram and fenugreek remains the same; rice is replaced with varagarisi/kodo millet.
  3. Though I have not tried Kezhvaragu/finger millet or Kambu/pearl millet idly, I made varagarisi/Kado millet Idlies, which were soft and fluffy and tasted only a tiny bit different from normal Idlies.
  4. It is highly recommended to have a glass of more/buttermilk to reduce the heat effects of this millet.

 

varagarisi idli/kodo millet steamed cakes

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fluffy and soft

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Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and Soak kodo millet
  2. Wash and soak black gram and fenugreek seeds
  3. Soak the ingredients separately in enough water for a minimum 6 hrs
  4. Grind the black gram-fenugreek combination to a smooth and fluffy consistency
  5. Remove from the grinder/blender and grind the soaked millet to a fine paste
  6. Mix both with enough salt and leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight
  7. In a warm country, 8 hrs is enough and one can mix the fermented batter and keep it refrigerated for further use
  8. Once fermented, always keep the batter refrigerated as it will go sour and get spoilt
  9. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  10. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant
  11. The buttermilk aids in digestion.

 

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Kambu Dosai/Pearl Millet Pancake/Bajra Dosa (Whole Grain Dosai Series)

 

black gram and pearl millet

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Next on the list of healthy/protein rich dosais/pancakes is Kambu Dosai. Kambu in Tamil is Pearl Millet in English and Bajra in Hindi.

As mentioned in the previous Keppai Dosai Post, my daughter’s first intake after mother’s milk was finger millet porridge. Now, the goodness of these sprouted grains is that they are often used as weaning foods for infants and easily digestible foods for elders.
Health Benefits of Kambu/Pearl Millet

 

soaked….

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Scientific Name: Pennisetum Glaucum.
Pearl millet requires surprisingly low amounts of water to grow.

 

  1. Pearl millet is one of the very few foods that turns the stomach alkaline and prevents formation of stomach ulcers or reduces the effect of ulcers.
  2. The lignin and phytonutrients in millet act as strong antioxidants thus preventing heart related diseases.
  3. High amounts of magnesium present in pearl millet have been shown to control blood pressure and relieve heart stress. The high concentration of magnesium also helps reduce severity of respiratory problems for asthma patients and is also effective in reducing migraine attacks.
  4. It has a large amount of Phosphorus, which is very essential for bone growth and development.
  5. Owing to its fibre content it takes longer for the grain to move from the stomach to the intestines. This way, pearl millet satiates hunger for a long period of time and thus helps in lowering the overall consumption of food. This effectively helps in maintaining the blood sugar level constant in diabetes patients for a long period of time.

http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/superfoods/health-benefits-of-pearl-millet

 

 

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  1. Celiac disease is a condition in which a person cannot tolerate even a small amount of gluten in his/her diet. Unfortunately, most of the common grains like rice, wheat, etch have gluten present in them. Millets are the only type of grains which do not have any gluten present. Thus this is suitable for people with celiac disease.
  2. Pearl millet contains a type of phyto chemical called phytic acid which is believed to increase cholesterol metabolism and stabilise the levels of cholesterol in the body.
  3. The high fibre content in pearl millet is also known to reduce the risk of gall stone occurrence.
  4. The grain is very digestible as such and has a very low probability of causing allergic reactions. Due to its hypo allergic property, it can be safely included in the diets of infants, lactating mothers, elderly and convalescents.

http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/superfoods/health-benefits-of-pearl-millet

Kambu/Pearl Millet could be enjoyed in different forms and preparations. KambuIdli/Rice Cakes, KambuDosai/Pancakes, Kambang-koozh/ Kanji/Porridge, Kambang-Kali/Halwa, Kambu Upma and many more.
Kambu Dosai – Pearl Millet Pancake

 

 

 

Ingredients (makes approximately 12-15 dosais)

  • kambu/pearl millet/bajra – 1 1/2 cups
  • muzhu ulundhu/black gram – 1/2 cup
  • vendhayam – 1 tsp
  • uppu/salt – as needed
  • oil – to make dosai

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and Soak all ingredients in enough water for a minimum 4 hrs
  2. Grind to a smooth batter
  3. Add salt to batter and leave to ferment for 6 hrs
  4. In a warm country, 6 hrs is enough and one can mix the fermented batter and keep it refrigerated for further use
  5. If in a cold country, leave it overnight
  6. Once fermented, always keep the batter refrigerated as it will go sour and get spoilt
  7. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  8. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant
  9. The buttermilk aids in digestion.

 

Power Packed Pancakes – Whole Grain Dosais!

 

power packed grains and lentils

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top – brown rice, yellow corn and black chick peas

bottom – black gram, green gram, finger miller and pearl millet.

 

Idlies and Dosais for Stress-free life/life style…

 

Why not start a series on different kinds of Dosais/pancakes? With less intake of White Rice recommended, the wide variety of whole grain Dosais would not only contribute to the overall well-being of the family, but also in relieving Stress in terms of what to provide the next morning as breakfast on the table… Healthier, Yummier and less stress on the Home Cook! Just a bit of pre-planning required of course.
  

Whole Grains and Lentils

The different grains and lentils grown in the southern part of India marks the usage of those grains in the form of Dosais. Check out the link for the recipe!
  

 

Kezhvaragu/Keppai – Finger Millet
Kambu – Pearl Millet
Makka Cholam – Corn
Vellai Cholam – Jowar/Sorghum
Varagarisi – Kodo Millet
Samai – Little Millet
Thinai – Foxtail Millet
Godhumai – Wheat
Muzhu ulundhu – Black Gram
Kollu – Horse Gram

  

Above are a few grains that are used in making Dosais and sometimes Idlies/steamed cakes too! But Dosais are comparatively easier, as Idlies have the risk of not rising well if the combination goes wrong or the fermenting ingredient is less or more. This list is apart from the usage of red rice and other lentils in making Dosais.

and this is varagarisi/kodo millet
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I might have left out a few here. Also, the photo display has only a few grains, those which are available with me at present.

The grains are not only used in their original form, soaked and ground; they are also used as powders, milled – sprouted or not sprouted. These powders are available in specific stores all over Tamilnadu.

These are 100% traditional foods. With today’s’ medical advancements proving their health benefits, the almost lost grains in the cities are slowly becoming power packed foods with soaring prices in the retail market.

The list of Dosais/Pancakes are all traditionally still part of South Indian cuisine – more specifically that I am sure of in Tamilnadu cuisine and in the homes of believers of traditional food.

The usage of grains may not only be in the form of pancakes, but in a varied forms like kanji/porridge, idiyappam/string hoppers, grain balls/urundai, kali/halwa and many more …

or the storable batters that end up as Idlies/rice cakes or Dosais/pancakes!
  

Stress-free Cooking with Dosais
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In today’s world, everyone is busy – an infant, toddler, pre-schooler or a school going kid, a teenager, youngster or an adult … ‘Busy’ is synonymous to ‘Life’. While ‘Stress’ stands for over-burden, who can categorize the stress level of each person?

Now, What is Stress?
an unmanageable kid – stress for a working mother,
a lazy employee – stress for a Boss,
heavily demanding boss – stress for a subordinate
troublesome daughter-in-law – stress for a mother-in-law,
complaining mother-in-law – stress for a daughter-in-law,
a serious patient – stress for a physician,
not so serious physician – stress for a patient,
And
not so caring wife – stress for a husband,
a self-centric husband – stress for a wife

The list is endless. This list may not categorize the true stress levels… Mostly the opposite or other extreme of these could also be stress factors.

Why talk so much about Stress? Having Good, Healthy Food and Serving Good, Healthy Food are stress factors attached to the Kitchen Cabinet – whoever is in charge be it male or female.

  

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I am one of those who takes her work serious and so the Stress too! It’s my feeling that Home is my Office, Kitchen is my Cabin and my work load in terms of a Chef without Hat at home is to provide Good, Healthy Food to my family.

So, whatever be my above mentioned stress, an unmanageable kid or a lazy caretaker, I want to do my Duty without much flaws! Especially, ensuring the best possible nutrients in homemade GOOD FOOD – ‘GOOD’ in its true sense – Stressless or Stressful!

Luckily for my family – COOKING is my Stress Buster!
  

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That is where I find Idlies – Rice cakes and Dosais – pancakes make my life stress free – of course with the tiny bit of stress making the batter before hand. But, stress free as they can be stored for even five days in the refrigerator. Every morning and evening, only a few minutes to make them, leaving the stress of making chutney or Sambaar only! That’s ok.. the side dishes are manageable and can be stored in the freezer too.
  

Frozen Batter
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Any batter for Dosais- pancakes (basic idli/dosai or lentil or whole grain batters) can be frozen. Make your batter, ferment it and freeze it in small portions or in two portions. Take out one portion and place in the refrigerator section overnight. Next morning keep it out for a few minutes to an hour. Or defrost in the morning. Batter is ready to make Dosais! What else do you want for a lazy weekend brunch or early dinner? Team the pancakes with chutney or left over curries too!

In fact, whenever we were traveling in Europe, with my daughter who was 3-5 years of age or sometimes with my septuagenarian mother-in-law who would prefer Dosais to sandwiches, I used to freeze a huge quantity of batter which would yield at least 30-40 Dosais enough for all for 3-4 days. Our favourite car trunk used to be filled with frozen food! After a long day’s tiring travel and touring and lunch with sandwiches, the thought of coming back to our kitchenette and having Dosais with thawed chutney or curry was such a soothing affair only South Indian tummies can explain!

In an apartment that wasn’t ours, in some of the most beautiful parts of Europe, in a kitchen that wasn’t mine, making our own Dosais, used to be a wonderful feeling, leave aside the work before and after… Washing the utensils and winding up the kitchen (that was not ours too) even during a holiday!
  

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But an important point to remember, dosaikal or the pan to make Dosais cannot be adjusted with any other pan! One needs to carry the same pan… Pans used for Dosais alone can make the best of Dosais without the batter sticking to pans.

I think back after a couple of years now and feel exhausted even at the thought of having done that for the three years of delightful tours in Europe. But, not letting my three year old sleep with only half or quarter tummy full or the whole family long for home cooked meal after a couple of days has been a Soothing Effect for my heart!

Have I become so much older that I feel exhausted even at the thought of it? But that’s not the issue. The fact is that dosai/pancake batters can be stored for long or frozen too! So flexible to maintain a healthy diet with minimal stress!
  

Breads, Parathas and Dosais

Different kinds of breads or pancakes for the western world;
Different kinds of parathas for northern India;
Dosais or pancakes stand for the South Indians!

1. these can be made from various ingredients – whole grains, lentils or a combination of these
2. some fermented and some non-fermented
3. unlike yeast or other baking-aid ingredients, basically black gram or dehusked black gram is used for the fermentation process
4. as kneading the dough is needed in both breads and parathas, here washing, soaking and grinding involves more time.. Time involved is more than the work involved with the aid of electrical equipments
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Unlike breads or baguette those need to be baked and kept on the breakfast table, the North Indian Parathas and South Indian Dosais taste best from a live kitchen with an on-the-spot chef who makes hot/incomparable stuff. Of course, they can also be made beforehand and stored in hot cases. But not as same as breads!

  
A Series

In the forthcoming posts, I shall try to post a few of the whole grain dosais or power packed pancakes as I call them. Some would be the soaked grain version and a few would be the powdered version as per stock at home.

  

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A gentle reminder

Now, if reading this article was a stress or one feels making dosais can be a stressful affair, do not worry! This free world is full of options – make your food yourself or buy or order it yourself, it is your decision. Anything ‘Stressfree’ is the need of the hour!!

But, if you decide that, making the power packed pancakes at home is going to be less stressful than reading this post of mine, just continue … the next few posts I promise would be truly a – Power Packed – Healthy series!

Muzhu Ulunthu Dosai/Black Gram Dosai – Pancakes

 

muzhu ulundhu dosai/black gram pancake
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There are different kinds of Dosais – Traditional and Contemporary! The traditional ones include those pancakes made from a variety of grains and lentils. Like Kezhvaragu Dosai – Finger Millet Pancake; Kambu Dosai – Pearl Millet Pancake; Chola Dosai – Corn Pancake; Gothumai Dosai – Whole Wheat Pancake; Rava Dosai – Semolina Pancake; Adai – Lentil Pancake; Masala Dosai – Rice Pancakes stuffed with dry potato curry and so on.. The categorisation of tradition and contemporary might be a topic of conversation.

Now, this Masala Dosai is a perfect catch! It is a versatile pancake – to stuff the ingredient of one’s choice. The contemporary pancakes cater to the taste buds of people far and wide across the world, with the different kinds of stuffing.

But certainly, the pancakes with the various grains and lentils can be categorised as traditional as 1. they have been prepared through generations and most importantly 2. are becoming almost next to undone presently in households, while they are available at very selective restaurants.

One such kind of Dosai/Pancake made more commonly in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts of Tamilnadu is the Muzhu Ulundhu Dosai or Karuppu Ulundhu Dosai. It is Pancake made with Whole Black Gram. Normal Dosais are made with dehusked or skin removed black gram. This dosai is packed with the goodness of the whole grain and hence high in protein value. Black Gram is also a rich source of Iron, Phosphorus and Calcium.

 

muzhu ulundhu/black gram

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Grinding

Muzhu Ulundhu Dosai is made with the usual Parboiled Rice meant for Idlies and Dosais. The only difference being the Lentil used. The dehusked or deskinned black gram used in Idli and Dosai is substituted with the whole back gram. An easier option too – why? The batter can also be prepared by soaking all ingredients together and then blending them together. The time-consuming job of soaking separately and grinding separately rice and lentil is not needed here!

But originally, the black gram is ground first – soaking part not needed. Yes. you read it right.  Only rice is soaked and the black gram is ground without being soaked. This might not work well with the present day electric grinders.

Amma says in those days when there were no electrical grinders, the muzhu ulundhu/black gram was ground in the Aattural – the hand machine to grind the batter. In the Aattural, the unsoaked black gram would be pounded first and then ground well with water until fluffy. After the ground gram is removed, the soaked parboiled rice is ground and mixed well with salt – no ladles please – only with hands. I had mentioned before too – the heat of the body through the mixing hands would let the batter ferment well and produce soft idlies or crispy dosais.

Now, if we use the black gram directly in the wet grinder of today, the stone inside might be damaged…  or the motor inside might be affected – this one is quite practical and if the above mentioned problems do not arise – there would be a great amount of noise pollution created due to the dry grinding. So, in simple terms, just soak the black gram for a strain free treat.

When making the batter for a small family, the quantity of black gram to be soaked would be less  – for a household of three members like ours might need batter for 12-15 dosais – breakfast or dinner for two schedules. Here soaking and grinding separately would be difficult to grind in the grinder. So, I soak both rice and black gram together and grind together and this has not made any big difference in the taste too.

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This Dosai/Pancake batter comes out wonderfully fluffy after fermentation. The dosais can be made soft and thick or crispy as per one’s choice. I prefer the soft version and like most of the lentil dosais, muzhu ulundhu dosai tastes best with a spicy chutney. In our houses, it is the Vengaya Thuvayal or the Onion Chutney/Dip. With very limited ingredients – onions, garlic, tamarind and red chillies this chutney is the perfect match for a dosai with an earthy flavour due to the black gram.

 

dosai and thuvayal

IMG_2847

Muzhu Ulundhu Dosai/Karuppu Ulundhu Dosai/Black Gram Pancakes

 

IMG_2833
Ingredients (makes 25-35 pancakes)

  • puzhungal arisi/parboiled rice – 3 cups
  • muzhu ulundhu/black gram – 1 cup
  • venthayam/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • salt – 1 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak rice, black gram and fenugreek seeds together for 4 hours
  2. Grind to a smooth paste with the same soaked water
  3. Add salt and mix well
  4. Let the batter ferment for a minimum 6 hours or overnight according to the heat in the kitchen – preferably overnight.
  5. Make soft or crispy dosais/pancakes. To make dosais, see https://dosaikal.com/basic-dosaidosa.

 


making dosai on dosaikal/pan

IMG_2813

Notes:

  1. Reduce the quantity to make lesser dosais but in the ratio 3:1 – rice:black gram.
  2. Fenugreek seeds are optional – but they aid in the versatility of dosais – crisp, soft or fluffy with added flavour.
  3. Always use gingelly oil if possible, for the best tasty Dosais.
  4. A well fermented batter would produce a pore-ful dosai!

 

well fermented and dosai with pores
IMG_2947

Chola Dosai/Yellow Corn Flour Pancake

 

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

 

 

cholam/corn

 

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

 

 

Chola Dosai

Ingredients (makes approximately 4 dosais)

  • chola maavu/yellow corn flour – 1 cup
  • salt – as needed
  • water – enough to make batter

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

  1. Heat dosaikal/tawa/flat pan on stove
  2. When hot, grease well with gingelly oil or any cooking oil
  3. Take enough batter in a ladle and pour in circular motion from inner to outer or outer to inner side of pan
  4. Pour more batter if needed and spread to make a crispy fine dosai/pancake
  5. 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  https://dosaikal.com/2011/08/14/basic-dosaidosa/
  6. Pouring the batter in patches, and then quickly spreading it evenly on pan makes perfect chola dosai
  7. Sprinkle oil on the outer edge of the dosai and let it cook till brown
  8. Turn the dosai to cook on both sides
  9. Serve hot with preferred chutney.  see https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/.

 

cooked well on the other side

 

ready to serve

 

 

Note:

  1. This batter would stick to the dosaikal/pan immediately – hence cannot be made like the normal dosai – in circular motion from inside to outside.
  2. Pouring in patches from outside to inside or vice versa and then spreading helps to avoid broken dosais.
  3. Takes a little practice to be successful. Good Luck!

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/).