Tag Archives: lentil dosai

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!

Chinna Vengaya Thuvayal – Shallot Dip/Chutney

 

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Unlike most of those plans/promises I have not been able to keep up, this time I could make it. As written in the previous post – here is the chinna vengaya thuvayal, ideal for lentil dosais. Also good for basic Idli and Dosai, but I believe the garlic content in this vengaya thuvayal helps to tackle the gastric problems which might arise for some, due to the protein rich whole lentils in the pancakes. In a whole, this thuvayal aids in digestion.

With simple ingredients and simpler preparation, this has the ability to change the earthy pancakes into a special treat or a quick and easy breakfast or dinner food.

 

Chinna Vengaya Thuvayal – Shallot Dip/Chutney

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • chinna vengayam/shallots- 12 no.s
  • poondu/garlic – 12 cloves
  • milagai vatral/dried red chillies – 6 no.s (less or more)
  • puli/tamarind – gooseberry size
  • uppu/salt – to taste

thaalippu/seasoning:

  • nallennai/gingelly oil – 6 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1 tsp
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – a few

 


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Method of Preparation

  1. Clean, wash and cut onions and garlic
  2. Wash tamarind well
  3. Grind to a smooth paste with red chillies, tamarind and salt
  4. Heat 4 tsp oil, add mustard seeds and black gram; when the black gram is golden brown add curry leaves; fry for about 15 seconds in low flame and pour the blended paste
  5. Stir the blended paste well in the seasoned oil
  6. Fry/cook for about 10 minutes in slow flame
  7. The texture and taste of the end thuvayal/dip depends on the family.  If one prefers a slight raw taste of onions, frying for 5 minutes is sufficient
  8. Frying the thuvayal for 10 minutes would give it a darker shade colorwise and the raw smell of onions and garlic would be gone
  9. Do not forget to stir at frequent intervals from the bottom of the pan as the thuvayal might stick to the bottom and be burnt very quickly
  10. When the thuvayal is done, remove from the pan and transfer into a serving bowl
  11. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan; Pour on top of thuvayal that has a glow on top due to hot gingelly oil
  12. Thuvayal is ready! While served with dosais, pour one or two teaspoons of gingelly oil for one of the best flavours you would have tasted till date!

 


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Note:

  1. The quantity of red chillies can be altered according to taste preferences.
  2. Onions and garlic also contribute to the spice of the thuvayal – so try with lesser chillies and upgrade it the next time if needed.
  3. More gingelly oil, tastier the thuvayal. The taste of gingelly oil helps in tackling the spice level and pungent smell of garlic and onion – hence do not be conscious of oil here.
  4. Instead of seasoning first, one can also start with just heating the oil and pouring the blended paste and cooking together.This doesn’t make any difference to the taste.
  5. Season the thuvayal in the end. Pouring the seasoned oil or just hot oil –  on top of the done thuvayal is very important to make the thuvayal a delight with any kind of lentil dosais.

 

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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

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Muzhu Ulundhu Dosai/Karuppu Ulundhu Dosai/Black Gram Pancakes

 

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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

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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
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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.