Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dosas - Daring Cooks September Challenge

Debyi from was the host for the September 2009 Daring Cooks challenge.

3 cups rice
1 cup skinless split urad daal (skinless black gram)
3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil

Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2" deep. Soak overnight.

The next morning, drain all the water from the rice and urad daal. Now put some in a food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste.

When all the rice-daal mix is ground like this, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon dipped in it.

Now add salt to taste and keep the Dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6-8 hours. After this fermentation, stir the batter well. It is now ready to make Dosas.
Put some cooking oil in a small bowl and keep ready. You will also need a bowl of ice cold water, a large, flat nonstick pan, 2 sheets of paper towel, a ladle, a spatula and a basting brush.

Fold one sheet of paper towel into a wad and dip lightly into the bowl of cooking oil. Squeeze out any excess and then rub the paper towel all over the surface of the pan to grease. The correct amount of oil is such that it is barely visible on the pan. Now turn on the heat/ flame at medium high.

Fill the ladle upto the 3/4 level with Dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the center of the pan - just as you would for a pancake - till the ladle is empty.
Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to form a pancake of roughly 8" diameter. Do not be alarmed if the Dosa develops tiny holes as you spread the batter. This is normal.

As soon as you have finished spreading the batter out on the pan, dip the basting brush in cooking oil and drizzle the oil all over the surface of the dosa and also around its edges. Now hold the pan by its handle, lift up and swirl it so as to make the drizzled oil spread all over the Dosa.

When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the Dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in color. Allow to cook for 1 minute after flipping.

The Dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more.

Masala Filling

2 large potatoes cooked and chopped
1 medium onion (chopped)
½ teaspoon yellow split peas
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon turmeric
1-2 green chili
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the mustard seeds, then onions, curry leaves and green chillies, and sauté over high heat till the onions are a little transparent.
Add the salt and the turmeric and mix well before adding the potatoes. Turn the potatoes around till well mixed.


2 Tomato’s finely chopped
1 Spanish onion finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
Handful of chopped coriander
Pinch of sugar

Mix together and serve

1 cup of yogurt
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup chopped mint
1 cup of chopped cucumber
Pinch of salt and sugar

Mix together and serve


  1. Good to see that someone has taken a more authentic route with this challenge. Wish I'd done the same but it was too late by the time I was done.

  2. Alot of my family have spent some time in India, so I would have been in trouble if I hadn't at least attempted to make the traditional verson. I kept it vegan, with the exception of the riata. I figured that kept withen the challange guidelines. How was the chickpea filling, it looked yummy.

  3. Beautiful! After seeing how pretty everyone's dosas are that they used the traditional recipe for, I am definately going to give that a go next time!

  4. I used the same fermented rice/lentil/fenugreek batter on my second attempt. It is definitely more effort but well worth it in my opinion. Well done on the challenge.

  5. Great that you made this more authentic! I've had dosas (or thosai, as it's called there) in Malaysia, and the challenge recipe didn't taste like I remembered they should. Wish I had known about the right way to make them! I see you also made a potato filling. Mine was completely inauthentic, but so was the rest, so what the heck. :) Great job on this challenge!

  6. Wow! You actually made an authentic recipe. Good work! Your fillings and toppings all look so delicious.

  7. I love what you've done with this challenge. Your changes look delicious. I hope you enjoyed the dosas and the challenge.

  8. Delicious!! Your dosas look amazing =D. Wonderful job making the authentic recipe!

  9. I love that you made the dosas the 'traditional' and labor intensive way. They look beautiful!


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