FOOD MATTERS

Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

Welcoming you into my South Indian kitchen...

Dosa cone

Today, I am taking a giant step... So long, I have been content to stay in the shadows allowing my words and photos to paint a picture of me and my kitchen, safely ensconced in the security of their relative anonymity. But today, I am peeling back this veil and inviting you to see me .. in action. If ever there was a pun that would be it! :) This is the first ever video post on this site!

For my debut appearance, I went back to my roots, South India. I wanted to share with you a dish that I grew up with; Dosa, a favorite that I can eat any time of the day and is a true comfort food, especially when someone else makes it for you! :D. Another reason, I chose to showcase the dosa technique is because it is versatile and you can also make sweet crepes using the same technique.

So, without further ado, I invite you into my tiny NYC kitchen to share a Dosa meal with me. I will walk you through the method and technique of making thin, crispy Dosas; of transforming humble ingredients into something that noone can just eat one of! I hope it removes some of the mysteries of making a crisp, thin dosa and makes it's accessible to every foodie. If you have any questions/suggestions, please don't hesitate to ask/share...



A Little Background:

Depending on the region of Southern India, a variety of dosas are enjoyed; from paper thin ones to thicker pancake like ones (uttappams, adais etc.), plain or masala filled ones and even some topped like pizza with vegetables and meat. In its simplest form, the dosa is a gluten free Indian savory crepe made using a fermented batter of rice, urad lentils (split white lentils) and a pinch of fenugreek seeds.

Dosa Ingredients

From there, the kind of dosa made depends on the technique of swirling (or not) the batter on the pan. Even people in the same family make different versions depending on skill and preference. I prefer the thin, crispy varieties. Much like crepes, it takes technique and some practice to get it right. But, it is so totally worth it!

Note: The fenugreek helps in bringing about the deep golden brown hue of the dosa.

Potato Peas Side

Tips for making Perfect Dosas:

1. To make the batter, soak the ingredients for atleast 4 hours (preferrably overnight) and grind them to a smooth paste using as little water as possible.

2. To help fermentation during the colder months, you can place the dough inside an off oven. You can also add yogurt to the batter to help the fermentation.

3. Do not add salt before fermenting the dough; it will inhibit it. Once you have consistency of batter you want, season appropriately.

4. For a thin dosa, the batter has to be runny and of pourable consistency. For a dosa cake, you can use the original batter or thin it down slightly.

5. Using a ladle with a flat bottom will really help in spreading the batter evenly.

6. Make sure the pan is sizzling hot and on medium-high heat before you ladle the batter on to it. An easy way to test is to drip a drop of water onto the pan; it should sizzle and dance on the surface.

7. The first dosa you make for the day is usually a sacrificial lamb. So, test with a small amount and fret not, it happens to even experts with a whole lifetime of experience making these delicacies.. :)

8. One trick to prevent batter from sticking to the pan I picked up from my mom, is to use dip a half onion in oil and rub the pan with it just before pouring the batter on it.

9. The dosa can be eaten with any side - chutney, vegetables, curries. My favorite is with spicy mutton curry.. Oh YUMM!

10. You can refrigerate any remaining batter for upto a week. If you find the batter too fermented, then you can either add some semolina to it and make regular dosas or mix in thinly diced vegetables and cook into a thicker cake.

Dosa and Sides

Thank you Foodbuzz for choosing this mode for the challenge. I immensely enjoyed making the video while pushing Mr.FSK, my cameraman, to the limits of his patience with my directing (in)capabilities. :D It was a huge learning experience, indeed!

I am excited, thrilled, intimidated and nervous to be presenting this entry to you, dear reader. Thanks very much for your patronage so far in this contest. I hope you find this entry virtuous enough to vote me through to the next round! :) Voting opens on Nov 15.



Dosa

4 cups rice
1 cup urad dal (split white lentils)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt as needed
water as needed

Soak rice, dal and fenugreek seeds in enough water for atleast 4 hours to overnight. Change the water a couple of times in this period. Grind into a smooth paste using as little water as possible. Leave covered in a bowl in a warm place to ferment overnight.

Mix the fermented dough well to make a smooth batter. In another bowl, add some water to thin out the batter to a runny consistency. Meanwhile, heat the pan over medium-high heat. The pan is ready when it sizzles when a drop of water touches it.

Ladle out about half cup of water on the pan and use gentle circular movements with the ladle to spread the batter into a thin circle. Drizzle oil along the edges and center. When the edges brown, crisp up and lift off slightly from the pan, slide a spatula under the dosa gently and flip it over. Cook on the other side to golden brown, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate.


Spicy Onion and Tomato Chutney

2 medium onions
2 ripe tomatoes
3-4 hot dry red chillies

For the Tadka (seasoning):
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
3/4 tsp urad dal
1 T ghee (clarified butter)
4-5 curry leaves
salt as needed

Saute the onions and tomatoes until cooked. Puree into a smooth mixture. Let cool. In a shallow pan, heat the ghee and add all the tadka ingredients and cook over low heat until the mustard seeds start popping. Remove from heat and spread over the onion-tomato puree.



Potato Peas Masala

4 red potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
1/4 cup peas, flash cooked
1/2 onion, diced fine
2 cloves, minced
3 green chillies, diced fine
4-5 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp turmeric, ground powder
salt and oil as needed

Roast the mustard, cumin, curry leaves and urad dal until the mustard starts popping. Saute the onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add the green chillies and turmeric and saute for a minute. Add potatoes and peas, sprinkle some water and cook for 5-10 minutes until the flavors blend.

57 comments:

  1. Asha - this is such a great tutorial on how to make dosas! You are a natural infront of the camera - I want to see more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was nice to see you in front of the camera. :-) I love dosa meals too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely video...u r so nice on it :) Dosa looks gud...expecting more of such video editions

    ReplyDelete
  4. Loved wathcing the video you are a pro. Wish i had a dosa right now :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. So glad to see you on camera! U did a great job :) You should totally do more of this specially with recipes like of dosa which require a technique, its helps to see someone do it live! Great going!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your tutorial is fantastic. It was nice to see you in front of the camera!
    Magda

    ReplyDelete
  7. great video asha! wow you make making dosa look so easy but im sure it's a lot harder than it looks esp with the circling/ladling part!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A wonderful post! That is a delightful dish. Great to see you in front of the camero.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ahh it was nice to see you in the video and gr8 job with the video!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well done! An awful lot of work goes into making videos as I discovered with my flapjack one in the summer. But it's well worth the effort. You've inspired me to do another one soon I hope!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great video, Asha. Way to go! :)
    I have problems even doing step-by-step posts. :)

    Do you use fennel seeds in your batter? I use fenugreek seeds and that's what I thought is in your pictures?

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a wonderful way to learn a new dish =) we call dosa 'khola' in Bangladesh. Same process, except rice flour is used. Thank you for the lovely demo, and congrats on coming out of the shadow! lovely vdo!

    ReplyDelete
  13. As Aparna marked out, even I got a bit confused by fennel seeds! Never tried using fennel in Dosa (I use Methi). If this is so, shall try it soon for a change.
    Lovely video, and a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Is it fennel or fenugreek(methi) seeds? Good luck on the food buzz challenge. I am rooting for you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Now I ran out of excuses for not to make dosas... good to see on video, it was great ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aparna & Sanjeeta! OMG!! i am a dufus.. I did mean fenugreek.. for some reason, fennel stuck in my mind and I put it there..thanks for pointing it out!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Looking great! :) Best of luck

    ReplyDelete
  18. Till now, I had never heard the word "dosa" Now that I know what it is, can't wait to make it !!
    Very clear tutorial, and you look natural in the camera!
    It is comforting to see someone who has a kitchen as small as mine !!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have always loved these but always eat them in restaurants. You video is clear and concise I suppose I should try them at home now. GREG

    ReplyDelete
  20. Asha: you and the final result of your cooking are elegant as always!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Its so good to see you make dosa :) cheers!! keep it coming :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. That was great! and It looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great job Asha. The video is wonderful and the dosas look incredibly good!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wat a beautiful spread, dosa with chutney my all time fav...Awesome video Asha..

    ReplyDelete
  25. I see we have been on the same tune lately; you with dosa and me with buckwheat crepes ;)
    Lovely to see you in this video, well done !

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hot Polka Dot's MomNovember 9, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Thanks to your tutorial I have been introduced to dosas. Interesting technique swirling the batter with the ladle. You make it look easy but I'm sure it takes practice.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wonderful tutorials... Thanks for sharing us your cooking skills! That was good to see you on your video.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So fun to put a voice with your name and face. I always ruin the first crepe too. Why is that? Looks like a great meal!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love dosas and you made it seem so possible to make my own. Lovely, absolutely lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Asha we need more of these videos please. My mum has already watched it twice. I love dosas. The swirl technique is great. Can I request a video on Burfi. Its my absolute favourite.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for demystifying the dosa! Great video - good luck - I hope I will be there with you in Challenge 8! (beter get baking with pumpkins!)

    ReplyDelete
  32. ...also heard that the onion used for applying the oil should be thrown away after the batch is over.
    (reusing the same onion for the next batch say in the evening or the next day, is not healthy)

    ReplyDelete
  33. delicious favourite dosa
    lovely video

    ReplyDelete
  34. I haven't had a good dosa since I was in India; I bought all the ingredients, but never knew exactly what to do. THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. thanks so much for sharing the dosa recipe! i love Dosa! and i cant wait to try out the potatos n peas masala!!
    yum yum!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Asha, nice debut! You look so natural in front of the camera! Now we have no excuse to make dosas! :)
    Btw, and the banana cake below looks sooo yummy!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  37. Nice to meet you Asia! Thank you for this really useful demonstration! I`ll be very grateful if you also share the recipes for chutney or curry:)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I won't complain about how small my kitchen is again! You make beautiful and artful dishes in your little abode! Wonderfully, done! Great video, too!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Delish! You make it look so easy. My dosas always turn out to be shaped like maps of India, much like my chapatis. And the potato peas masala, OMG I can smell it already - sooooooo good!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I can truly say that making dosa never crossed my mind... But now I'm thinking about a new project. Your video was extremely helpful with technique. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love dosas, but have never made them myself. Great job and you have my vote!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Well Dosa is truly comfort food..Its versatile and yummy...In fact we had a dosa festival here which exibited ove 3000 varieties of dosas alone...

    ReplyDelete
  43. What a perfect topic to use for your video debut! I have not tried making dosas since my first disaster attempt with a Gits mix when I first got married. I think I may give it another try...without the box mix of course. Congrats on a fabulous post.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Fabulous - As a South Indian - this is perfect - exactly how my mom makes it! Great video! Good luck! :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey Lulu.. I have shared a Tomato and Onion Chutney recipe in this post. Let me know if you are looking for a specific recipe and I can shoot it out to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love your blog and this post...just voted for you on FoodBuzz! I've actually never had the guts to try to make dosa but am now thinking that I need to make the leap :-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. my girls love gluten-free crepes. We'll definitely have to give this a try- they look fantastic! Great job on the video!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wonderful job Asha...lovely dish and tutorial :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I could totally listen to your voice all day -- such a difference from my screechy voice on camera! You did a great job :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Best of luck with Project Food Blog. Wonderful dish. I really enjoyed your tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  51. Well done Asha...voted for you! Dosa is very popular in our home! YUM!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Asha, it's so good to "see" you! And you make the dosa-making appear so effortless! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the next challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is one of those items that I've been dying to make!!! Great video! You make it look so easy to make.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Fantastic! You had me at gluten free:-) Wonderful video tutorial. You

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh my, these look delish! I was on a Dosa binge when I was in Chennai a few years ago! Yours look divine!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I just came across your post and was wondering how you grind the dosa ingredients. Do you do it in a blender?

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my space. Love to hear your thoughts.