If you have never eaten a savoury crepe then you are missing out big time. The most delicious of all crepes is the south Indian Dosa.
Dosa is a fermented savoury pancake/crepe made of rice and lentils in the south of Indian. There are many different variations and kinds of dosas. The batter can be made with rice, different kinds of lentils and various pulses, millet, corn, coconut, semolina, chickpeas and even whole wheat. The list is endless.
My recipe below is the most traditional recipe made with just rice, lentils and a few fenugreek seeds. This mixture, after being soaked is ground together to form a thick paste and then fermented on the counter top prior to making dosa. Traditionally it is eaten with a few different kinds of chutneys, lentil stew (sambar) and spicy masala mashed potato stuffed inside.
It is generally eaten at mid-day or for breakfast or a meal called "tiffin", which is generally a lighter meal eaten anytime before 3pm. In the south of India their are special restaurants that make just dosas. This is a crepe that is loved by almost every single Indian and south Indians take their dosa making very seriously.
I'm a south Indian from the state of Karnataka and love south Indian food. However, it's not always possible to make these foods just the way its prepared back home. Where I live presently, it's hard to get all the fresh ingredients one requires to make these delicious south Indian dishes. However, this dosa recipe of mine is very close to the recipe my dear grandma made for her grandchildren. It's a tad healthier, as I use a mixture of brown and not just white rice as is traditionally done. When possible, I use par-boiled rice vs just raw rice. Parboiled rice, is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. This locks in more of the rice nutrients and is a better rice to eat and make dosas with.
Give my recipe a try and let me know what you think. You can also make my easy and delicious fresh coconut and coriander chutney to go with these savoury crepes and if you want to stuff the dosa with masala mashed potato then use my recipe.
Vitamix Indian Dosa Recipe: Masala Dosa
My recipe below, is simple, easy and nutritious and is the basic dosa to start with, before you try to make other kinds of dosas.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1/2 cup whole white lentil (use urad lentil, it can be whole or split, with the skin removed)
- 3 cups water (might need more water,depending on how your blender grinds the rice mixture)
In a bowl add brown rice, white rice, white lentils and fenugreek seeds, cover in water and soak overnight or for eight hours.
After eight hours, strain out the water and wash the rice mixture really well.
Add the soaked and strained rice mixture to a high powered blender bowl, add water, start with just one cup, grind on hight speed. Add more water as you keep grinding. It is important to have a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix to get batter that is thick yet silky smooth.
Pour this batter into a large bowl, cover and place in the warmest part of your kitchen, allowing it to ferment for 4 to 6 hours. It will get thicker and increase in volume during the fermentation process.
After allowing your batter to ferment, you are ready to make your savory crepes or dosas. Mix the batter well, and add about 1/2 a cup of room temperature water if it is too thick. Don't add too much water, the dosas will not form and will break when cooking. It should not be too runny or too thick. Watch the video above to see the consistency of how dosa batter shoud be.
Heat a cast iron pan, once hot grease with an onion dipped in oil (the acid from the onion prevents proetin sticking to the pan, dosa batter has protein from the lentils and rice and can stick to your pan. Make sure to rub the onion with a little bit of oil, all over the hot pan for a good minute or so. This releases acid from the onion and creates a natural non-stick coating, preventing your dosas from sticking to the pan.
Pour about 1 cup of batter onto a hot cast iron pan and spread evenly in a circular motion.
Allow to crisp for about 2 minutes (this will depend on how large a pan you are using and how large your dosa is). Once crisped on one side, flip and crisp on the other side for 2 minutes. Then flip back and stuff with masala mashed potato (my recipe will soon be up for masala mashed potato).
Fold over and you've got your first dosa. Continue to make all your dosas this way, untill you've used all your batter.
Serve with fresh coocnut and coriander chutney. (use my delicious recipe).
Note: If you have too much batter, store in refrigerator and it wll be good for upto three days. It will get more fermented and thck, so add water, everytime you take out from refrigerator and before making your dosas. Also, it's a good idea to allow the refrigerated dosa batter to rest on counter top for about 1 hour or so before adding water.