Monday, March 2, 2009

Memories of Bangalore...

'Sagars' or 'Darshinis' are well known to every Bangalorean and will make them all nostalgic for sure. They are small fast food joints that serve the yummiest things like idli, dosa, chow chow bath 'n' stuff, oooh I'm drooling right now! Anyways, one all time favourite is masala dosa, which is so taken for granted all the time, that after we moved to Aussie, we've been craving so much for it! It is a thin, crisp rice and lentil pancake with a tangy potato filling. All our friends here pleaded to have it for dinner and I said 'why not?'. However, one thing I'm really nervous about when making dosas here is that the batter does not seem to ferment well which is a major setback. Somehow, this time when I made it, it turned out well. The masala dosas were lip smackingly delicious! This recipe needs soaking time and fermenting time, so planning ahead is needed. But it's worth all of it :-)

For the dosa batter -
  • 4 measures of uncooked rice (I use the sona masoori variety. You also get dosa rice, both at any Indian grocery store. Otherwise, you could use regular long grain rice from any supermarket.)
  • 1 measure urad dal (white split lentils)
  • salt
  • eno (fruit salt)/yeast (optional)
For the masala filling -
  • boiled potatoes, 5
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 chopped green/red chillies
  • curry leaves
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tspn chana dal/kadalebele (split yellow lentils)
  • 1/2 tspn urad dal (split white lentils)
  • 1/2 tspn mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tspn jeera (whole cumin)
  • a pinch of hing (asafotieda)
  • a small piece of ginger, grated
  • half a lemon/lime
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • salt
  1. Wash and soak the rice and urad dal, separately, overnight.
  2. Next morning, grind them in a blender or a wet grinder. The batter has to be fine.
  3. Once done, pour the rice and urad dal batter in a large vessel, add salt and stir well.
  4. This batter now needs to ferment. Ideally, it needs some warmth to work well. Here are a few tips - you could preheat an oven (not microwave) and switch it off. Then leave the vessel in it for about 8 hours. You could add eno or yeast in order to ferment the batter. Or if it is a naturally warm weather, just leave it covered overnight and the batter will ferment. Basically, after about 8 hours, the batter needs to be risen, fluffy and quite light and porous.
  5. With the batter ready, you need to prepare the potato filling. Lightly mash the boiled potatoes.
  6. Heat oil in a wok or a deep pan and add mustard seeds, jeera and hing.
  7. Next add chana dal and urad dal and saute until they are browned lightly.
  8. Add curry leaves, ginger and chillies.
  9. Next, add chopped onions and cook till tender.
  10. Add the turmeric powder, mix well and put in the potatoes.
  11. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  12. A dash of lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander. The filling is ready.
  13. All you need to do now is make the masala dosas. For this you'll need a griddle or a flat nonstick pan. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto a heated pan and quickly spread it into a large circle with your ladle, working your way out from the centre. (this might take a few gos till you're perfect!)
  14. Dribble some oil around the dosa, wait for a couple of minutes till it is crisp on one side and turn it around using a spatula and cook on the other side.
  15. Then simply put a dollop of the masala on the dosa, fold it in half and take off the pan.
  16. Serve with chutney. I'll post the recipes for the two chutneys I made with it!
Yummy! Enjoy, it's worth all the effort you put in! Of course, you do have the option of buying readymade batter from the Indian store, but nothing like making it at home with all the excitement :-)


vidhas said...

Hi Divya, Thanks for dropping by. Masala dosas is my favourite too. very tempting. YOu can also smear some chutney over the dosa before the filling, if you want, check out by blog for that.

Divya Rao said...

Hi, thanks for the tip. That will add to the whole masala dosa experience I'm sure :-)


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