Dosas and chana marsala

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Dosas are so tasty and as it turns out, easy to make, with proper training.  They are pronounced doughshas according to the Indian market guy. He has helped with pronouncing idli in the past, so I trust him.

Dosas are made easy with this handy product:

Dosa batter

Go find some now if you like Indian food!  My market carries it in the fridge and freezer section.  Much easier than making your own batter.  Dosas are a combination of rice and urad dal, soaked, fermented slightly and ground up into a fine, loose batter.  They are a form of sourdough and have that great sourdough tang.  The brand I bought has a bit of salt and ground fenugreek powder in it too.  I did add more fenugreek, some coriander powder and cracked black pepper, as I am a spice girl.  I haven’t met a spice I don’t like yet.

So, this is the 4th time I have attempted to make these.  The first time, I soaked rice and urad dal for days and ground them up, added water and just couldn’t get a fine paste.  The second time I found the batter in the store and poured it into a non stick skillet with a dash of oil and well, that really didn’t work.  The third time I grabbed the idli batter by mistake as the containers are identical and the ingredients too, different coarseness and liquid levels.  So, I learned my lesson.  This time, I asked.  How do I make dosas?

The answer:

Extremely hot cast iron or other flat top pan.  Heat it up really hot.  Scoop some batter out, pour it in the middle.  Use the soup ladle to spread the batter outward in circles (like those pro pizza sauce spreader people).  As soon as you are done swirling, drizzle little bits of ghee or oil of your choice around the edges of the dosa.  This sizzles nicely.  By the time you are done drizzling, the dosa crepe is already starting to brown, so immediately take a metal spatula and start skimming under the dosa edges to separate it from the pan.  Once you have it all lifted and in one piece (this might take two or 3 tries to get a whole one), place it on a plate and start over, keeping your cast iron hot the whole time.

making dosas

I even bought a special big, flat cast iron skillet with no sides or lip just so I could make these.  Not knowing to not use oil, they stuck horribly the first time I used it (when the non stick didn’t work).

dosas dosas

Once you have a nice pile of dosas, start loading them up with delicious fillings.  My favorite (because it is the only way I have tried it) is chick peas, potato (better from a whole boiled potato than a baked one), white onions, cilantro and a hearty raita with yogurt, cilantro, shredded cucumber and carrot, nigella seeds (black onion seeds), green onion, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle it with chana chaat spice (see pic) or use any Marsala spice and add salt if it doesn’t have salt in it.  The spice needs to be nice and salty.

chana chaat Raita

Roll it up and eat! Napkins will be needed.

dosa with chick peas and potato dosa with chick peas and potato

i’m out

4 thoughts on “Dosas and chana marsala

  1. You rock the known universe!
    Thanks for the tweet! I always use my flat electric griddle plate but maybe next time I’ll use my beloved cast iron pan and see who wins. 🙂

    Ah, dosas, so yummy and good.


  2. I absolutely love dosas. I used to eat them like crazy!
    I would love to make some. I wonder about the pre-made dosa batter? I wonder if there would be any possibility of cross-contamination with gluten. I am very sensitive… but I can definitely get some urad dal.. perhaps I could make my own batter. Hmm. I am intrigued, and now incredibly hungry. I will have to look into this further. My husband did make me a dosa once, and it was pretty good but needs tweeking.

    I would love to participate in the menu swap. How can I do this?

  3. I am sorry you were unable to make dosas from scratch. You need, one part urad, two parts rice (not basmati but a long grain one) and put them to soak in the morning with a little salt and then in the evening you grind them. Put in a warm place and in the summertime should be fermented and ready to eat the next morning. You have done a good job of making your dosas as it takes practice and conditioning of the pan you cook them in. Even the best cooks often have to discard the first one they make. In south India they are gound seperately in a grinding stone. This makes the urad even fluffier. Keep up the good work.

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