Dosa – It’s a matter of the batter

Sunday mornings normally are dosa mornings in most of the South Indian household. Join any South Indian family for breakfast on a Sunday and you will be greeted with the scent of the linseed oil flavor and the tasty aroma of the mixed vegetables cooked in tamarind pulp called sambar.

Dosa the universally famous pancake from the Southern Part of India. A fermented mix of rice and black lentils , this dish has found its way into the International Cuisine and many chefs have had their own versions of making the global favorite – the dosa.

Tracing its origins back to centuries ago when in the 6th century the dosa had found  a mention in the Tamil Literature. However there is an opinion which says that the dosa originated in the State of Karnataka in Udipi. This very popular and nutritious breakfast dish is today popular all over the world and has found its existence even in the remotest corners of India. The dish is rich in carbohydrates has no sugar or salt and neither contains saturated fats. It is free of glutens and has protein value due to the lentils that are added to it. As the batter is fermented, the content of Vitamin B and Vitamin C is in increased proportion and thus on the whole it is a healthy and nutritious food.

How to Prepare the Dosa Batter

Basic batter preparation involves soaking parboiled rice in water for more than 8 hours. Then the lentils are soaked for around 4 hours. These soaked ingredients are ground separately, and then added together and some salt is added. This batter is allowed to ferment . While making a ladle full of batter is taken and is put on the pan. A little bit of oil is added on the sides and the dosa is turned over after cooking on one side. The dosa looks beautiful with fine holes spreading all over it. Then after cooking the other side, the dosa is folded into two and served hot.

If wheat flour is added instead of lentils then it becomes a maida dosa and if semolina is added then it is a rava dosa. Dosa is either served with a sauce or with a gravy preparation called the sambar. Sometimes the dosa is served with filling. The filling could be made of potatoes.

Accompaniments with Dosa

Chutney : This is a preparation made out of coconut, chick peas, mango, salt all ground together.

Chutney Powder : This is a powder that is dry. It is made by roasting,  lentils, red chilies, asafetida, salt and Bengal gram together and then powdering them.

Varieties of Dosa

Egg Dosa : Egg is broken and spread over a hot dosa on the pan. Then it becomes like an omelette.

Chilli Dosa : This is dosa that is made by spreading chilli paste inside the dosa.

Onion Dosa : This is dosa made with fried onions.

Ghee Dosa : This is dosa that is made out of ghee or butter instead of oil.

Kerala Dosa : This is a different kind of dosa that is very soft and spongy. Very similar to appams this is a delicious variety of dosa.

Paper Dosa : This is very famous in the hotels in Kerala and is a thin, crispy and delicious dosa that is made as long as 2 feet.

Masala Dosa : This is a very famous delicacy of South Indians where the Dosa is stuffed with potatoes made with chopped coriander and chilies with a dash of mustard powder, chilli powder and salt. The stuffing is kept inside the dosa after the dosa is prepared. This is a favorite of all dosa lovers.

Jaggery Dosa : This is a dosa made out of jaggery that is added to the rice batter. The dosa is sweet and is very tasty with slices of coconut added to it.

Uttapam : This is a fat dosa that is made with a batter similar to the dosa and it is preferred that the batter is sour. Chopped onions, tomatoes, and chillies and a dash of coriander is put on top of the dosa and then turned over after one side is cooked.

Millet flour : This is a batter made out of millet flour and rice batter.

Set Dosa : This popular dosa from the Southern Part of Karnataka, is made by cooking it only on one side. It is served in three sets and so the name set dosa.

Mysore Masala Dosa : This is a dosa that is made with chutneys or sauces made out of coconut and chilli and this spread along with vegetable mix inside the dosa. It is a popular dish in all South Indian hotels and is very delicious.

Rava Dosa : This is a dosa made out of Rava and the rice batter. It is sometimes made with onions added to it.

Pesarattu : A very famous dosa preparation made from moong dal. It is ground similar to the dosa and is served with ginger sauce or tamarind sauce. This could be made with the green moong or the yellow moong.

Adai :A very famous member on the dining table of every South Indian. This is a mix of rice and lentils of all kinds. The rice and the lentils are soaked together with curry leaves, red chilli and asafetida, and then ground after soaking for 6 hours. This batter is not as smooth as the rice batter and is a little coarse.

Appam : This is a pancake that is made out of a combination of rice, curd and the batter is very thick and the dosa is thicker. The centre portion of the dosa is swollen and this is the specialty of appam.

In this manner dosa finds its variables in all parts of India, in the form of any delicacy related to spreading the batter on the pan. This world famous delicacy thus occupies an important spot in the continent of Asia.

My say : Eat Dosa, live Dosa, just smell the aroma of dosa.

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