How to make the perfect dosa – Recipe and tips
I think I made my first dosai when I was in Class 9. Typically, my grandmother would make dosais for tiffin at least 1-2 days in a week. First she would prepare hot dosais for my grandfather and me and I would make for her. I’m grateful that she let practise my dosa making skills on her .
Watch my youtube video on tips to make the perfect dosa:
In our home, there was no special dosa batter. The same idli batter would be used for making dosai. So the day the idli batter was fermented and fresh, it would be made into idlis for the first (and sometimes the second) day. The day old batter would be used for dosai on the following day. And if the batter was still leftover after the third day, it would end up as an ‘iluppuchatti dosai’ – iluppuchatti being a cast iron kadai, where oil would be poured at the bottom and then the dosa batter ladled over it. This wouldn’t be spread out, so the resultant dosai would be a thicker one with lots of bubbles as the batter would be more fermented, having sat around in the fridge for over 4 days. Sometimes, some extra flour would be added to the last dregs of batter and deep fried as ‘bondas’ – I haven’t seen the leftover batter in this avatar too many times, but the few times it did happen, I remember that it was quite a delicious tiffin item. That was the life cycle of idli-dosa batter.
I remember as a kid, once on his trip from Madras to Bombay, my grandfather lugged this huge wet grinder (by train). Those days the wet grinders weighed a ton- none of the feather weight, fancy schmancy table top brands available these days. Once a week, the mornings or sometimes afternoons were dedicated to grinding idli batter so that evening tiffin and lunchboxes (if any) for most of the week were taken care of. The parboiled rice (ukhada chawal) was soaked separately. The udad dal was soaked with some fenugreek seeds. Both these would then be drained and ground separately in the wet grinder. The udad dal until it was a very fine satiny paste and the rice batter ground a little coarser. My granny would then mix both these batters along with some rock salt in a large vessel, exclusively reserved for this purpose. It would be covered with a lid and a muslin cloth and kept aside to ferment. She also had this theory that as the batter was mixed along with the salt by hand, some people’s hand had a more souring effect than the others and the batter would ferment very quickly. Well, it’s all wild yeast and I’m quite willing to buy that theory today.
How to make Molaga Podi / Gunpowder
I never invested in a wet grinder for my kitchen. My kitchens in Bombay and Hyderabad were painfully compact and by the time I moved to Bangalore, I quite mastered the idli-dosa batter in the mixer, thanks to my neighbour aunty in Hyderabad who shared her secrets with me. Here I share the same recipe with you.
Recipe for Idli / Dosa batter [In the mixer]