South Indian, Pancake-like, verbose - designed to guide the novice
through the steps.
(1) Grinding: Soak the rice and the dal separately, for about 5 hours
(soaking longer won't hurt, I usually soak it in the morning, go off
to work, and grind in the evening.)
- 3 cups Texas long grain rice
- 1 cup Urad dal (polished)
- 2 tsp Salt
(2) Grind the rice with sufficient water until it is a smooth
paste. (I use my osterizer and run it in 3 batches, the amount of
water used to grind is somewhat crucial, using too much will make
the result too watery, while using too little will make it hard
to grind and too thick. I usually put in the rice and add water
until it just reaches the brim of the rice, this will seem like
too much, but it will work out fine once the rice is ground.
(3) I then run the osterizer on MIX until the rice is broken and
then run it on LIQUIDIZE until the rice starts to become a paste.
If required, add just a little more water, perhaps a few tablespoons.
Touch the paste between your fingers to feel the texture. It should
(4) Now grind the dal in two batches. (The amount of water here
is not as tricky. Traditionally this would be ground in a stone
grinder by hand. The dal needs to be ground while slowly adding
more water from the top of the osterizer. When ground, the dal has
the tendency to fluff up, this tendency must be encouraged by adding
only a little water at a time while stirring and continuing to grind.
The dal should double in quantity after grinding, while the quantity
of rice would have remained unchanged.)
(5) Now mix both the pastes with the salt in a dish that is at
least a third bigger in size, allowing space for the dough to rise.
(Quite commonly, the dough runs over for me, so I put it in a larger
dish than worry all night about overflowing dough).
(6) Leave for about 8 hours in a dark warm place. I usually leave
it in the oven overnight and occasionally turn the oven on for a
minute or two, to keep the air inside the oven at a warm temperature.
(7) Cooking: The next morning, if you have done all this, the
dough is ready to be transformed into dosas. Use a heavy cast-iron
griddle (a flat non-stick pan will do, but sadly lacks the taste
that comes from the iron pan).
(8) Heat the pan until a few drops of water dropped on the pan
(9) Take a deep ladle full of dough and drop the dough in the
middle of the pan, then with a deftness that comes with practice,
quickly swirl the dough away from the middle until it is spread
evenly in a circle around the pan. You must do this quickly because
once the dough cooks, you cannot spread it and the result will be
(10) Take a teaspoon full of oil and spread it around the edge
of the dosai. Wait a minute or so, until you see the edges browning
and insert a flat ladle that has sharp edges under and all around
the dosai, until it is released completely (Bewarned that, using
a well-scrubbed pan won't let you release the dosai easily. To prevent
this, you might want to rub a little oil onto the surface of the
pan before spreading the dough.)
(11) After releasing the dosai, flip it around on the other side
and put another teaspoon of oil around the edges. Wait a minute
or two until it is cooked and remove from the pan. Before making
the next one, use a small piece of paper kitchen towel and rub any
excess oil off the pan.
(12) (This whole procedure sounds tedious, but its not too hard
after you've done it a few times. Incidentally I make dosa every
week. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for a week or more.
If the dough starts to get sour, cut small pieces some green chilis
and onion and add to the dough before cooking it. This can be done
even otherwise, for a different flavor and variety.)
(13) Eating: Break a piece of the dosa and dip it into the dosa-molaga-podi
or the samber (recipes to follow) and pop it into your mouth.