Saturday, March 04, 2006

rava dosas and shallot sambhar

inspired by indira's post on shallot sambhar, i decided to make dosas and sambhar last weekend when my friend darshini and her husband came over for dinner. i really miss the homemade tubs of dosa batter that were available at the indian stores in redwood city and mountain view. but i've found a great recipe for rava dosa from viji varadarajan's "samayal" that is super easy to make (if you have all the ingredients on hand) and has a texture similar to a regular dosa.

prep time: 15 min
cooking time: 20 mins
makes: 10 to 12

1 tbsp wheat flour
1 1/2 cups semolina
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
3 to 4 chillies
1 inch piece of ginger
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 tsp hing powder (asoeftedia)
oil for preparing dosa
salt to taste
5 1/2 cups water

chop the chillies and ginger finely. you may blend the ginger into a paste.

mix yogurt, water, salt, hing and curry leaves with wheat flour, semolina and rice flour. the batter should be a very thin consistency.

in a deep pan heat the oil and pop the mustard seeds, and then add the jeera and the chillies in oil. stir in the ginger to the batter. add the curry leaves, yogurt and hing powder into the batter and mix well.

heat a tava or a flat griddle iron like the one in the picture above, spray a little bit of oil and wait till it is very hot. prepare dosa by pouring with a ladle and spread using the bottom of the ladle. using a small spoon, sprinkle a little bit of oil all over the perimeter of the dosa. since my pan is so rectangular, i usually make two dosas at a time. after a minute or two, turn over and let the other side cook.


serve hot with onion sambhar or coriander chutney. as you can see from the picture, my dosas aren't perfectly shaped but they were pretty delicious thanks to the easy recipe. my only regret was that i didn't have fresh curry leaves on hand - they add a lovely flavour to rava dosas that is very hard to substitute.


Blogger Meenal Mehta said...

hey lulu ,

first time on your blog here , a very fascinating account on your life and adventures in london ...

i really enjoyed reading it .the presentation on all the recipes is awesome too.

do visit mine sometime .called meenal's kitchen

see you around :-)

9:20 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi meenal,
i enjoyed reading your blog and have added it to my blogroll. i love the idea of a peanut butter honey dip with fruits - delicious! i like how you give a little bit of history about the food as well. and great picture of you and your niece!

11:07 am  
Anonymous melissa said...

Hey lu! I love sambhar did you ever hear of resam? it's more of a south indian kind of stew. I say you should do a post on indian desserts! Res Malay anyone ;*) Muah* -Mel

8:01 pm  
Blogger gs said...

you made it look so simple.actually it is one of the toughest things to make. and yes,i agree with melissa. you should do a post on s.i. rasams.all the exotic ones like,veyppambu,jeera milagu and pineapple. though indian desserts would be an awesome job!

1:06 am  
Blogger rums said...

lools i just can't muster up enough courage to make dosas, i have this mental block that i'll never be able to do it. everytime i see a post on dosas i salivate and tell myself that i'll attempt to make some soon but it never happens :(

1:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Droool!! Will be making these tonight

5:45 pm  
Blogger Priya said...

The dosas looks perfect and with shallot sambar souds yummy. I have the same cookbook, and few of my recipes i have posted are from her cookbook.I love all recipes in the cookbook.

10:09 pm  
Anonymous viji said...

hey lulu, I am viji varadarajan and am pleased to note that you tried the rava dosai. I will also tell you that the vegetable adai and the coconut adai are many people'e favorite because I do not use bengal gram in these adais. There were about a dozen people who told me that they have resumed making these adais after many years. You should try them too and also the 'araithu vitta thakkali vengaaya sambhar that is actually the authentic taste of sambhar for the tiffins. I did not find any restaurant that can offer an authentic taste of sambhar for the dosas and idlis.

12:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lulu
just wondering abt that square dosa pan, can u substitute it with a baking tray?

12:52 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

first i must say how excited i was to see that viji's comment on this blog. wow, the internet had really made the world a smaller place. viji, i LOVE your "samayal" cookbook. you have really made south indian cooking accesible for my generation. the photography in the book is very pleasing - i wish you had photos on every page! i will definitely try the adai recipe. my father presented the book to me and i have been cooking south indian food a lot more since i received this book.
also, thank you for commenting in my blog. it was truly a pleasant surprise to see your comment.

9:00 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

rasamalai sounds absolutely divine. it is my favourite indian dessert! have never attempted to make it but i will try to dig up a recipe and give it a shot just por toi. muah :)

9:01 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

i got over mental blocks after being stuck on top of a ski slope with nowhere to go but downhill on a double black diamond at squaw valley in lake tahoe. take a deep breath and go for it!
rava dosas are a breeze. really, viji's recipe is super simple. just get yourself a nice crepe pan or pancake griddle and it will be that much simpler. there's no fermentation of the dough or any of that complicated stuff which is why i like rava dosas more than the regular ones. just mix all the ingredients and you are all set. don't give up if the first couple get messed up. persist and you will be rewarded. do give it a try and let me know how your dosas turn out.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi there anonymous!
not sure about the baking tray but a round crepe pan will do the trick as well. basically, the dough needs to be cooked on very high heat for a few minutes. not sure that dosas can be cooked in an oven though they can be reheated in one.

9:11 pm  
Blogger gs said...

'araitha vitta thakkali vengaya sambhar'could you send me viji's recipe for that? i would love to try it out.and the vegetable adai and coconut adai too.thanks.

1:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am truly glad that you guys have shown an interest in south indian cooking. Sigh, its so little known!Lulu, just type my full name in google and you will come across - The Hindu paper's article on Sappadu @ 601 - Go thro' that and you will know my passion for this cooking. I have now written a festival cookbook that is soon to be sold in Amazon. The info is for youngsters like you.

1:33 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi viji,
i bought small onions from the market on saturday specially to make the sambhar you recommended. i will buy your book as soon as it is available on amazon - it sounds very interesting indeed. i am also curious to learn about the diferences in cooking between palghat, thanjavur, madurai etc. one thing that has always perplexed me is the use of garlic in tam brahm cooking. some families treat it as they do non-veg while others have favourite recipes like boondu rasam etc. your thoughts?

7:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well about the use of garlic for a tambram cooking; we use it for 'poondu (garlic) rasam. I do agree that when you do not fry the garlic in oil it retains its nutritive value. Its funny though orthodoxy has its own quirks. Many brahmin families do not encourage garlic in their cooking; simply because indian non vegetarian encourages a generous usage of
this strong smelling pod. But let me tell you this - any green vegetable stirred and cooked in a ginger-garlic paste does not have its own flavor any more as the strong smell of garlic overwhelms it. The same vegetable cooked in its own juices retains its own unique flavour.

Palghat and tanjore cooking are similar in the sense that they are both vegetarians and both use coconut in their everyday cooking. The similarities stop there. Previously the Kerala brahmins (palghat) used coconut oil in all their cooking. But the more health conscious these days avoid excess or any usage of this fatty oil. In the other cuisine (tanjavur), sesame oil is largely used. And again the palghat cooking uses more of ashgourd, raw banana, banana stem, and drumstick as against the tamil brahmins who use a lot of green vegetables besides these vegetabes. And again the kerala brahmins use a lot of coconut milk in their dishes.

4:53 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

thanks for your thoughts on the question i posed, anonymous.

8:22 pm  
Anonymous Indira said...

What an interesting conversation going on here. Read all your comments Lulu, learned some new things.

I'm glad you tried the shallot sambhar, so how did it go? did you like the taste? Also thanks for the mention.

11:05 pm  
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10:39 am  

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