Dosas

March 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm (Beans, Indian, unrated, Website / blog)


I’ve been told that to make authentic dosas requires a special, ultra-powerful blender.  Apparently a standard American blender just can’t grind the soaked rice and dal to a fine enough consistency.  That’s why I was excited when I found this recipe for dosas made with real dal but rice flour instead of soaked and blended rice.  No special blender needed, apparently.

The first time I tried the recipe I placed my stainless steel bowl full of dosa batter inside a cast iron pot, covered it loosely, and set the pot next to the radiator (which was on low). I also left the batter a bit longer than the 12 hours the recipe calls for–maybe 14 hours?  When I got up in the morning the dosa batter was *huge* and really frothy and poofy, plus it smelled really sour–some might say foul. Actually, the whole apartment smelled like the sour batter.  I was worried that it was full of bacteria, so I ended up tossing it. The second time I tried the recipe, I just left the bowl on the counter for 12 hours exactly.  The batter still had that strange smell that it had last time, but this time it was closer to “odd” smelling than “foul”.  It wasn’t all foamy and frothy, and so I decided it was fine.

For cooking the dosas, I tried Kittee’s trick of rubbing the skillet with a cut onion, and I was kind of able to spread my dosas with the back of the spoon, but the dosas ended up too thick.  Besides being too thick, they looked reasonably authentic.  The dosas tasted the same as the batter smelled–slightly tangy and strange.  It didn’t really bother me, but I wouldn’t say I liked the odd taste.  Derek didn’t care for them at all.  My friend Katrina said she thought they were  pretty good.  I’d like to figure out if the smell was coming from the fenugreek seed or the urad dal.  I’m going to make fenugreek tea to find out what it tastes like.

We tried cooking up the dosas and letting them sit overnight, then taking them for lunch the next day.  Although they seemed crisp at first when I bit into one I discovered that they were extremely tough (not crisp at all).  They weren’t really edible that day.  However, I left one dosa sitting out for about 3 days, and eventually it did get really crisp. The strange smell had faded completely and it tasted like some kind of chip.  I liked it.

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