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Dosa

Dosa

I learnt how to make traditional dosa when I was working with a lovely chef from Kerala. There was such grace in the way she made them. The swiftness of the smooth pour and the circular spreading of the batter was hypnotizing. She made it look easy, and after a batch or two you’ll start to get the hang of it, too – as with crêpes, the first few might look rubbish but then you’ll find your flow. If your batter is runny enough, you can make a lovely thin dosa, perfect as a tasty wrap for saag paneer, coriander, and chilli fried eggs, or spiced prawns.

Dosa

Makes – 6 dosa

Ingredients:

  • 100g (3½oz) sprouted seeds
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) water
  • 250g (9oz) rice flour
  • 100g (3½oz) gram flour
  • 50g (1¾oz) fresh spinach
  • 15g (½oz) live yogurt
  • 10g (¼oz) salt
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp melted ghee, for greasing

Equipment:

  • food processor
  • non-stick frying pan or flat griddle (see Expert Tips, bottom)

Dosa Method

  1. Blitz your sprouted seeds (fig. a) and all the other ingredients except for the melted ghee in a food processor until smooth. The texture of the batter should be like runny yogurt; it should fall off a whisk easily in a slow, continuous stream.

    fig. a

  2. Once the batter is smooth, pour into a bowl, cover, and leave to ferment overnight at warm room temperature, about 15–25°C (59–77°F).
  3. In the morning, the batter should have increased in volume and started to bubble (fig. b). Whisk the batter again, then preheat a non-stick frying pan or flat griddle. Grease the pan with some melted ghee using a piece of kitchen paper so that it’s evenly coated, then gently spread 1 large ladleful of the dosa batter into a round on the pan (fig. c).

    fig. b

    fig. c

  4. Drizzle a little ghee around the edge of the dosa and cook for 30 seconds–1 minute until browned, then flip and cook the other side for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat the process for each dosa. Fold the cooked dosas or roll them up like a wrap and serve with an aromatic filling of your choice. Any leftover batter can be refrigerated and used within 4–5 days.

Expert Tips:

  • The sprouted seeds in this recipe can be substituted by sprouted or cooked urad dal (black lentils), which has the uncanny ability to help absorb wild yeasts and aid fermentation.
  • Buckwheat flour makes a delicious dosa batter and is easy to find. For a truly authentic idli dosa recipe, visit an Indian grocery store or shop online for black gram and idli rice.
  • A griddle is a cast-iron pan that can be heated to very high temperatures and can cook bread in seconds with little or no fat required. There are grooved varieties, which can add a lovely chargrilled stripe to your breads, though I prefer a smooth surface, as it’s easier to clean and season. To test the temperature, drop a little water on the surface – the droplets should instantly sizzle and move around. If they evaporate on impact, the surface is too hot.

Recipes extracted from The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge, Published by DK Books, RRP $49.99 AUD/  $55 NZD

The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge

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