Sunday, February 7, 2010

Masala Dosa & Uttappa

It has been one crazy winter this time. Come every weekend and the weather ought to be bad. For the past few weekends there have been ridiculous amounts of snow. If at all snow showed any mercy, there has been this ruthless cold all through the weekend. Though cold can be manageable, there is nothing you can do when everything is snow packed. These are the times when food comes to comfort you. One of such comforting dishes is masala dosa served with hot sambar. I am a big fan of south indian food. I can literally have idlis and dosas everyday. Believe me it is heavenly to have dosa dunked in hot sambar.

Onion uttappa is another dish that I totally love. I use the same batter to make dosas and uttappas, so whenever I make dosas, uttappas come hand in hand. Masala dosa is made by putting some potato sabzi inside the dosa. I use the following to make dosa batter -


3 cups rice
1 cup urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp toor dal
1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
Handful of thick poha

To make the batter, soak all these ingredients separately (rice and lentils.. rest can be soaked in the same bowl)overnight or for 7-8 hours in warm water. I noticed that soaking in warm water speeds up the fermentation, so I generally use warm water. After they are soaked, grind them into a paste which should be slightly on a rough side. Now let the batter sit to ferment. It will take anywhere from 8-10 hours at the least for the batter to ferment. Add salt before you use the batter.

To make dosas, take a ladle full of batter and place it on the center of a pan. Spread it out in circular motion and let cook. Make sure that you spread a thin layer. Add some oil on it while it cooks. Dosa is ready to be served. Serve it with hot sambar and coconut chutney.

For Masala (potato sabzi) you need -
3 medium potatoes (boiled and diced)
1 large onion (cut into thick slices)
4/5 curry leaves
3/4 green chillies
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Tempering of 2 tsp oil

In a pan make tempering and add to it green chillies, curry leaves and onion. Saute the onion until tender. Add potatoes, salt and sugar, and mix well. Let it cook for a minute or two. Masala is ready for your dosa. You can also add about a teaspoon of grated ginger root if you like. Add it to the tempering just before you add onions.

For Sambar you need the following :
1 cup cooked toor dal
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1 cup veggies of your choice
1.5 tbsp sambar powder
3 tbsp tamarind pulp (or as required)
3/4 dried red chillies
Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp ground clove
Salt to taste

1. Make tempering of 1 tsp oil and add curry leaves and red chillies to it.
2. Add onions and tomatoes and saute until tender. Add other veggies of your choice and let them cook.
3. Add cooked toor dal, tamarind pulp, sambar powder (I use MTR brand), salt and water, and let it boil for some time. Add some ground clove at the end (optional).


Put some dosa batter in the center of a pan and spread it out just as you would do for a dosa but slightly thicker. Add some chopped onions and green chillies on top while the batter is still wet.

Once one side cooks, flip it and let the other side cook. When you flip it the onions will caramelize giving uttappa a really nice taste.
Serve hot with sambar or coconut chutney.

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