It’s my second Blog Hop Wednesday
My assigned partner this month is Priya of Enveetu Kitchen. I have gotten to know Priya and her recipes during the last few months via our mutual participation in Spicing Your Life’s monthly 7-day Blogging Marathon…stay tuned starting March 23rd, I will be posting 7 days of whole grain recipes!
If you are a time saving Vegetarian, I definitely recommend her blog, which is full of eggless baking and Microwave cooking, as well as many delicious Indian food recipes.
I decided to attempt something I have never made before – dosa. I love dosas and enjoy them at my favorite NY South Indian restaurant, Tiffin Wallah. What I love about this dosa recipe is that it utilizes puffed rice. I have a huge bag of leftover puffed rice I used when I made Muri, an Indian snack food made with puffed rice, fried potatoes, cucumber, chiles and spices – a recipe I used from Raghavan Iver’s Turmeric Trail Cookbook – a book I highly recommend. I made this when I was hosting an Indian themed dinner.
Puffed rice is not a common ingredient in most other cuisines, so I haven’t had the opportunity to finish the rest of the puffed rice bag.
When I saw Priya had a recipe for Puffed Rice dosa, I thought this was a perfect recipe to try. I am challenging myself by making this my first attempt at dosa, plus I get to use up some of my leftover puffed rice.
It was a bust. This recipe just did not work for me. You are supposed to soak the rice for 2 hours, according to her recipe. I got distracted with other tasks and it soaked for more like 4 hours. I guess that made a difference. No matter what I did, the batter stuck to the griddle. I tried adding a little milk to thin out the batter. The batter was pretty thick and would not spread. I greased the griddle really well. No matter what I did, I did not get the pretty puffed dosas she has photographed. I gave up and will have to look for another recipe to utilize the puffed rice. I still am going to try to make dosa. Next time, I will try her recipe exactly and soak for only 2 hours and see if it works then.
…..until then I needed another recipe for Blog Hop Wednesday. It was Tuesday now and I only had time to try one more recipe and it better work for me…call me a glutton for punishment…but I tried another dosa recipe. However, this time I used a box mix I had bought a long time ago, but never tried and I used her seasonings to make Minty Dosa. If I cannot do this Minty Dosa recipe using a box, then I will just have to accept the fact that I have a Dosa block!
The brand of Dosa mix I have is actually the same brand she used in a different post, however the quantity of water her package used is about 1/2 the quantity my package says. I decided to follow the package instructions exactly.
1 package Gits Rava Dosai Mix
18 oz. water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large handful of mint leaves
1 large handful of coriander/cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon of ginger paste
3 dried chiles (her recipes used 2 green chiles, but I did not have any fresh chiles, so I altered her recipe a little)
Combine Dosai Mix and water and stir to combine.
Using a food processor, grind the remaining ingredients, except the onion and the oil.
Combine with dosa batter and stir to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat a non stick tava/griddle/skillet. (this might have been my problem with the puffed rice dosa. I used a cast iron vessel – this time I am using non-stick, per the package instructions)
Priya’s instructions did not work for me. When using a recipe, based on your skill and experience, you have to sometimes change the methodology and I’ve NEVER made dosas before.
After a few mishaps and adjustments, this is what finally worked for me:
Heat the skillet well. Spray with non-stick spray. Pour 1/3 cup of batter and don’t move pan. Sprinkle a little of the onion on top of the batter. Just let it set.
Cook on low-medium heat until the ends crisp a little. If the heat is too high, the dosa will start to crack and split apart. Flip over and pour about 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil (for flavor). It takes about a full 5-7 minutes on each side.
Did they come out perfect and pretty like Pirya’s? HELL NO! Do I need more practice? HELL YEAH!
What I learned from this exercise was I need to master the dosa from the box, before I can even attempt to make my own. If you are an experienced dosa maker, please use Priya’s recipe here for perfect minty dosa’s. If you are a dosa novice like myself, try my methodology and see if it works better for you. Don’t be discouraged if the first 3 or 4 end up in the garbage. Adjust the temperature of the pan or leave it in the pan a little longer before trying to flip. It will eventually work!
Priya’s combination of flavors in this dosa is delicious – spicy, but cool at the same time because of the abundance of fresh herbs. Perfect simply with some chutney or with scrambled eggs for breakfast – thanks Priya for inspiring me to learn how to make dosa! The sesame oil really created a nice flavor and they went especially well with the coriander chutney. I tried it with both coriander and tamarind.
Dosa is one thing I must master before I can call myself knowledgeable in South Indian cuisine. I am humbled, but inspired!
I have to thank Tickling Palates for this wonderful exercise. I could have done a simple curry or one of the easy baked goods, but I think one of the amazing purposes of Blog Hop Wednesday is to step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves with somebody else’s style of cooking.