I love the rhythm and ease of these breads-something soaking, something fermenting, something on the griddle. And, when they’re on the griddle I get to use my fancy French crepe spreader and wooden flipper.
For several years I religiously followed the dosa recipe I had copied down from my favorite Indian cookbook The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi. Then one day I was out of urad dal, and white basmati rice, so I substituted split peas and pearl barley and guess what? They were wonderful. So I began to branch out, keeping the proportions and technique the same, but trying all manner of grains and legumes. So far these are the grains and legumes I've used:
pearl barley, millet, long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice, and amaranth,
red lentils, black eyed peas, mung beans, and split peas.
This is a great way to use up little odds and ends of beans and grains.
I premix up baggies of odds and ends for dosas when I’m cleaning out grain and bean jars.
Makes one quart of batter enough for 12 dosas
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups whole grain or mix of grains 3/4 cup legumes 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 3/4 cup filtered water Making Dosas I follow a simple three day process I say simple because while it takes time, it doesn’t take much of your time, and nothing you need to do is difficult. Step One Mix the grains and legumes together in a bowl Cover them with water and let soak overnight. The mix will always be a ratio of two parts grain to one part legume. Step Two Next day rinse the grain/legumes. Measure out 1 3/4 cups water. Add water and legume/grains to the food processor and blend for 6 minutes. Step Three You'll now have a wet smooth batter which tastes raw and beany. Let the batter sit out in the bowl, covered at a warm room temperature until it ferments and tastes slightly sour. I usually let mine sit overnight because I like it nice and sour, but a shorter time works as well. It should have lost its beany taste, be slightly bubbly or puffed, and taste sour. On a warm day this could be as short as 4 hours. I’ve never had to leave mine longer than 12 hours. Step Four After it's fermented Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the batter and stir Pour into a quart sized mason jar. You can cook some up now, or store and use as needed in the fridge for up to a week. Cooking Dosas Heat a round cast iron griddle, or nonstick griddle or crepe pan on low for 10 minutes. Move the heat up to medium and oil the pan as for pancakes. I use butter or ghee for this, coconut oil tends to stick. Oil the griddle before each dosa for a crisp bottom. Pour 1/3 of a cup of the batter into the middle of the pan, take a deep breath, no hurry Spread it out as thin as possible with a crepe spreader, or the back of a large mixing spoon, pressing lightly, and moving outward in a continuous spiral motion. This takes some practice but your learning curves will taste great. Cook for a couple of minutes per side.
Large thin sourdough griddle cakes are a staple here. We rotate weekly between Brittany Buckwheat Crepes, Ethiopian Injera, and Southern Indian Dosas. Besides being absolutely delicious, they’re a nifty way to roll, wrap and bring food to the mouth.
I’m especially fond of the Indian Dosa, because turning only a handful of grains and legumes mixed with water and some salt into a thin crepe like bread is magic. Each region of India has its favorite version of the dosa, and they vary in names and thickness: Paper thin crisp dosas from Tamil Nadu, vegetable laden poorifrom Gujarat. Cheela,velvety smooth from Uttar Pradesh. They are eaten throughout the day and are nourishing, inexpensive and easily digested. Served with myriad of fresh chutneys, dal soups, or stuffed with masala potatoes, the variations are endless, especially with all the different spices and herbs that can be added to the batters. How do we eat our homemade dosas? We fill them like a crepe and eat them with a fork, or roll them like a burrito and eat them with our hands. What I like best is to fold them into fourths, and tear, using the pieces to make little parcels for dal and fresh chutney, or my scrambled eggs and greens.
How To Make 1 inch nub of fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic 1 seeded and chopped jalapeño 1/ 4 cup roasted cashews 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice or vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 cup fresh coriander or mint or both 1 cup toasted shredded unsweetened coconut or fresh coconut.
In a food processor Pulse ginger, garlic and jalapeño Add cashews and pulse Add other ingredients + 1/3 cup of water pulse and correct to taste.