THEME: #256 DOSA DEN
RECIPE : RAGI DOSA/ FINGER MILLET DOSA
What is Ragi Dosa?
First of all, let me explain what a dosa is. Dosa is a flatbread or pancake more like a crepe that is the staple breakfast in the South Indian Cuisine. In fact, Ragi Dosa is dosa made using ragi or finger millet. The fermented batter is spread on a flat pan or tawa into a thin circular crepe or pancake like dosa. Having said that, you will find that dosa is available in any nook and cranny part of India. While most South Indians consider dosa as a breakfast or snack option, for Gujjus like me its a main meal.
Generally, rice and lentil fermented batter is used to make dosa. However, its common to find dosa made from other grains like wheat, millets, oats, semolina and lentils too. Incidentally, there are so many varieties and the number keeps on increasing. Actually, dosa is usually served with a chutney and a lentil based curry called sambar (sambhar). One can opt for a masala dosa too which comes with a potato onion sabji or masala.
Types of Dosa
As I mentioned above there are so many varieties of dosa.
Its made from a fermented rice and urad dal (split black gram), its served with chutney and sambar.
Of course as the name suggests, this dosa is served with a potato onion sabji or masala, chutney and sambar. Poonam’s suggestion is to add a bit of chana dal when soaking the rice and dal. Check out her Masala Dosa recipe.
Indeed, Rava dosa is an instant lacy variety which is made from a mixture of semolina, plain flour, yogurt and water. In addition grated coconut, chopped green chillis, cumin seeds and chopped cashew nut are added to the batter. Actually can be served plain or with masala.
In contrast to the above, wheat flour is used instead of or added with rice to make Godhuma dosa. Also, a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped curry leaves and green chillis is added to the batter before making dosa.
Priya’s Godhumai dosa is what I really want to try next for Sunday brunch. Easy to make and filling.
Mysore Masala Dosa
Like the sad dosa, the fermented batter is made from rice and urad dal. However, the difference comes in that while preparing the dosa a red garlic chutney is smeared over the it. Its served plain or with masala.
Priya has definitely smeared a generous amount of the fiery garlic chutney on her Mysore Masala Dosa.
Factually, Neer means water and this dosa comes from the Mangalorean cuisine. Here, the batter is rice based and needs no fermentation. Neer dosa is also served with curries. The main curry that is usually served with neer dosa is saagu. By the way, Kids are served neer dosa with coconut milk or milk with jaggery.
Certainly, this is a protein rich dosa served for breakfast. Specifically, a mixture of dals or lentils like moong dal, toor dal (split pigeon peas), chana dal (split chickpea), urad dal are added with rice. The batter does not need fermentation. In addition, ginger, green chillis, chopped onion, chopped coriander, cumin seeds are added to the batter. Commonly served with chutney.
Famously known in the state of Andhra Pradesh, this dosa is mainly made from whole green moong. Sometimes rice is added. The soaked beans are ground into a batter along with ginger, green chillis and cumin seeds. Sometimes onion is added. Its served with breakfast with some chutney and upma.
No, its not made from paper but its super thin like paper and crispy, and usually over a foot long.
This instant sweet dosa is made using wheat and rice flour with jaggery, coconut and cardamom.
Davangere Benne Dosa
The dosa batter is normal with rice and urad dal but puffed rice too is added. Some add flat rice (poha) to make the dosa spongy. What sets it apart is that its served with a generous dollop of benne or butter just the way Archana serves Davanagere Benne Dosa.
In reality, Dosa is not entirely restricted to South India as a traditional breakfast or snack option. In fact, Dosa in Goa is known as Polle. Generally made from a rice and coconut batter it is sweet. Some add egg to it and eggless versions are made with fenugreek seeds and yeast added to the batter. I’ve made an egg version also known as koiloreo, kuilodde, koilori.
Sabakki Mosaru Dosa
Have you tried dosa with tapioca pearls and yogurt added to the rice and lentil batter? You’ve got to Preethi’s Sabakki Mosaru Dosa.
Modern Day Variations of Dosa:
Like any other world cuisine, dosas too have evolved to meet modern taste.
My son in law introduced us to this little cart in Parangipalya, HSR Layout, Bangalore that serves the best egg dosa. A mixture of egg, chopped onion, chillis and coriander is smeared over the dosa while its cooking. Served with sambar, potato masala and chutney. Two years ago it just costed Rs.20!
I’m definitely not a fan of this dosa. Its filled with Indo Chinese stir fried noodles and served with sambhar and chutney. I rather have original dosa and enjoy the stir fried noodles on its own.
Loaded with cheese whereby grated cheese is sprinkled over the dosa while its cooking. Its served plain or with masala along with chutney and sambhar. I don’t mind enjoying cheese dosa once in a while.
Oat flour is added along with semolina and rice or plain flour to make the instant version. The other is where oat flour is allowed to ferment a bit with rice and urad dal. Served usually for breakfast with chutney and sambhar.
Soya flour is added to make the dosa more protein rich.
Pav Bhaji Dosa
During our visit to Montreal, we went to this famous dosa place called Thanjai. Its famous for its 6ft long paper dosa. Thanjai serves dosa with veg and non veg fillings. My dad decided to order pav bhaji dosa. I did warn him he may not enjoy it but went ahead and ordered. I landed up finishing his pav bhaji dosa while he had my Mysore Masala Dosa! The filling as you guessed right is the bhaji from the famous street food pav bhaji.
Famous as street food in Mumbai Jini dosa is a real hotchpotch of chopped cabbage, onion, carrot, capsicum, with schezwan sauce, tomato sauce, pav bhaji masala and cheese! Ummm… no I’ve not tried it but college going students gorge on it.
Paneer stuffing is added along with the potato masala or just paneer on its own. Priya’s Mixed Vegetable and Paneer Dosa is going to be on my list to try.
Vegetable Puree Dosa
Dosa is made more healthier and enjoyable for kids by adding vegetable puree to the batter. Spinach, tomato, carrot, beetroot, etc are the most common purees added to the batter. The dosa are not only colourful, but fun food for them.
Actually, in all these years of blogging I’m baffled that dosa recipe from scratch has not made it to my blog. I learnt how to make them from Nunu, my mother in law. Growing up dosa was an occasional meal we would have on a Sunday at the Supreme Hotel in Nairobi. It was during my school days at Mt. Abu that dosa featured a bit more as whenever allowed we would go to the restaurant to enjoy dosa and idli. Coincidentally, my hubby is a huge fan of dosa and whenever we’re in India, we take full advantage of enjoying dosa at different restaurants. Last trip I actually enjoyed buying ready made ID brand batter to make idlis and dosa.
This Week’s Theme on FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group:
Actually, I’m so glad that Priya who blogs at The World Through my Eyes, suggested dosa as one of the options. By the way, Priya’s blog is a treasure trove of some traditional Tamil recipes. I kept my fingers crossed that we would get the most votes for it and we did! So finally a dosa recipe has made its way to my blog. How did I decide on Ragi Dosa? Firstly, because ragi dosa is one of my favorite. Secondly, because I have just too much ragi flour that I need to use up.
Ragi Dosa/ Finger Millet Dosa:
One can include ragi or finger millet to either make instant dosa or the fermented one.
- For the Instant Dosa, usually ragi flour or finger millet flour is combined with semolina and rice flour or plain flour to make them lacy like rava dosa.
- For the Fermented version, one can soak whole ragi or finger millet overnight along with urad dal and grind to a smooth paste. The batter is then allowed to ferment for 6-8 hours. If you don’t have whole ragi or finger millet like me then its possible to use ragi or finger millet flour.
On the whole, I prefer the fermented batter dosa so I soaked urad dal with some fenugreek for 6 hours. Thereafter, ground the soaked dal along with fenugreek to a fine paste and added the ragi flour. This mixture was then allowed to ferment overnight.
Ingredients Required for Ragi Dosa:
- Urad dal – split black gram. I use either one with the skin or without, depending on which one is available. Urad dal on grinding becomes naturally fluffy which in turn helps the batter to be light and fluffy.
- Fenugreek Seeds – did you know that fenugreek seeds, methi or methi dana has the ability to attract wild yeast present in the air? The presence of wild yeast helps the process of fermentation.
- Salt – there is a controversy whether salt should be added before or after fermentation. I usually add it before fermentation so that the fermented batter doesn’t have to be mixed too much.
- Oil or ghee – to prepare the dosa.
Ingredients required for the Masala:
- Oil – for tempering
- Urad dal
- Fresh curry leaves
- Mustard seeds
- Fenugreek seeds
- Green Chillis – chopped or paste
- Fresh Ginger – I prefer in the paste form
- Asafetida – hing
- Red Chilli Powder
- Turmeric – haldi, hardar
- Fresh Coriander – chopped
- Gluten free – for a gluten free version avoid using asafetida or use a gluten free one as asafetida contains wheat flour.
- Vegan – omit using ghee for a vegan friendly version.
- Satvik – prepare the masala and sambhar without onion.
RAGI DOSA/ FINGER MILLET DOSA
For The Dosa Batter:
- ½ cup urad dal
- 1 cup ragi or finger millet flour
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- some oil or ghee
For the Potato Onion Masala:
- 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large onion, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1-2 green chillis, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- ⅛ tsp asafetida (hing) optional
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
Preparation of Ragi Dosa Batter:
- Soak urad dal and fenugreek seeds in enough water for at least 4-6 hours.
- In a mixing bowl or tin, add ragi flour and ¾ cup water.
- Mix it into a slurry. Mix well so that there are no flour lumps.
- Drain out the water from the urad dal using a sieve. Wash the dal under running water.
- Grind urad dal into a smooth consistency using a food processor. Use about ¾ cup water or less.
- Remove the ground urad dal from the food processor and add it to the ragi flour slurry.
- Add salt and mix well. Make sure that the ragi and urad dal mixture are mixed well.
- Cover and place the bowl or tin and place in a warm place to allow the batter to ferment for 8-10 hours.
Preparation of the Potato Onion Masala:
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add fenugreek seeds and urad dal. Allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add mustard seeds.
- As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves and asafetida if using any.
- Add chopped chillis and ginger. Stir fry for a 15 seconds.
- Add turmeric powder and onion.
- Stir fry till the onion is a bit soft.
- Add potatoes, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well.
- Cover the pan, lower the heat.
- Cook till the potatoes are done.
- Add chopped coriander and leave the masala on the side till required.
Preparation of Dosa:
- Before you prepare the dosa make sure the chutney and sambhar too are ready. Check above for the recipe link.
- The batter should be fermented. Add about ¾ - 1 cup water to it and mix well. The batter should be of pouring consistency and not too thin or thick.
- Heat the dosa tawa or pan over medium heat.
- Dip a kitchen towel or cloth lightly in the oil. Rub the dosa pan with it.
- Take about ⅓ cup of the batter, pour it in the middle of the pan. Using a small steel bowl or ladle, immediately spread out the batter in a swift circular motion outwards into a thin crepe or pancake. The dosa should be at least 6-8 inches or more in diameter.
- Drizzle about ½ -1 tsp oil or ghee around the edges of the dosa.
- Allow it to cook till the top of the dosa appears dry and the edges of the dosa will start to curl up.
- Allow the dosa to cook till it begins to turn a bit brown for crispy dosa. For soft dosa remove it as soon as the edges begins to curl.
- Use a spatula to remove the dosa.
- Some like their masala on the side, and some on the dosa.
- If you want to prepare the latter way then add about ½ cup of the masala to half part of the dosa. Mash it lightly with the spatula and fold the other half over it.
- Prepare more dosa as above with the remaining batter.
- Serve them hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.
- For extra crispy dosa, add bit more oil or ghee and allow it too cook over medium heat for a longer time.
- Fermentation of the batter may take longer in cold places. Place the batter in a warm place.
- Serve the dosa with a tomato chutney as an alternate to the coconut chutney.
- If the batter is too thin, the dosa will tear as soon as the spread out batter begins to cook.
- If the batter is too thick, it will become difficult to spread out into a nice thin layer.
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