Whether it's for breakfast, as a coffee-time (and not tea-time!) snack or dinner at midnight, the ubiquitous dosa (dosai in Tamil Nadu or dose in Karnataka) is always in the mix. It’s a quick fix, especially if you have dosa batter stashed away in your refrigerator. But it’s the simplest things that are also sometimes the toughest to get right and it’s not unusual for first timers to botch up a dosa – too crisp, too soft or even worse, a dosa that’s more black than golden brown. For me, there are few things that work better than dosa as a comfort meal. Let me walk you through some key tips on how to get your dosa right:Get the batter rightIf you have the time and inclination, it's best to fix your own batter. Soak rice (4 parts) and urad dal (1 part) for about 4 hours and blend in a mixer or a designated idli batter grinder. The idli (boiled) rice works best and it's now no longer unusual for calorie watchers to make an all-dal dosa, similar to the Pesarattu from Andhra Pradesh made almost entirely with green gram (moong dal). Add salt (to taste) as you blend the rice and dal. You could add some puffed rice (rice: 3 parts / urad dal: 1 part / puffed rice: 0.5 part) if you’d like your dosa slightly crispy. The key is to make sure the batter is not ground too fine. Make sure you have a coarse texture.
AccompanimentsThere are few snacks or staples that work with a plethora of accompaniments the way the dosa does. From chutney or sambar or even just the idli powder (aka gunpowder) with a spot of oil or ghee to a heavy mutton curry or Kuzhambu for dinner, almost everything goes. You could also innovate by adding some grated cheese (mozzarella adds an interesting texture) or finely chopped onions (works really well with a sprinkling of idli powder) once you have spread the batter.Innovate with the batterStuck with batter that has turned sour? Try your hand at the uthappam, a thicker version of the dosa. You can add chopped onions, fine tomato slices, green chillies or some cheese. The uthappam does not require the same deftness when you spread the batter on the pan.If you are running out of batter and quickly need to fix some dosas try making a rava dosa: 1. Here’s what you’ll need: old dosa batter 4 big spoons, 1 small cup fried rava, 1 cup maida, 1 big onion chopped into small pieces, 2 green chillies, 1 small piece ginger finely chopped. 2. Blend rava with maida in water and then add the batter. Fry mustard, jeera, green chilies, curry leaves, onions and add to the mixed batter.3.Dilute the batter before you pour it on to the pan, add oil to make it into a crispy rava dosa. The uneven texture of the batter lends the rava dosa it's unique consistency.
Ashwin Rajagopalan is a cross cultural training expert and lifestyle writer. When he's not writing about food, he thinks about gadgets, trends and travel experiences. He enjoys communicating across cultures and borders in his weekday work avatar as a content and editorial consultant for a global major and one of India's only cross cultural trainers.Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.