A basic homestyle dosa is prepared with a batter made from rice flour and soaked ground urad dal. The batter is left to ferment, and then poured out onto a griddle to make a bread that ranges in size from an eight-inch pancake (as in this recipe) to an enormous thin crepe (from 24 to 36 inches (60 to 85 centimetres) in diameter) that only a professional with a large griddle can make. No matter what the size, dosas are great to eat, and in predominantly vegetarian south India, they have the added benefit of combining complementary amino acids, from the grain and the dal.
We recommend making the batter the day before you wish to make the dosas. For a full-on treat, prepare a pot of Shallot Sambhar and Coconut Chutney before you start cooking your first dosa, and ask some good friends over to eat.
Serve with Shallot Sambhar and Coconut Chutney, or as a bread to accompany any meal. Show guests how to tear pieces off the bread and use them to scoop up salsa or to pick up pieces of meat or vegetable.
Yield: Makes about 15 dosas; for six to eight.
* NOTE: Urad dal is pale grey split and hulled dried bean, available in South Asian grocery stores
urad dhal * See NOTE (175 millilitres)
water (750 millilitres)
rice flour (available in many grocery stores) (450 millilitres)
vegetable oil (15 millilitres)