Friday, October 10, 2008
I feel like an ass posting about masala dosas again, but someone's gotta get the word out. And, since I was never a cheerleader before, I'll need to incorporate some complicated moves into my routine. Maybe I'll even learn to do the splits, or at the least figure out how to contort my body into spelling out URAD DAL.
The more I make dosas at home, the more I realize how easy it is to keep a perennial bowl of batter around. If you have a big enough fridge, just hide it next to the lemon pickle, ya' know, the one you've crammed behind the vegenaise. What's the big fuss?
The recipe that I use is awesome, because instead of having to soak and grind rice, you can just use rice flour, either white or brown, they both work well (I know! Brown rice masala dosas, holy shit).
Makes countless uttapam or dosa (too many to count maybe twelve?)
1 cup urad dal (buy skinned and halved)
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup water (to grind with urad dal)
2 teaspoons. salt
3 cups white or brown rice flour
3 cups water (to mix with rice flour)
1. Mix together the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in a big bowl and cover with water. Soak for three hours, then drain and puree in a blender with 1/2 cup water and salt until smooth.
2. Transfer to a really big bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the rice flour and 3 cups of water until smooth. Combine with the urad dal puree, cover with a towel and set aside to ferment for 12 hours in a warm oven.
*To cook (watch one of the videos I link to above): rub a cut onion all over a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Pour in about 1/2 cup of batter and with the back of a big spoon, spread the batter out in concentric circles until it is very thin. Cook over medium heat until brown, flip and cook for another minute. Serve with potato masala below.
*The funugreek is important, because it aids in the fermentation process by attracting wild yeast, so don't leave it out!
*After the initial fermentation period, refrigerate the batter and use it throughout the week. It will get very fluffy and look like a sourdough starter. The longer you leave it, the more sour the batter becomes.
*To answer lovely Michelle's question from yesterday, uttapam are made from the same batter, just thicker like a pancake. Make like you would a pancake, but mix in a little extra salt, chilies, tomato, chopped cilantro and onion and peas.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon channa dal
1-2 tablespoons raw cashew pieces
1 finger fresh ginger, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 stem curry leaves, about 20
4-5 cups coarsely chopped thin skinned potatoes (I leave on the peel)
1 cup water
1/8-1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
a big handful of frozen peas
juice of 1/2 lime
chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Saute the channa dal and cashews in oil until golden.
2. Add in the ginger, onion, salt, carrot, jalapeno and curry leaves.
3. Saute until the onions are soft and begin to turn brown. Add in the potatoes and stir for 1-2 minutes.
4. Stir in 1 cup water and turmeric and mix to distribute. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender and water has cooked off.
5. Stir in the frozen peas and lime juice and cook an additional minute, until peas are defrosted and warm.
6. Season to taste with salt and lime juice, garnish with chopped cilantro.
*Traditionally, masala dosas (dosas stuffed with potato masala) are served with a coconut chutney and a thin spicy vegetable dal called, sambar. Coconut chutney is easy to make. Get the meat out of a fresh coconut and blend with some salt, jalapeno, cilantro and just enough water to get the blades rolling. You can also temper some mustard seeds and channa dal and mix in.