Dosa flatbread is very thin, crispy and savory sourdough bread, a favorite staple eaten with South India cuisine, like my favorite Lamb & Spinach. Dosa is similar in taste and texture to Ethiopian injerra bread, with a slight “tang“flavor, and a “lacy” texture, a result of fermentation, for 18-24 hours. During fermentation, the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) do what the good Lord created it to do – break down the sugars, starches and fats, making them more easily digestible, while turning the bread into a powerful probiotic which aids in the digestion of other foods. In addition, LAB create antimicrobial compounds providing a broad spectrum of inhibition against pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms. Modern food processing offers NOTHING even remotely close, when it comes to the power of fermentation to create and protect the living vitality and life-giving properties of real food.
Many traditional food preparation methods have been replaced with modern faster techniques, but faster is seldom better when it comes to food. It took quite a bit of looking to find a dosa recipe that was traditionally made, and just like the Lamb & Spinach, it was Madhur Jaffrey who had the best recipe! I have made some modifications and suggestions to the recipe, giving both a “short” and detailed set of directions. If you’ve made French crepes, this is no different. If not? Well, these are a great way to learn some advanced cooking techniques!
Cast Iron Round Griddle I use a 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron “tortilla pan” or Lodge round, flat, cast iron griddle which works as extremely well, and is a great deal healthier than Jaffrey’s recommendation of using (yikes!) nonstick. I even use my Lodge round, flat, cast iron griddle when making crepes!
Flat Stainless Steel Spatula goes a long way toward make removal of the dosa (as well as crepes) easy-as-can-be. The key is to use one like this stainless steel narrow spatula that is firm, yet flexible.
Madhur Jaffrey’s South Indian Dosas
Dosas, plain or stuffed, may be served at breakfast, lunch, brunch, or as a snack. In South India, they are often accompanied by glasses of buttermilk or cups of steaming hot, sweet, milky coffee. Dosas may also be served as any Indian bread might be, with an assortment of vegetables and relishes.
Please read the notes on Indian pancakes in the preceding posting, especially the part that deals with cooking the pancakes, before making these dosas.
Since the dal and rice must be soaked 8 hours and paste must ferment almost a day, plan ahead.
Makes 8 pancakes (easily doubles and stores well for up to 4 days!)
1/2 cup urad dal
1 cup long grain rice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground fenugreek (methi) seeds
Organic Purity Farms Ghee
To make stuffed dosas or Masala Dosa (as they are called in India):
Make a recipe of Potatoes and Onions first. This dish may even be made a day ahead of time and then reheated. Now make the dosas. Lay out each dosa on an individual plate, with its “good” side-the side that was cooked first-down. Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of the heated potato stuffing over half the dosa. Fold the dosa over to form a capital “D”. Once the dosa is stuffed, it should be served immediately.
Zakiya’s Potatoes and Onions
This dish, while it can be eaten as part of any Indian meal, forms the traditional stuffing for dosas (see previous posting). The dosa, a kind of pancake made with rice and urad dal, is put on a plate, some of this potato-onion mixture is placed on top of it, and the dosa is folded over once. The stuffed dosa is then called a Masala Dosa and serves the same function as a sandwich does in America.
serves 4-6 as a vegetable dish and will stuff 8 dosas
4 medium size boiling potatoes (about 1 pound)
3/4 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 to 4 pieces
1 fresh hot green chili, or more to taste, cut into 2 to 3 pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
generous pinch ground asafetida
1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
2 medium size onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
Boil the potatoes until tender. Let them cool, then peel and cut into 3/4 inch dice.
Put the ginger and chili and 1/4 cup water into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a somewhat grainy paste. Set aside.
Heat the oil in an 8 to 9 inch skillet over a medium flame. When hot, put in the asafetida first and then, a second later, the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (this takes just a few seconds), put in the onions. Turn the heat down slightly and saute the onions for about 5 minutes or until they turn translucent. (Do not let them brown.) Now add the paste from the food processor as well as the turmeric. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Put in the potatoes, 1 cup water, and the salt. Cover, and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Lift cover and, using a slotted spoon, break the potato pieces into smaller 1/3 to 1/2 inch cubes. Cover again and cook on very low heat for another 3 to 4 minutes. The “sauce” for the potato dish should now be very thick. Serve either as is or stuff Masala Dosa according to directions in previous posting.
from Mahdur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking
|Posted on Apr 25, 2009 by Sharon in Recipes and | Permalink | Comments(0)|
|tags: bread, dosa, fermented, sourdough|