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Tips for dosa?




Short: what’s your preferred Dosa flour? Ratio of rice to black gram? Should wheat be in there? Any premixed flours you recommend, or should you mix your own, or even grind your own? What’s up with sour curd?

Long: My family has been cooking and eating quite a bit of dosa recently. For me, it’s because I can’t get enough of it; for my mother, she’s… Kinda bought into a lot of food pseudoscience, part of which involves paranoia towards gluten, despite neither of us being celiac. A large part of it is due to my autism diagnosis, but I feel that she trusts naturopathy and other alternative medicines much more than is warranted.

(Un)fortunately, that paranoia also extends to lactose, but the recipe for the dosa flour we’ve been using calls for sour curd (which I’m assuming is dahi). This is a twofold problem, one for the reason in the previous sentence, two because I’m not sure what dahi really is, if plain yogurt can suffice, and that I don’t know if I can find any where I live.

Also, our dosa mix isn’t labeled as rava dosa, yet it has wheat in it. Is this supposed to be a thing? I’ve never actually eaten “true” rava dosa before; is it different in texture and taste to dosa with just rice and black gram?

Help?

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10 thoughts on “Tips for dosa?

  1. I make a lot of dosa that are not the ones made from fermented rice and urad dal.

    I make a rava dosa, and it does have wheat semolina in it. I also make a chickpea one and a whole mung bean one, and one with wheat flour and rice flour and yoghurt. As far as I know, they are all true dosa although none of them are fermented (what else to call them?). I like having several recipes that are very different from each other.

    This is the rava dosa recipe I use: https://www.cookingandme.com/2013/07/22/rava-dosa-onion-rava-dosa-instant/

    1. The ones you are talking about, we call them ‘Cheela’ , in Hindi. So the chickpea one is besan cheela and the non fermented lentil one would be dal cheela for us.

  2. What the hell kind of dosa needs yoghurt!? Dosa is 3 ingredients + water: 4 parts rice (any rice), 1 part hulled whole urad daal, and a few methi seeds with the rice. Hot water (not boiling just hot) to soak rice, cold water to soak the urad. That’s it.

    1. Yogurt gives it the fermented flavor without having to ferment, which is why it’s added to “instant” rava dosa and idli mixes

  3. I live in Northern Ontario in Canada (it is cold here most of the year).

    After 10+ years of experimentation this is what I found works best for me, I’m in no way suggesting this would work for everyone:

    **Ingredients:**

    3/4 Cup Urad Dal Whole (Skin removed)
    1 1/2 Cup Sona Masori Rice (Available at many indian stores, call and ask before going to pick it up as a few do not carry it)
    1 1/2 Cup Idli Rice (Available at many indian stores, call and ask before going to pick it up as a few do not carry it)
    1 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds.
    1 Tsp Non iodized salt crushed.

    **Directions:**

    1. Wash the urad dal in a bowl by rinsing it 3-4 times until the water runs clear, try to get this complete by the 4th wash as further washing may cause issues with rising. Soak this in filtered water if possible (non-chlorinated) If that isn’t possible just pass the water through a britta filter and leave uncovered on your counter for at least 8-10 hours (add the fenugreek seeds to the bowl as well)
    2. Wash the rice in a different bowl 4-6 times until it runs clear, then soak it with filtered water as mentioned above and leave it sit on the counter for 8-10 hours.
    3. Grind the Urad dal first, I use a Vitamix put the urad dal in along with some of the soaking water so that the urad dal is just about covered with water. Start at variable 1, slowly increase to 10 and then on high for 20 seconds or so, stop and check to see if it has all ground up if it hasn’t scrape the sides with a spatula and run it again, pour this into an instant pot bowl.
    4. Grind the rice next, I use a Vitamix put the urad dal in along with some of the soaking water so that the rice level is just below the water level (so a little more water than the urad dal) Start at variable 1, slowly increase to 10 and then on high for 20 seconds or so, stop and check to see if it has all ground up if it hasn’t scrape the sides with a spatula and run it again, pour this into an instant pot bowl. You want the texture of the rice to be grainy.
    5. Wash your hands well, dry them now with your hand mix in the salt and mix the rice and urad dal together the batter should have the consistency of pancake batter, not too thick and not too runny, if it is too thick add more filtered water, keeping mixing with your hand for a full 5 mins. The warmth from your hands helps kickstart the wild yeast to do its job of fermentation. After you have finished mixing, clean the sides of the bowl with your finger so that the measurement setting is visible and the batter should be around the 6 cup mark.
    6. Set the Instant pot to Yogurt normal setting for 9 hours. Remove the rubber seal from the lid and close the lid
    7. After the 9 hours have passed check it, it may or may not have fermented yet, if it has you’ll see small tiny bubbles and the quantity would have increased to around the 10 cup mark. If it has you can now use it to cook, if you aren’t using it right away put it in your fridge, but split out the batter into two bowls incase it continues to rise further. If it hasn’t risen yet, put it on yougurt setting regular for 2 more hours and keep checking every two hours.

    I hope this helps, Good luck. Dosa is tricky but once you find what works for you it becomes easy.

      1. Thanks. I do like the convenience of the instant pot as it is so versatile and of course I do love cooking.

        I try to share recipes when I get the time, which with two babies that I have to take care of can be a challenge most of the time.

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