It’s getting warm in here now and the under graduate exams are on, which means kids are at home on study leave. At the best of times, my daughter has to be goaded to eat a well balanced diet, but these days being at home preparing for her exams, before I ask for an update on her preparation, she yells “I’m sooo hungreee” Being aware of her tactics, I stock up on some ready to eat store bought snacks as well as keep some home made stuff which just needs assembling or heating.
Neer Dosa is one such food item which I make once every week as it can be consumed for any meal. It’s light and can be had by itself or with coconut based vegetarian or non-vegetarian gravy or chutney (relish). I enjoy them plain with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Dosa is to India what crepe is to the West. Dosas can be prepared with various combinations of grains and pulses. Neer Dosa is generally made with only rice, but a friend of mine once suggested adding a wee bit of fresh coconut and after this advice; I’ve never altered the recipe.
There are special cast iron pans available to make these dosas, but I use non-stick pans and I use two pans at a time to hasten the process.
Rice - One cup
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Salt – One teaspoon or as per individual taste.
Oil – Approximately two tablespoons to grease the pan
Water - As required to grind and make the batter to a pouring consistency.
Soaking rice for an hour or two helps in grinding it faster, but due to time constraints, sometimes I skip soaking.
Add grated coconut to the soaked rice and grind adding little water at a time to butter like paste.
Empty the ground paste in a bowl.
Add a teaspoon of salt or as required, and water to make the batter a little thinner than pancake batter.
Take approximately three to four tablespoon oil in a small container.
Cut the broader end of an onion and insert a fork through it.
Use as a pastry brush to grease the pan each time before pouring the batter.
Heat the pan on a medium flame after greasing.
Take a deep ladle and stir the batter every time the batter is poured into the pan.
This ensures the rice paste is not settled at the bottom of the batter.
Lift the heated pan slightly away from the burner.
Pour a ladle of batter in the pan, swirling the pan around in one direction until the pan is coated with a thin layer of batter.
Put the pan back on the burner and cover with the lid.
Be alert to the sizzling sound from the pan.
Open the lid and check if the dosa is leaving the sides of the pan.
Turn over the pan on to a plate to gently flip the dosa off the pan.
A minute or two later, when the dosa is cool enough to handle, fold it into a quarter and keep it closed in a box.
Continue from step no.7 until all the batter is used.