Rava Dosa – a nearly foolproof recipe

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In the second of my Weekend Breakfasts, I have the most delicious Rava Dosa with the classic partner, medhu vadai and accompanied by sambhar and two types of chutneys – coconut and coriander. All of this has to be washed down with a tumbler full of frothy, steaming filter coffee.

I have tried numerous recipes for the rava dosa and most of them have simply not worked. Either the dosa would come out in bits and pieces as if it has been toyed around by a toddler or it would stick strongly to the tava and simply refuse to budge. I kept experimenting with various types and quantities of rava and rice flour and finally I can tell you that I have a nearly foolproof recipe for the rava dosa. It is no longer something I can only have at a restaurant. I can have it whenever I feel like it, which is way more often than it should be. So I love this recipe and this dish so much that I am convinced this is my legacy. Whatever I do or don’t do henceforth, I am happy to report I can make a good Rava Dosa.

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The basic recipe has mainly three ingredients – rava / semolina, rice flour and curds. Simple thumb rules to go by are – The time needed to keep the rava soaked in curds is directly proportional to the proportion of rava in the recipe. The more rava you use in the recipe, the crispier is your dosa and the skill needed to make it is also more.

The usual proportion I use is 1/2 cup of rava to 1/2 cup of curds and 1 cup of rice flour. You can use as low as 1/4 cup of rava & curds each to 1 cup of rice flour. Even an equal amount of rava and rice works but I find that I prefer the taste and texture when the rava is half the quantity of the rice flour. Though you can use 1-2 tbsp of curds for 1/2 cup of rava and substitute the rest with water, I would recommend you not to do that. Using equal amount of rava and curds is one of the key reasons for success in making this dosa.

The rava and curds need to be mixed together and set aside before adding the rice flour. If you use only 1/4 cup then you need only 10 minutes of soaking for the rava. If you are using more, then you would need around 20 minutes. You can play around with this depending on the time available to you.

If the curds are sour the dosa tastes better but that does not mean you cannot make this with fresh curds. All I suggest is to have the curds at room temperature. If you do not have time to get the curds from the chill of the refrigerator to room temperature, then take the required curds in a separate bowl and add few spoons of boiling water to it. This will help increase the temperature of the curds. This can also be used before giving curds to kids if you don’t want them to have it cold.

The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rava. The best test to check if you have sufficient water is to pour a small amount of batter on a very hot tava. If it does not immediately form a lace like pattern, then you may need to add more water. But add water in 1-2 spoons each time so that you do not end up with excessive water in the batter.

The tava needs to be very hot while pouring the batter. As soon as you pour the batter, reduce the flame slightly and once you turn over the dosa reduce it to low flame. This will ensure the tava is not overheated which can result in blackening the dosa.

Makes 10-12 medium sized dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                                         1/4 cup

Curds (Sour / fresh)                                   1/4 cup

Rice flour                                                     1/2 cup

Cumin seeds / Jeera                                   1 tsp

Whole black pepper                                  1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves (finely chopped)         2 tsp

Broken cashewnuts (optional)                1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the rava and curds in a bowl and set aside for 20-25 minutes
  • The rava would have soaked a lot of curd and will appear to be a thicker mixture
  • Add the rice flour, cumin seeds, pepper, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and salt
  • Add around 1- 1 1/4 cups of water and mix all the ingredients to a runny batter.
  • Heat the tava till it is nicely hot
  • Pour a small amount of batter on the tava. If it immediately spreads into a lace like pattern then the consistency of the batter is fine. Else add few spoons of water
  • Pour a laddle full batter from the outside in i.e. pour the batter in a circular form as an outline and then fill it with the remaining batter. The shape of the dosa will not be an exact circle but slightly shapeless
  • Pour oil at the edges of the dosa and a couple of drops on the dosa
  • Reduce the flame to medium low and wait patiently till the edges start turning brown
  • Once the edges are brown, reduce the flame to low and turn the dosa to the other side using a spatula. This is the key step when one has to be very careful.
  • Use the spatula slowly and carefully to release the dosa from the tava. If you meet with too much resistance, give it few more seconds before you try again
  • Do not wait for more than 30 seconds for the upturned dosa else it will become hard
  • Take it off the tava and put the gas on full flame again before pouring the next ladle of batter
  • Continue the same procedure till you have as many dosas as you need
  • The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Before using the refrigerated batter, check if you need more water to be added to it
  • Enjoy the golden brown dosa hot with sambhar and chutney!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under ‘Weekend Breakfasts’.

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Tamil Breakfast Thali

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I am a breakfast person. I love elaborate breakfast spreads. The variety of dishes with so many sides and drink to wash it all down with is food heaven for me and that is also my favourite part about Tamil cuisine. It lends itself beautifully to breakfast spreads and combo menus. The range of dishes and sambhars and chutneys  are mind blowing and not to forget the filter coffee which is the absolute icing on top.

My grandma was a huge filter coffee fan and my cousins and me inherited it from her. The family joke is that if our veins are cut there wont be blood but coffee decoction. Such is the family.

This week I am making three different thalis for the Blogging Marathon. The first of this is the Tamil Breakfast Thali inspired from the husband and my innumerable trips to Adayar Ananda Bhavan during weekends long ago. This is both a dedication and a nostalgic meal for me to make.

But the best part of making this thali is that I realised it wasn’t all that hard or time consuming as one would think. Items like idli, pongal and kesari can be made at one go. The sambhar and chutneys can be made the previous day and stored in the refrigerator. You can even make the kesari on the previous day or you can atleast dry roast the rava for the kesari on the previous day which reduces the time to make the kesari. Only the dosai and vadai have to be made individually but they can be done without too much difficulty because you would need only 1-2 per person because there are so many items on the menu. You need to have the idli and dosai batter ready.

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Today’s thali has –

Idli

Dosai

Medu Vadai

Pongal

Rava Kesari

Sambhar

Coconut chutney

Coriander stalk chutney

Filter coffee

Sounds heavenly doesn’t it?

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Ragada Patties

   

Mumbai street food is something that I have missed the most ever since I moved out from there. Despite the same dishes being available everywhere else, it never felt the same. Every time I visited Mumbai from Chennai / Bangalore, I would visit all my favorite joints to gobble up the pav bhajis, vada pavs and bhel puri. 

It’s almost a year since my last Mumbai trip and I have been missing the food terribly. The worse part is the constant barrage of street food pics from friends on Facebook. Just when the nostalgia was at its peak came the blogging marathon with the street food theme and I jumped at it. Today’s recipe is ragada patties which was one of my favorites growing up. There was this ‘uncle’ at the end of the street who made very tasty patties in a small worn out stall. I don’t think  my dish would match up to that but it was pretty tasty in itself.

So here goes –

Recipe source – here

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

For the Ragada

Dried White peas                          1 cup

Turmeric powder                           1/4 tsp

Red chilly powder                          1/2 tsp

Salt

Asofoetida

For the patties

Potatoes, large                                2

Bread slices                                      3-4

Coriander leaves                             Few

Red chilly powder  

Salt

Also need

Date tamarind chutney                2-3 tbsp

Coriander mint chutney               2-3 tbsp

Onion, medium                                1

Lemon                                                 1

Coriander leaves                              For garnish
WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the white peas overnight
  • Drain the water, add 4 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, asafoetida and salt.
  • Pressure cook it for 10-12 minutes
  • Check the peas to see if it has been completely cooked and can be mashed easily.
  • If not, pressure cook again for 4-5 minutes.
  • It needs to be of a paste like consistency.mif there is excess water then cook it without the lid till almost all the water evaporates.
  • Check and adjust for salt and spice. Keep aside.
  • Boil the potatoes till they are of mashable consistency
  • Peel the potatoes and mash them.
  • Tear up and add the bread slices one by one till the potato bread mix does not feel sticky.
  • Add the coriander leaves, chilly powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Divide the potatoes mix into 8 portions and pat each of them on the palm of your hand.
  • Heat a pan / tava. Add some oil / butter / ghee 
  • Shallow fry the patties till they are golden brown
  • Flip them on the other on the other side and shallow fry till golden brown. Set aside

The assembly

  • In a bowl or plate, place 2-3 patties 
  • Add the ragada to entirely cover the patties
  • Finely chop the onion and add some of it
  • Add a tbsp of tamarind dates chutney and coriander mint chutney
  • Add some more onion and squeeze a slice of lemon 
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot
  • Enjoy!

  

NOTES

  1. The red chilly powder in the patties can be replaced with very finely chopped green chilly
  2. Make the patties as flat as possible since that will quicken the cooking time.
  3. To cook the patties faster, cover the tava for a few minutes
  4. The bread slices can be replaced with 2-3 tsp of cornflour. Both these are required to reduce the stickiness of the potatoes.

 

This is my entry for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Street Food

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM. 

 

Groundnut Chutney

I am always on the lookout for instant chutney recipes that do not include coconut. I like to make chutneys fresh and use it up instantly. I try as much as possible to avoid refrigerating chutneys. It reduces the flavour and is not as good as a fresh offering. Since I need to feed the husband breakfast at 7, I need to have instant quick fix stuff to make. So I came up with this one –

Ingredients

1/4 cup peeled roasted groundnuts

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 inch ginger

1 small piece tamarind

1-2 dried red chillies

Salt

Water

Directions

If you do not have roasted groundnuts, you can dry roast groundnuts for 2-3 minutes. Once cooled, peel the skin and use. Grind the groundnuts first to a coarse powder. Cut ginger, garlic and red chillies to small pieces so that they can be ground faster. Add them to the groundnuts. Tear the tamarind into two or three pieces. Add it along with salt and water. Grind all to a smooth paste.

If you have tamarind water (possibly left over from making sambhar or rasam) you can add that instead of the tamarind piece.

I like a strong garlic flavor and so I use 4 cloves. You can add or reduce it as per your taste. Add one red chilly first. If it is not spicy enough you can add the second one.

You can also temper the chutney with mustard seeds and / or curry leaves. I am not a big fan of tempering and so I do not do that.

Groundnut chutney

You can have it with all types of idlis and dosas and other south indian breakfast items. I am having it with Raagi Dosa. Will post that recipe soon! Happy Grinding!