Spinach Dosa

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This is the last day of the week and my final vegetable based protein dish. Spinach is the vegetable of choice. As a kid, I was anemic for sometime which my mother took as a personal affront. So she fed me a bunch of spinach each day pureed. She refused to stop even after my hemoglobin levels were over the threshold so much so that I was convinced that my vein, if cut, would bleed green instead of red.

I read somewhere recently that if two people in a house agree on the fan speed then they are definitely not married. I think that should be extended to dosas as well. The husband and I have completely different views on what a perfect dosa should be like. He thinks dosa should be thick and small while I think any dosa thicker than a banned plastic bag should be termed an uthapam.   

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I make spinach dosas mostly when the batter is insufficient for the number of dosas needed. I add some spinach purée which increases the volume of the batter and also gives it a nice flavour. I paired this with some lentil and coconut chutney which I came up with when I discovered that I didn’t have any fried gram to make the regular coconut chutney. I had some mixed lentil powder we use to mix with rice. So I blended it together with some coconut, ginger and green chillies. It tasted very nice with the dosa and we had a lovely weekend breakfast.

Protein – Spinach, Skinless black gram / Urad dal

Makes 15 dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Dosa batter                            4 cups

Spinach                                   1 small bunch

Green chillies                        1-2

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Wash and chop the spinach
  • Blend it along with the green chillies, salt and little water to a fine purée
  • Mix around 1/3 cup of purée with the batter 
  • The consistency of the batter should be slightly less than regular dosa batter but not as watery as a rava dosa batter
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on it
  • Spread the batter in a circular motion and pour few drops of oil around the edges of the dosa
  • Once it starts browning at the edges, use a steel spatula and turn it over
  • Let it cook for a minute and then take it off the tava
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the batter till you have as many dosas as you need
  • Serve warm with chutney or molaga podi
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Black Gram Dosa with black gram chutney powder

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My mother is very interested in my blogging themes and enthusiastically keeps a look out for dishes that fit my theme of the month. Though she prefers me cooking and blogging about more traditional Indian dishes instead of ‘baking bread all the time’, she still supports my endeavour in a big way. She saw this recipe on a Tamil cookery show and promptly wrote it down to tell me. 

Usually dosa is made with skinless black gram but this dosa is made with the whole black gram which is the same one used to make dal makhni. Another interesting feature was that the black gram did not have to be soaked in order to make the dosa. I was intrigued when I heard that and thought I should give it a shot. For the past few weeks I am experimenting with grinding my idli / dosa batter in a mixer rather than the wet grinder. One, it is easier to clean and can also be used for smaller quantities as compared to the grinder. Though I am not completely pleased with the idli results from such an endeavour, the dosa works beautifully. So I used a mixer for this recipe too and it turned out quite nice. 

This dosa is also accompanied by a black gram podi / dry chutney powder which is to be mixed with oil and spread on the dosa. The combination is fantastic and I would recommend you try the two together instead of having this dosa with a regular red chilly lentil powder.

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Protein – Black gram

Recipe from Revathi Sankaran’s TV show

Makes 10-12 dosas

WHAT WE NEED

For the Dosa 

Idli rice                     3 cups

Raw rice                    1 cup

Black gram                1 cup

Fenugreek seeds       1 tsp

For the chutney podi

Black gram                 1/4 cup

Bengal gram               1 tbsp

Dried red chillies       5-6 

Salt

WHAT TO DO

For the dosa

  • Soak the idli rice and raw rice together and the fenugreek seeds in a separate vessel for 6 hours or overnight
  • Wash the black gram well and add it to a mixer / blender
  • Grind it well to a near smooth paste and set aside
  • Drain the water from the rice and add to the blender
  • Add the fenugreek seeds and salt and grind to a smooth paste
  • Mix the ground black gram and the rice and set aside to ferment for 6-8 hours depending on the weather
  • If the weather is chilly and you are not sure the batter will ferment then wrap the vessel with a thick towel and place it on top of the refrigerator. The heat from the refrigerator will help fermenting.
  • Once the batter has fermented, add some water and salt, if needed.
  • Heat a tava
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on the tava and spread it in a circular motion
  • Add few drops of oil at the edges of the dosa and let it cook for 20-30 seconds on medium high
  • Gently release the dosa from the tava with a steel spatula and turn it over on the other side
  • Let it cook for 10-20 seconds on low
  • Take out the dosa from the tava
  • Repeat the same procedure till all the dosas you need are made
  • Enjoy with the chutney powder

For the chutney powder

  • Dry roast the black gram, bengal gram and dried red chillies in a pan individually and set aside to cool
  • Add all the ingredients with salt to a blender 
  • Blend to a coarse powder 
  • Once the dosa is made, mix the chutney powder with a little gingely oil and apply on the dosa
  • Enjoy!


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  This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. 

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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.

Molaga Podi | Idli Gunpowder

   

I made quite a few new year resolutions with regard to my cooking. So each day of this first week of Blogging Marathon, my dish will be a small little step towards one of my resolutions. I was deeply impressed by the book, ‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan. Amongst the many arguments he made, one that struck a chord with me was about ‘cooking from scratch’. After reading that, I realized how many things I buy that can be made at home which would most likely be fresher, healthier and free from preservatives. 

I started making sambhar powder, rasam powder and ginger garlic paste at home and have continued to do so for almost six months now. Then, one day I was chatting with my mom and extolling the benefits of cooking from scratch to which she replied, “oh good, so you will start making molaga podi on your own now.” So I was caught and had no choice. I am highly allergic to frying red chillies. Despite tying a huge scarf around my face, I sneeze an entire day and a half if I have to fry even two red chillies. So I get molaga podi from mom in bulk. Now, I couldn’t. So I took up my scarf and set off on the mission.

This recipe is from my mother and modified to suit the ultra spicy requirements of the husband. 

WHAT WE NEED

 Dried red chillies                         30

Bengal gram dal                            1/2 cup

Split black dal/ urad dal              1/2 cup

White sesame seeds                     2 tbsp

Oil                                                       1 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the sesame seeds till they start popping and set them aside to cool
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil and add the red chillies and fry the, for 2-3 minutes.
  • To ensure that the chillies don’t turn black move them about regularly. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat the other 1/2 tsp oil and add both dals and fry till golden brown.
  • Set aside the dals to cool.
  • Once cooled, put all the ingredients into a blender, add salt and blend to a powder.
  • Enjoy with idlis, dosas and uttapams.

 

NOTES

  1. The ratio of chillies to lentils depends on your spice preference. If you aren’t sure then fry 3/4 cup each of Bengal gram dal and split black dal. Keep 1/2 cup of the mixed fried dal aside. Mix the one cup dal with the chillies. If you find it too spicy, grind the balance dal separately and mix with the red chillies mixture.
  2. To maintain the consistency of the recipe, it is essential to have the red chillies of same quality and spice level. It is ideal to buy them from the same shop which should usually work the same way every time. If not, add some paruppu podi to the red chilly mixture to reduce spicyness.

This is a part of the Blogging Marathon under ‘New Year Challenge’.

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

 

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Raagi Dosa

   
  

It’s my constant endeavour to feed the husband and kid some finger millets. But I am usually unsuccessful. So whenever I get a chance, I make raagi dosas which is the least hated form for the duo. I also like the fact that it’s quick and easy to make. I have tried various recipes for this Dosa but none on them were satisfactory. Then I chanced upon this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook by Prema Srinivasan and I am relieved that this one gives me most consistent results without the dosa tearing up or being undercooked. 

So here goes –

For 5-6 Dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Raagi flour                                    1 cup

Rice flour                                      2 tbsp

Lady’s finger/ okra                    4 medium sized

Cumin seeds                                1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                                 1 sprig

Green chillies                               1-2

Salt

Water                                              1/2 – 3/4 cup   
WHAT TO DO

  • Grind the okra with 1 tbsp water to a fine paste. It will be slimy.
  • Mix the flours together and add the okra paste.
  • Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, salt and water.
  • The batter should be in the consistency of regular Dosa batter.
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on the tava.
  • After a minute, flip the Dosa on the other side with a spatula.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat.
  • Continue to make Dosas from rest of the batter.
  • Enjoy with coconut or coriander chutney.

 

This is my entry for Bloggging Marathon hostedby Srivalli under the theme – Instant Breakfast

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Vendhiyam Dosa / Fenugreek Crepe

This is one of my favorite dosa recipes. The best part is that it’s healthy as well and hence I can shut out all the guilt that comes from eating other favorite foods like buttery crossiants for example. Also, it’s a cooling dish which is the need of everyday in this tropical heat!

The not so good part is the amount of time it takes – which is a lot. So if I want to eat it tomorrow I need to start the soaking, grinding and fermenting today so that it’s all set for tomorrow. Not a dish for instant cravings.

WHAT WE NEED (For 8-10 Dosas / Crepes)

Boiled rice                                         2 cups

Urad Dal/skinned black gram        1/2 cup

Fenugreek                                         1 1/2 tsp

Salt

Oil 

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the rice, lentils and fenugreek separately in water for 2-3 hours. The water needs to be just enough to immerse the ingredients in.
  • Remove the rice, dal and fenugreek from water. Keep the waters aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients to a batter consistency with the water used for soaking. 
  • You may not need all the water. Add as per requirement.

  

  • Cover the vessel and let it ferment for 6-8 hours.
  • Unlike the idli / dosa batter, this batter will not rise significantly. So don’t worry on that count.

  

    

  • Heat a tava 
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it out like a dosa / crepe.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon oil on the edges and let it cook.
  • Once the edges of the dosa start browning, use a spatula to release it from the tava and turn it on the other side

  

  • The other side will cook in around 30-40 seconds.
  • Take off from the tava.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter.

  • Enjoy the dosa with a spicy chutney or jam or molaga podi or just like that! Yumm!

  

 NOTES

  • If you are a fan of the fenugreek like I am, then you can up the fenugreek to 2 tsps. 
  • The only way to reduce time is to soak the ingredients in hot water so that they can be ground in 45 minutes instead of 3 hours
  • I used a regular mixer to grind. You can use that or the grinder, whatever works best.

  
This is my entry for the Cooking from the Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  
This is my entry for the popular My Legumes Love Affair started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s host is Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen

Instant Raagi Dosa

As promised, here is the recipe for Raagi Dosa. Its healthy and tasty – a rare combination which I hold dear. The fun part of this recipe is it can be varied and ingredients replaced as per availability. So here goes –

Ingredients

1 cup          Raagi flour

1/4 cup      Rice flour

1/4 cup      Wheat flour

1/4 cup      Buttermilk

1/2              Medium sized onion

8-10           Whole black pepper

Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Water

Directions

1. Mix all the flours together.

2. Pour in the buttermilk and some water to make it a runny batter. It should be like the rava dosa batter.

Raagi Dosa batter

3. Add the salt, onions, black pepper, coriander leaves

Raagi dosa batt

4. Your dosa is ready to be made. It does not require any sit-in or resting time. It is truly an ‘instant’ dosa.

5. Pour the batter on a hot tava just like a rava dosa. Make an outline with the batter and then fill it in so that the entire thing can be taken out as a single piece.

6. Add oil on the edges and flip after a minute to cook the other side as well.

Raagi dosa

Enjoy!

Notes –

The rice flour and wheat flour are interchangeable. You can substitute one for the other. The wheat flour is the healthier option while the rice flour is the tastier option. So I have used a mix of the two.

If you don’t want to add the onions, pepper and coriander to the batter at the beginning, you can add them to individual dosas once they have been poured on the tava. But add these before the oil so that they will get the time to set into the dosa.

If your dosa turns out a little dry then it either needs more water in the batter or it needs to be taken out sooner from the tava.

You need to mix the batter before pouring for every dosa since it tends to sit at the bottom of the vessel.

The colour of the dosa depends on the flour mix. If you use more wheat then the dosa color would be darker as compared to using more rice flour. My dosa is colored darker because of the colors of the ragi flour (I have a dark pink colour flour…was a gift so I am not sure what and why)