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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Andhra Breakfast Thali

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I started exploring the Telugu language and cuisine last year. As usual my fascination met with the strong disapproval  of my husband. His idea was that I should be more interested in Kannada since we were to move to Bangalore. My point was that it would be far easier if he found a job in Hyderabad where I could put my knowledge of Telugu (all of 15 words) to good use. Like that happens ever!

When I signed up for the Thali theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon, I figured that I should explore more about their breakfast which is my favorite meal of the day. Padma of the Plantain Leaf is a real sweetheart and helped me put up a breakfast menu and also provided all the recipe links from her blog. A typical breakfast in Andhra includes –

Minapa Kudumulu – a protien variant of idli with no rice involved!

Pesarattu Upma – a combination of the humble rava upma with the most popular Andhra dish ‘Pesarattu Dosa’, a green gram dosa variant.

Allam Pachadi – A garlic pickle which goes along famously with the Pesarattu Upma

Kara Dosa – A regular rice dosa enhanced with the addition of finger millet flour and all purpose flour plus onions and chillies. Yum!

Kara podi -A red chilly and lentil spice mix to go with the Minapa Kudumulu

Filter Coffee – The beverage of choice for smart people 😉

The breakfast also includes a sweet dish – kesari or payasam which I skipped. So we can call this the diet Andhra Breakfast!

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Check out the recipe of Minapu Kudumulu here. It is an easy, protein rich, healthy 3 ingredient breakfast which is a great start to your day. I will be posting the recipes for the other dishes soon.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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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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Adayar Ananda Bhavan – a breakfast review

The husband and I like having elaborate breakfasts on weekends and holidays. Since that involves too much work for me and not as much ‘holiday’ we outsource the breakfast.

Today, we checked out the Adyar Ananda Bhavan at Kadugodi,Whitefield. We reached there at about 8:45 am and it was fairly crowded. They have two floors – the ground floor is the sweet and snack stall as also the self service section whereas the first floor is the air-conditioned restuarant. Since the ground floor was almost full and we had our 10 month daughter with us, we decided to go to the first floor. It was our first time here though the husband and I have been regular at the A2B restaurants in Chennai when we were there. Hence, our excitement at seeing one opening so close home at Bangalore.

We decided to try the mini tiffin so as to get an idea of all the items at once and also some variety. The mini tiffin platter has one each of idli,vada,masala dosa and one serving of pongal and rava kesari. These were accompanied by sambhar, coconut chutney, coriander chutney and onion & tomato chutney. Quite a complete breakfast! These were a visual treat to start with in a neat stainless steel plate with a banana leaf on it.

What I liked – very tasty food.

What I did not like – None of the dishes were hot. It does not make so much of a difference with pongal or kesari. But when a vada or idli is not hot, it kills much of the fun of eating them. The ghee in the kesari was overflowing and so it was with the pongal. The chutneys and sambhar were good.

We washed down this large breakfast with some coffee. It was very strong – just the way I like it. But that may not be what suits everyone.

We also picked some murukku and mixture on our way out since we got quite nostalgic about the Chennai outlets.

One of the highlights of this place is the parking availability. The building has an underground parking which is a blessing in Bangalore.

All in all, it is a good place to visit.

We went a couple of weeks later with my mother-in-law and niece. This time we sat in the self service section on the ground floor. Had a good time then too. The food is consistent to say the least!