Rava Dosa with Masala – Do you Dosa?

If I were to be reborn in to some new life, I hope it could be in to an Indian family. I would love to grow up with the flavors and colors of Indian cooking.

My adventures into Indian flavor and cooking began when I was in college and was living in a largely Indian neighborhood. Peeking into Madras Mahal on Lexington, the first dish I ordered was Mutter Panner. A curry with peas and cheese. The flavors popped in my mouth, and I needed to explore more.

Running into Kalustyans and into the India Bazaar store, I explored the various flavors. Once I had a kitchen of my own, I was free to explore more. The one thing I never ventured into, was the world of dosa making. I have tasted my fair share, but it was never my highlight of an Indian meal. I didn’t have the equipment, and it seemed like too much work to try to make them.

This morning, in speaking with the hubster, I asked him what I should make. To which he replied, “a masala dosa, of course.” Of course that’s what he wanted. The one thing I was really not ready to make. I had plans to spice shop in Jersey City’s Indian markets today…so there was no excuse. We could easily have the ingredients here and ready. While at Patel market, I found a Tawa right by the checkout. I guess it was fate.

With the ingredients and spices in hand, I set out to make dinner. The potato mixture was easy and came out perfect. Not so much with the dosas. The first three were tossed. The fourth was somewhat edible. The fifth was getting there. By the sixth, I finally got it! I had also had enough playing with dosa making for the night and the Oscars were about to start, so we called it a night and chowed down. I am glad I now know how to make the dosa though. Next time, I will be an expert.

Here’s my fancy shmancy new Tawa!

Rava Dosa with Masala
For the potato masala mixture:

3 potatoes – boiled, roughly mashed
1 tsp. urad dal
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 small red onions, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
peas, handful
1 carrot, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped curry leaves
1 tbsp. veg. oil
1/2 cup water

In a large saute pan, heat the oil oil on high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Toast for less than a minute. Add the onions and chili pepper. Saute for a minute or two. Add the carrots, tomato, and the peas. Add the spices. Add the water and cook for a few minutes. Cook until the carrots have softened and the water has evaporated a bit. Stir in the potatoes. Mix in the chopped curry leaves and cilantro. Set the potato mixture aside or gobble it up. It tastes great on its own. It may need a little bit of salt, but taste it and see.

For the Rava Dosa:

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup semolina or rava
1/4 cup maida flour (all purpose flour)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 curry leaves, chopped
3 coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp. ginger
4 cups water (approx – you may need more for consistency)
vegetable oil + 1stp
Equipment – a flat griddle or traditional tawa pan or use a large flat fry pan (see pic above!)

Mix the flours. Add the salt and water to it. Toast the spices in 1 tsp. of oil. Transfer the spices to the flour mixture. Let the batter sit for about 30 minutes. Stir the batter. It shouldn’t be too thick. More of a thick milk consisteny.

Heat the pan on high. With a paper towel, wipe oil on the pan. Do not pour.

With a ladle, spread the batter on the pan. Moving from the outside in. The batter should be very very thin on the pan.This does take practice.

After a couple minutes, sprinkle a dab of oil and some butter on to the dosa. When it starts to brown, fold it over.
Serve the dosa with the masala mixture or with the traditional sambar. Enjoy!

Please note: Your first few dosas may need to be tossed. Your first few dosas will not look like the giant beautiful cornucopias you can get at the local Indian restaurant. That’s totally ok. Have fun with it.
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