A dosa is a Popular thin crepe from South India that looks similar to a pancake. However, it is a type of soft thin Indian pancake, and the thinner the pancake the crispier the dosa. It is made made with a fermented rice and lentil batter. Dosas have a rich history and in the olden times, dosa was made using only rice. As time went on people started to add Ural dal (black lentils) which gave the dosa is unique crispness, texture and flavour.
The dosa became popular in restaurants in a city called Udupi which is in the Karnataka region. The rise of the Udupi restaurants in South India has evolved the dosa and now many varieties are served such as plain dosa, set dosa, and masala dosa. If you want to make homemade dosa, let us guide you on the process. Cooking the dosa doesn’t require much time, although, the fermentation process requires 8 hours.
The fermentation process involves soaking and blending black gran lentils (urad dal) and rice to a batter. When ready the fermented batter is spread like a crepe on an Indian tawa frying pan.
The dosa can be made using a blender to blend the rice and water into a batter or you can alternatively grind the rice into a flour and then add liquid. As dosa is made with lentils, it makes for a protein and calcium rich, low calorie meal.
Raw rice is the best rice to use to make the dosa batter but using a combination of parboiled rice and raw rice can work with good results too. Whilst you could experiment with rice types like basmati or any other rice of your choice, traditionally short grain or sona masuri rice types are the best.
Adding salt to the dosa is a very important aspect as it can ruin the dish if done incorrectly. This because of the complicated fermentation process, for example the climate can affect the results, so can the type of salt you use, and also when you add the salt to the batter.
You may have to experiment with the salt adding process until you get it right. As the batter has to ferment for many hours, the batter could go smelly, to prevent this from happening you can add a non iodised salt like rock salt or sea salt before the fermentation as these types of salt will also assist with the process.
In a hot country it is very important to add salt just before making the dosa. Most Indians add salt after the fermentation process unless they live in cooler regions of India like Bangalore.
Depending on whether you add salt before or after, this will also have an effect on the taste, which is why you should experiment and choose what works for you. Make sure to avoid Iodised salt by all means if you are adding it before fermentation as it will prevent the batter from fermenting. Ready to make traditional Indian Dosa?