Dosa's

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Dosa's

Postby ninjablossom » September 18th, 2012, 1:23 pm

hello all,

I picked up some packet dosa mix in the big Indian supermarket (anyone tried these? seems simpler than fermenting rice etc) and am having a look at Mamta's Dosa Pancake filling recipe.

The recipe says its easier to make the actual pancake with a non stick pan? I always thought any pancake type things were easier in a non stick pan - so just wondering why this could be?

I'm also going to serve with a coconut and coriander chutney (Madhur Jaffrey) and am unsure on the sambar to go with, should it be a soup style consistency or would a thin lentil curry gravy work?
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Re: Dosa's

Postby StokeySue » September 18th, 2012, 1:46 pm

ninjablossom wrote:The recipe says its easier to make the actual pancake with a non stick pan? I always thought any pancake type things were easier in a non stick pan - so just wondering why this could be?


I have used instant dosa mix - it's OK

Your statement doesn't quite make sense to me- does the recipe say NOT to use a non stick pan? I think I have used both, but the reason for not using one might be if it was easier to spread the batter in a spiral in a standard pan?

My top tip would be not too hot, or you won't spread, you'll just push around something the texture of a chamois leather (done that, got the T shirt)

I'd use whichever pan was the right size.

Sambhar in South India is usually pretty thin & soupy in my limited experience
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Kavey » September 18th, 2012, 2:33 pm

Yes, I am confused to. Mum does indeed suggest using a non-stick pan. And you agree that it's easier in a non-stick pan. Not sure where the query is there?
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Re: Dosa's

Postby ninjablossom » September 18th, 2012, 2:47 pm

I'm a muppet - I read it as don't use a non stick pan ,which confused me - but yes have re read and it states to use a non stick pan.

Sorry :oops: my excitement over making dosa's got the better of me :)

a proper sambar means another trip to an asian supermarket...
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Re: Dosa's

Postby StokeySue » September 18th, 2012, 3:03 pm

To be honst, I don't usually bother with sambhar with a dosa, I like a dollop of filling and a chutney and as long as the filling isn't too dry I don't want a gravy as well - I like the texture of the dosa

Potato & pea is a good filling (similar to samosa filling)


Now sambhar with rice is another thing.....

Glad it's all clear now :D
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Re: Dosa's

Postby karadekoolaid » September 18th, 2012, 3:48 pm

For your filling, make a thinnish masoor dal, add some potatoes fried with mustard seeds and coconut and leave it at that. It may not be totally South Indian but it will work.
Ammini Ramachandran, in her book " Grains, Greens and Grated Coconut", suggests a spicy potato and onion filling, which she calls a "Masala Dosa".Basically a potato and onion "curry" with turmeric, mustard seeds, dal,ginger, chiles and curry leaves. I think I've had something similar in the India Club in the Strand.
the sambhar gives it a little liquid, but I think you might also do well to serve it with a fresh chutney. Date & Tamarind, for example?
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » September 18th, 2012, 4:59 pm

Hello nijablossom
Non-sitck is easier, unless you have a well used, seasoned, smooth, cast iron Indian 'tava'. Ready mix is okay, though not as easy to handle as the fresh made one. The trick it to have it a bit runny, so it spreads easily. If it is too think, the batter keeps coming 'off' the pan as you try to spread it. Making is no different to making any other pancake.
Sambhar is not essential with dosa. Many people, including my OH, do not like sambhar particularly and love it just with a filling and coconut chutney, both easy to make. As Sue says, if the filling is not too dry, that is enough.
Enjoy your Dosas :-)
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Re: Dosa's

Postby ninjablossom » September 18th, 2012, 6:13 pm

thanks folks, I'll leave the sambhar out then - when I eat dosa, it is always about the dosa filling and the coconut chutney really.


I will report back. :)
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Re: Dosa's

Postby ninjablossom » September 21st, 2012, 8:51 pm

well the dosa pancake was a distaster - I followed the instructions to a tee but the mixture kept cracking in the pan, so they didn't lift out in one piece, and they just didn't go brown :(

I gave up and used wraps instead which worked kinda well. I have another box of mix so will try again in the future... any tips?
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Re: Dosa's

Postby karadekoolaid » September 22nd, 2012, 5:06 am

You might want to try cooking them on a lower heat, and resist the temptation to poke them around in the pan. I say that because that's what I did at first. Leave them i the pan for a few minutes then, very gently, lift up an edge with a spatula. If the edge comes away clean, you're probably on the right track.
A few practice tries and you'll get the hang of it!
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » September 22nd, 2012, 6:35 am

well the dosa pancake was a distaster - I followed the instructions to a tee but the mixture kept cracking in the pan, so they didn't lift out in one piece, and they just didn't go brown :(

I am so sorry to hear that!
When making Dosas, it is important to a) have the pan just at right temperature and greased b)the batter needs to be quite runny. Sometimes, the water quantity on the packet is inadequate. If you have a thick batter, it will keep sticking to your ladle and come off the pan as you spread, very irritating!

Dosa batter is easy to make at home and spreads much better than the shop bought one. Another things to remember is that the first dosa almost always is difficult to spread. Make a small one, so you do not waste too much batter. After this, the pan becomes well oiled/seasoned and it becomes easier.

Read steps 6 onwards here; http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_dis ... p?id=10077 This may help you to make them next time.
There are many other types of dosa type savoury cuisine in India, great for vegetarians. In the part of India where I come from, they are called chilla or chillas. You might find that chickpea/Bengal gram (besan) flour ones are much easier to make.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby ninjablossom » September 22nd, 2012, 11:21 am

The packet did say to use a cold pan, add the batter and then put on a medium heat and cool the pan between each Dosa - I did think the cracking might have been because of a high heat... but yep Mamta the batter was quite thick... I may have to have a go at making my own batter :) it just looks initially little scary... ;)
The dosa filling mix I got from your web site and that was really nice!

(Koolaid - I picked up some Harina Pan yesterday to make Areap's :) - I think Dosa's and Arepa's are 2 of my all time foods.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby DKRich » September 22nd, 2012, 2:00 pm

I had eaten loads... but in Chennai (old MAdras) and they are fantastic. Seems a must is a rice grinder that makes a batter... and away you you go.

Issue is getting a rice grinder ! (as if my cupboards are not full already)
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » September 23rd, 2012, 9:02 am

Seems a must is a rice grinder that makes a batter... and away you you go.

I use an ordinary blender, have always used one, without any problems. Most people in India also use a blender these days, old grinding stones have gone out of fashion; http://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/image ... rpdD2qXuI7
You just need to know how fine or coarse the dal and rice should be ground. Both have to be ground separately and then mixed, because different texture is required for each.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby DKRich » September 23rd, 2012, 9:04 am

Mamta -- a regular blender, will that grind the rice sufficiently??

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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » September 23rd, 2012, 9:11 am

Yes, if it has been soaked. See at theis link, I have described it in step 3 here; http://www.mamtaskitchen.com/recipe_dis ... p?id=10077
Once you get the hand of it, it is very easy.
The fermented batter will last for up to a week in the fridge here in UK.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 18th, 2016, 8:44 pm

thread resurrection.
i think i have made the same mistakes as already stated here - should have read the thread before i started!
next time, i'll have a cooler griddle iron, leave the batter longer (a night and day in a cold kitchen wasn't enough) and make it a little thinner.
i cobbled up an onion and potato mix for the filling which was really tasty so supper wasn't a total wash out.
ps. it was a large bag of dosa mix so, hopefully, i can get it right before it's finished...
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 19th, 2016, 11:43 am

1. Did you use a ready made batter scullion? Home made one will take longer to ferment, kept in a warm place, like somewhere near your boiler or in airing cupboard.
2. If you make pancakes, this should be a easy. Have a quick read of the steps here and look at pictures. It might help.
3. I have used the ready made batter a couple of times since my last post, it works quite well and saves you the hassle of fermenting it and so on. In South India, people make batter as small businesses from home and one can buy a bag or two every morning.
4. I have tried many different ways with the onion and potato filling mix and have found that the one described in the link above is the one most liked by family and friends. At the end of the day, dosa is just a rice pancake and you should be able to use any filling you like, however you like to make it :)
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 19th, 2016, 3:32 pm

yes, i did use a ready-mix (but i also bought the 'real' ingredients just in case).
oh, for a boiler and airing cupboard - i'll put them on my christmas list for another year.
i think the problem was more to do with the griddle. it's a half inch thick, old, cast iron thing that i bought earlier on this year and which needs a bit of working out how to regulate its temperature on the gas hob. that and getting the thickness/ferment of the batter worked out.
i did check out your site - after i'd scraped most of the goo off the bottom of the ladle and eaten the potato mix (which was actually very similar to your recipe minus the peas and dal) - which was very tasty..
i will try the dosa mix using the frying pan i usually use for pancakes, next time, just to see how it reacts.
thanks for the info. i'll check your site before i make the next attempt.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 19th, 2016, 6:32 pm

...which needs a bit of working out how to regulate its temperature on the gas hob. that and getting the thickness/ferment of the batter worked out.

What my mum used to say was this to us;
Heat the pan. Spread a little oil on it and heat it. Then sprinkle some water on it with your fingers. If the water immediately makes little pearls, the the pan is hot enough. Turn the heat down and start. Always make a small test one. This helps to get the pan ready/seasoned.
Cast iron pan should do, most traditional dosa pans are cast iron. I often make it on my cast iron 'tava' chapatti maker. it is of course easier on a non-stick one.
Make sure that the batter is not too thick, it should spread thinly and quickly. The good dosas are almost paper thin.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Zosherooney » December 19th, 2016, 6:32 pm

I had a ready mixed floury bag and left it on the mantle piece over night, but still struggled to get them right but they were edible (just)....
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 19th, 2016, 6:38 pm

Floury bag? You mean a batter? If it was batter. it is already fermented. You just have to thin it and use it. |If you are afraid of adding too much water to it and ruining it, try thinning onley one or two dosas worth first. It is very difficult to describe consistency, but what you buy in bags is too thick for direct uses.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 19th, 2016, 6:39 pm

by the way, when i say ready-mix it is the dry 'flour' variety rather than a pre-made wet batter.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 19th, 2016, 6:41 pm

Oh, that means it will need to be fermented for a few days. You can cheat slightly and add a little bit of yest and then keep the batter in a warm place. It should begin to bubble every so slightly.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 19th, 2016, 6:43 pm

right - i'll try that next time, thank you. i had the feeling that it may not have been long enough as i didn't see any sign of fermentation.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 19th, 2016, 7:23 pm

It can smell ever so slightly, but that is okay.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby StokeySue » December 20th, 2016, 9:46 am

Which mix did you use?

I've used Git's in the past, you mix and use at once, they have a good instruction video, which is interesting on how to heat the griddle starting with it cold; not what I've done, which explains why mine flake, though they taste good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elcshCQdmYU
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 20th, 2016, 10:29 am

Gits mix is good mix for Idlies, but not so good for dosas. I used to use it a million years ago, when we lived in bed-sitters. I found that it was very hard to spread it into pancakes, it kept sticking to the ladle and dosas kept breaking up. These days, if you have a Gujarati Indian shop near you, they sell ready fermented batter, which is just like home made. I thought that is the one you guys were using.
In their own video too (link above), they look a bit thick and soft, not papery thin and crisp, as they should be. They are actually called 'Kagzi Dosa' or 'Papery' Dosas because of their thinness and crispness.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 20th, 2016, 11:42 am

mine was this type, jalpur brand, - http://theasiancookshop.co.uk/jalpur-dh ... 0847-p.asp bought from one of the asian supermarkets in wembley a couple of weeks ago.
i think it may help if i measure the water more accurately next time!
unfortunately, we are less ethnically diverse down here - unless you differentiate between redruth and truro folk and the different pasty shops would be a cultural diversity experience to some (not strictly true but...).
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Re: Dosa's

Postby StokeySue » December 20th, 2016, 11:46 am

Not seen that on scully, but 1 TBS of salt seems a lot & possibly enough to slow fermentation if you used it all
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 20th, 2016, 2:14 pm

I think you should ferment it a bit longer. It should look a little frothy, bubbly and you should get a fermented odour as below. Then you have to thin it to a spreading consistency.

As I said, thin a small portion of batter first, make it quite runny, like you would for a pancake. Follow same procedure as you would for pancake. You have to try to spread them thin and fast, drizzle some oil at the edges and then turn it over with a spatula. The professional Dosa maker only cook it on one side, because theirs is so thin, it doesn't need cooking twice.
In Wembley, sakoni's make good dosas, though I have not been there for a few years. May be they will let you peep in their kitchen to see how it is done. In Wembley Indian supermarkets, you should be able to get ready batter.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » December 20th, 2016, 6:42 pm

i will put my order in with my brother ( for the next time he goes down to wembley) to pick up some 'fresh' batter for me for when i'm up in bedfordshire next.
i've seen dosa being made - it's an art form i hope to make a reasonable effort at even if i can't reach perfection!
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 20th, 2016, 10:15 pm

Good luck :tu:
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » December 22nd, 2016, 11:05 am

A thought occured to me; If you add a beaten egg to a bowl of your dosa mix, it might help it to spread easier. But the batter has to be thin, to get paper thin dosas.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » April 18th, 2017, 10:57 pm

had another go tonight.
i, again, only left the (same) mix for a day to ferment but i added an egg and extra water as the mix (to the packet instructions) was rather thick.
i tried one first on a tawa but it was still a bit thick and unspreadable so i decided to add even more water and use a wide, flat bottomed, greenpan.
it was much, much better. still not paper thin - more like blotting paper - so although it wasn't really crispy, it was well on the way.
at least we didn't have just the filling for dinner! they were holdable and not floppy so i'm counting it as a reasonable success.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » April 19th, 2017, 5:54 am

For thin dosa, the batter needs to be thin and the pan seasoned, lightly oiled, too much oil will make the dosa come off as you are spreading it, and medium hot. Traditional dosas are not flipped to cook, they are so thin. But when you make them once or twice a year as I do, it is difficult to be an expert. I sometimes cover them with a glass lid to make sure they are cooked well.
How about making your own batter next time scullion. It is not hard and very cheap and it spreads a lot better. Leave it in a warm conservatory or close to your boiler. It usually takes It becomes quite bubbly and smells when ready. That smell is not transferred into dosas.
Leftover batter can be made into idlies.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » April 19th, 2017, 9:37 am

that may be on the cards when i've used up the pre-mix as i bought a bag of the urad dahl at the same time.
unfortunately we don't have a boiler or airing cupboard so the fermenting process may be longer than expected.
i have watched them being made quite a few times, very expertly, so i've seen (and eaten) the tissue like, cooked one side only, result. i may not get there but i'm going to keep on trying!
with a quick rub around with some oiled kitchen roll the greenpan (sauté pan) worked the best so far but i will try again on the cast iron griddle and test the temperature better.
last nights were given a thumbs up by my partner on every aspect other than the thinness/crispiness.
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » April 19th, 2017, 5:17 pm

If you don't have a warm cupboard, put it in Jug or bowl, the. The Then stand it in hot water inside an icebx. I haven't tried it but it works for making yoghurt
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Re: Dosa's

Postby scullion » April 19th, 2017, 5:36 pm

i don't think we have an icebox any longer, however i was thinking of putting it in an insulated flask (similar to making yoghurt) with the lid slightly open and then wrapped in a towel (or our "haybox' - not hay and not a box).
don't worry, i won't give up!
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Re: Dosa's

Postby Mamta » April 19th, 2017, 5:37 pm

Whatever keeps it warm, will work.
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