Monday, March 12, 2012

Dosa

Dosa
Not Pancakes for Lent!
One of my British church friends mentioned that she was shocked to read my post about eating crêpes during the Lenten season. I assure you that I am American and that I had no idea that pancakes and crêpes were taboo. In America, people give up chocolate maybe ice cream perhaps booze for Lent, but we are the home of the twenty-four hour breakfast which consist in part of pancakes. I've not heard anyone mention that they were giving up pancakes for Lent. I grew up eating pancakes on many Saturday mornings and a few times for dinner. Forgive me, but I am presenting yet another pancake recipe during Lent.


Dosa
I first ate dosa, a South Indian dish, at T-Sides here in Kamakura. It's a crispy crêpe or thin pancake filled with a savory potatoes mixture. I finally found someone to give me a lesson. Now I have to help her make a bunny bag- I'll let you know how that goes. She is from South India and said she was happy to teach me a recipe from her home. She also said that her mother would be proud of her for teaching us- it perhaps being a good sign of her evolving homemaking skills.

Here is her mother's recipe for the potato filling for dosa. We used a package mix to make the dosa itself which she assures me anyone can obtain from an Asian store. These are delish! The hot paste we added tastes fine in the beginning, but the heat builds and lingers with the day so beware.


Potato Filling for Dosa
Potatoes, 2-3, boiled, peeled, chop & mashed slightly
Onion, 1 medium size, chopped
Green Chilies, 1-2, slit in half
Lemon, zest from 1/2 and juice of 1
Fresh Cilantro, 1 bunch, chop leaves for garnish
Vegetable Oil, 2-3 Tbsp (depends on the amount of potatoes you use)
Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal, 1 tsp
Channa dal, 1 tsp
Tumeric, 1/2 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp and adjust to taste

1. Prep: Boil, peel, chop, and slightly mash potatoes. Chop onion. Slit pepper. Zest half of the lemon, juice the whole lemon. Chop the leaves of cilantro.

2. Cook: Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over low heat. Tip: Do not let oil overheat as it will burn the spices. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping (sound), add urad dhal, channa dal, turmeric, and slit green chilies.  When the chilies are slightly charred, just begin to blacken a bit, add the chopped onion and cook until tender. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and combine well. Turn off the heat. Season with the salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Set aside.

3. Additional Items: Need dosa mix- follow instructions on the package. Need Chetni Pudi mix- 3 Tbsp of the mix with 3 Tbsp of water to form a paste. Spread paste on top side of the dosa and then add potato filling and serve.

A bag of Channa dal & a bag of Urad dhal
Dosa Instant Mix
Prepped cilantro leaves for garnish, lemon zest, onion, lemon halves for juicing, and split chili
Potatoes, boiled, peeled, cubed, and slightly mashed- this is a double recipe 
Vegetable oil heating over low heat with mustard seeds- await popping sounds
Add the dals & chili 
Add the turmeric powder
Add the onions and cook 
Add potatoes & mix together 
Add cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt
The Chetni pudi Paste is labeled "hot, hot" Warning, the heat grows through the day
The instant dosa mix- just add water tasted great
Cook at 160º C with vegetable oil  - try to form a thin pancake and put the lid on your griddle and add a bit more oil at the edges
This dosa is ready to serve
Spread on the Chetni Pudi paste (taste great, but as I write at the end of the day, it is still with me)
Top with your potato filling 
Fold it over and serve
Idatakimasu I humbly receive