Dosa (Fermented Crepe)

My attempt at cooking South Indian cuisine Part 2 continues with a bit of struggle here and there but with great taste results. This time there was no help from auntyji. Wait!! before you read any further let me point out that todays recipe may have some visual imperfections! You have been warned!!😉

I recently had some guests, our wonderful South Indian friends Raghu and Swati over for dinner. On the menu I decided to serve up some Idli, Sambar, Aloo Masala and Coconut Chutney. Now I’m telling you guys this is a potentially dangerous move for a North Indian who doesn’t know the A-B-C of South Indian food. I wanted to challenge myself regardless so I decided to add Dosa onto the menu as well (wrong move I hear you say). Being the lazy cook that I am I chose the shortcut way by using a pre-packaged batter instead of making from scratch. I painstakingly cooked up the Dosas (yep cooking it is the most difficult part) which ended up a total disaster..so I thought. I decided my Dosa is no longer to be served at dinner full stop! 😔

Now DH being the typical big mouth blurted out there was Dosa in the menu too aargh! 😁(I think this emoticon is more an Utpal Dutt iiiiisshh 😬 than an aaargh but itll do for now ). I was given no time to protest and was asked to serve it up asap. So there I was feeling all sorts of exaggerated emotions – hesitation, embarassment, nervousness, sweat, butterflies, mice cartwheels, rumblings, reflux, belch etc etc you name it!! I took the Dosa out from my “bin it later” hiding spot and served it. Little did I know that I was in for a very pleasant surprise. To my utter disbelief my guests were gobbling down my imperfect Dosas so much more than my perfect Idlis. I think they must’ve only had one or two Idlis rest was Dosas all the way! Yeehaa!!😄

I was jumping the trampoline from inside reason being (you can kind of see from the image..go on dare you to zoom in) my dosa had breaks in spots and resembled a map of Vooloomooloomatoka (wherever that is) and was far from being perfect. As per the instructions it wasn’t thin nor crispy as it should have been although I personally like my Dosa a bit on the thicker side. I recently learnt that the thicker variety are called “Set Dosas” thanks to my blogger buddy Shalini. I don’t know whether my guests were just being polite or genuinely liked my Dosa whatever may have been the reason I was ecstatic! ooh yeah! I had indirectly gotten the approval I was seeking..mission accomplished!

In my excitement I couldn’t wait to perfect my Dosa before posting the recipe up so I decided to showcase it exactly as it turned out, unedited, un-photoshopped and au naturel made by a dosa virgin.😉It somewhat passes off don’t you think so? And as I always say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It tasted just purrrfect. (Sambar recipe to follow).

Ingredients
1 500g Value Pack Gits Dosa Batter (check out your local Indian grocer for stock)
900ml Water

Method
• Pour batter in a bowl and add water to it.
• Whisk the batter with water until the mix is dissolved and no lumps can be seen. Set aside.
• Heat up the non-stick tawa or pancake/crepe pan on medium heat and pour or spray a little oil.
• Pour about a ladle full or 75ml (as per instructions) batter in the centre of the pan and work your way out in circles to try and get a nice medium sized round. The whole idea is to try and get it just like any other pancake/crepe shape.
• Lightly fry the Dosa until brown and crispy on one side. The side facing up should remain soft and moist. Be careful not to break it like I did, which you probably will with your very first attempt but hey practice makes it perfect right? Enjoy!

This dish is best served hot off the stove with Aloo Masala, Sambar and Coconut Chutney.

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Mango Lassi Kum Popsicle Combo Deal – Guest Post

Ahh my first invitation for a guest post..such a privilege! I’m elated!! It’s like walking the red carpet. Well it’s my first time so come on now I’m allowed to feel this way. I’m super thrilled to have been asked by one of my favourite blogger Dhanya of Skinny Chef De Cuisine to do a guest post for her. She did my previous guest post for Thoran which proved to be a super hit.

Dhanya is a fellow Aussie blogger from the city of “unpredictable weathers” Melbourne and my first ever blogger mate. She originally hails from “God’s own country” Kerala which happens to be one of my favourite holiday destinations. I’m an avid fan of her blog and love her step-by-step recipes with inviting droolworthy images to follow. She is a versatile foodie and throws in a bit of everything inter continental on her blog. Occassionally I try and slot at least one of her recipes in my menu as a special treat and in turn my DH has never begged for more (food I mean). 😉

Thank you Dhans for giving me the opportunity to do a guest blog for you. So everyone now that you have popped over for a visit (don’t forget your likes) 😉 remember to detour to http://skinnychefdecuisine.wordpress.com for more delicious Mango Lassi clicks and details.

For Skinny Chef De Cuisine and her readers I’m sharing my beverage recipe for a Mango Lassi (Mango yoghurt drink) which is quick and easy to make all you need is a blender and you’re good to go. I often make a little extra so I can freeze it and what do you get? A mango lassi frozen pop of course! A two in one recipe..a combo deal. Now that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone..not literally of course! My daughter absolutely loves this. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

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Ingredients
1/2 Cup Mango Sliced (fresh or canned if not in season)
1 Cup Yoghurt
1/4 Cup Chilled Milk
1/4 Cup Chilled Water or Ice Cubes (optional – use water only if a thinner lassi is preferred)
1/4 Tspn Green Cardamon Powder
4-5 Strands Of Saffron

Method
• Grind and powder Saffron strands and add to the milk.
• Peel and slice mango. Add the mango slices into the blender and puree it first.
• Then add yoghurt, milk with the Saffron, cardamon powder and blend till smooth. Add a little water if a thinner lassi is desired.
• Pour into a fancy glass, garnish with a pinch of cardamon powder and enjoy. Serves 4.

This beverage is best served chilled.

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Beetroot Thoran – a Keralan stir fry with beets, greens and coconut – Guest post by Skinny Chef De Cuisine

Khawateeno hazraat! Ladies and gentlemen! Please take your seats, sit back and relax! Today I have a very special guest..a sweetheart of a fellow blogger friend/wordpress family of mine Dhanya of Skinny Chef De Cuisine who kindly accepted my offer to do a guest blog for me.

Dhanya is my inspiration. I often wish I, the lazy chef, was as talented in cooking as she is. I love her style of blogging. She gives you the entire deal and that too with step-by-step photos. Now who does’nt love that especially if you’re a beginner. I’m telling you all she’s your woman!!!😉 Do check her blog out at http://skinnychefdecuisine.wordpress.com

Dhanya is not only a chef but a scientist, a freelance writer, website content manager, recipe developer, a home maker and a super mum too. She truly is “a jack of all trades”. I picture her as a goddess with several arms juggling all these tasks. Hats off to you my dear.🎩I can fill the entire page on her because that’s really how much I admire her but for now less said is best. All I will say in Hindi is that she is here to “chaar chaand lagaya” (to give an absolute honour) to my blog or in Hinglish “4 moon giving” hehe.😄I give you the verdict below so judge for yourself.

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Over to you Dhanya…

Thoran is a staple in every household in Kerala, a dish that we take for granted. But one region’s staple becomes another’s exotic. And this is the reaction that I get every time I prepare this for those from other regions of India or abroad. Basically, thoran is a stir fry which can be prepared using all kinds of vegetables, lentils, pulses and sometimes even meats. The main component of a thoran (or what makes it a thoran) is the coconut spice mix. Fresh coconut is coarsely ground with green chillies, cumin and garlic to create a fragrant, mildly spiced mixture which forms the base of every thoran.

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In this particular recipe, I have used whole beets with the greens as the vegetable. Usually, we cut out and throw the greens and use just the beets; but these greens are really healthy and tasty too. The cooking time involved in this dish is very less since the beets are grated and like I said, it is a quick stir fry which helps to retain the nutrients and does not allow the beets and greens to go soggy.

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A great vegetarian dish which goes well with rice and Indian flat breads…..

Ingredients:
1. Beetroot with the greens attached – 2 medium
2. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
3. Curry leaves – 2 stalks
4. Dry red chilli – 2
5. Salt – to season
6. Coconut/vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
7. Coconut spice mix
• Grated coconut – ½ cup
• Green chilli – 1-2 (depending on spice preference)
• Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
• Garlic – 2 cloves

Method:
1. Peel and grate the beets and finely chop the greens with the stalks.
2. To make the coconut mix, coarsely grind all the ingredients.
3. In a pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and dry red chilli.
4. Add the beets and greens; stir fry on high heat for a minute.
5. Then add the coconut spice mix, season with salt and continue to stir fry on high heat for another 2 minutes.
6. Serve hot with rice or Indian flat breads.

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Aloo Masala For Dosa (Potato Filling For Fermented Crepe)

As I compose this post there’s a Hindi song playing in my head “auntyji auntyji get up and dance”! Todays recipe of Aloo Masala for Dosa is courtesy Manjula aunty. I, being a North Indian am no expert at cooking authentic South Indian meals. Mind it!!! (Rajnikanth ishtyle) I had to quickly learn for DH who is an ardent fan of idlis and dosas. They do say “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. DH’s shirts tugging at his waistline is evidence of my pampering him with lavish Rajbhogs (meals fit for a king) lol. But then married men often say “ghar ki murghi dhal barabar” basically meaning same old boring routine stuff. Let’s just try the Hindi to English translation for fun shall we? “House chicken and lentil same to same” hehe.😆

Now Manjula of Manjula’s Kitchen really isn’t my aunty but it’s a very Indian thing to add a relationship to people we want to add respect to or simply for someone we don’t know by first name basis. I don’t mind so much being called an aunty as long as it’s coming from the littlies but when a senior citizen calls me aunty I could just infest their head with lice aarghh!! 😁 I AM NOT YOUR AUNTY DUFFER!!! From what angle do I look like an aunty to you huh? Yeah alright maybe angle is not quite the right word since I am well blossomed from all angles (and proud of it depending on the state of mind I’m in). I’m happy to just tell them my name and keep it informal but often I give up because they will just end up calling me Sanjana “aunty” anyways. It’s like banging your head against a wall..sigh! So anyway back to my song “auntyji auntyji get up and dance pappa pa pappa”.

Ingredients
2-3 Medium Sized Potatoes
Pinch Of Hing/Asafoedita
1/2 Tspn Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tspn Sarso/Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tspn Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1-2 Green Chillies Chopped
Slice of Lemon
1-2 Tbspn Oil
Salt To Taste

Method
• Boil the potatoes until soft and allow it to cool then peel.
• Cut potatoes into small cubes.
• Heat pan with oil and add sarso, jeera and hing.
• When the seeds begin to splutter add haldi, green chillies and potatoes.
• Fry for a few mins and if you find it’s too dry add a little bit of water.
• Finally garnish with coriander and a squeeze or two of lemon juice.

This dish is best served stuffed in a dosa or enjoyed with roti/chapati.

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Khaidu (Seasoned Yoghurt)

As promised here’s my mother-in-law Satish’s recipe for Khaidu/seasoned yoghurt which goes well as an accompaniment for pulaos and biryanis.

I am having a serene moment today but let me warn you there’s no major babbling bass just some minor bakwaas.😌I am sitting here gazing into my crystal ball🔮trying to tap into my 7 crucial Chakras. I seek inner peace by exploring deep soul diving so close your eyes, focus on the tube light, breathe and repeat after me..wax on! wax off! wax on! wax off! Come be enlightened! I promise not to remove evil eyes, or give you spells and concoctions for being bitten by a mad dog, find you your true love and wealth nor save your marriage. I’m here to tickle your tastebuds. I’ll teach you how not to remove your eyes off of the stove, give you sauces and condiments for being bitten by the mad foodie bug, find you your true spices and health and save your meal from burning. I, the food Love Guru!😇Come let’s eat!!

Ingredients
2 Cups Yoghurt
1-2 Tbspn Milk
Half Onion Sliced Finely
1/2 Tspn Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tspn Sarso/Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 Chillies Sliced Finely
1/4 Tspn Haldi/Turmeric
1 Tbspn Oil
Salt To Taste

Method
• Whisk yoghurt and milk and set aside
• Heat oil in a pan add sarso and jeera.
• Once the sarso starts to splutter throw in the onions and chillies.
• When the onions are lightly browned add haldi and curry leaves and stir for a second or two.
• Remove pan from heat, let it cool then pour tadka/tempering over the yoghurt and mix well.

This side dish is best served with pulaos.

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