Sunday, March 24, 2013

Watery Wonder

Recipe: Neer Dosa

When I saw neer dosa for the first time, it was in my office cafeteria. I felt it looked like appam's distant cousin and was expecting a similar taste. I'm not a big fan of appam but since I pride myself in trying out new and different kinds of food, I had to try this too...

When I tasted it, I loved it. It was refreshingly unfermented (unlike appam, regular dosa, etc) and had a delicate and soft texture.



So now I had to get the recipe and I asked my Kannadiga friend, Chaithra, about it. She said it was very simple to make. And she was right. So few ingredients.... but it does take some technique to get those neer dosas to melt-in-the-mouth perfection.

A little bit of experimentation, research and some thick rubbery ones later, I finally got it right.

NEER DOSA
Recipe and Technique Sources: My friend Chaithra and from Tongue Ticklers

Ingredients:
Raw rice (sona masuri or any other long grain rice) - 2 cups
Fresh , grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Water - 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups
Salt to taste

Soak the raw rice in water for at least 4-5 hours. 

Grind the raw rice along with the grated coconut to a nice uniform and smooth paste. Caution: Don't pour all the water at once lest you end up with a batter explosion from the mixie and spend hours cleaning up the splatterings in all unimaginable corners of the kitchen!( I went through it ...). 

Just use about 1/2 cup of water to grind the rice and coconut and then add the remaining water and mix with a ladle until the batter is the consistency of water! (yes,you need a very watery batter for this! Hence the name..)

If you have a well-seasoned iron griddle, then that is best. Else, just use a non-stick pan, like I did.

Heat the pan over the flame and brush the insides with a tissue dipped in a few drops of oil. By the way, this cooks really well and fast on my induction stove in the roti/dosa setting :)

Pour a ladle-ful of batter into the hot pan. If it doesn't sizzle, the pan isn't hot enough or the batter just too thick. And keep shaking and tilting the pan at the same time so that the batter flows into a thin, lacy  dosa. If there are big gaps, pour some more batter while tilting and shaking the pan.

Cover the pan so that the dosa cooks in the steam. Do not turn the dosa and just cook on one side. 

Once cooked, to take the dosa out of the pan, fold it in half, then fold in half again and then take it out and place in a sieve or a plate with holes or just serve immediately like I did :) Do not keep the prepared neer dosa one on top of the other or in a covered dish.

Neer dosa goes very well with Kerala style dishes which has generous amounts of coconut milk in them... It also goes superbly well with Kerala style beef roast too. It can also be served with coconut chutney. We had ours with egg-curry which had generous drizzles of coconut milk which made the gravy mellow and creamy. 

This would make a lovely Easter breakfast with a non-veg side :) Move over appam, neer dosa is here to stay... at least in my menu....

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