Dosa/Dosai is a famous south Indian crepe which is popular all over India. Yes every South Indian has grown up eating with dosa. I love it as my mom used to make it every day. It is basically made with rice and hulled spilt black gram which is soaked overnight and next morning grind it into a fine paste and allowed to ferment for 8 hours. I am making dosa nowadays not as breakfast but as dinner most of the time.
Dosa is one of the ancient crepes, which is mentioned in Sixth century AD Tamil Sangam literature; however its modern counterpart Idly comes in around the 10th century AD and is mentioned in the book The Illustrated Foods of India A–Z 1st Edition by Dr. K.T. Achaya. It is considered that dosa originated in the Udipi region of Karnataka. If one dish can survive this long and also able to sustain its majesty even during the MacDonald’s fast food era, then it is great by itself.
I have personal reason to love this dosa not only as this is one dish I have grown up with it, but also a story attached to it. When I was young girl or maybe even a toddler; I would not eat most of the food and was a picky eater. My grandma (dad’s mom) used to make crispy dosa for me and would try to feed me pointing to cats and birds outside the home. I was so found of eating dosa, when I started talking I called her Tochammai ( dosai ammai, means mom who gives me dosa). I called her like that till her death. When I grew up my aunts and uncle told me why you are calling her Tochammai, call her grandma. I asked her Tochaammai nan unnai appadi koopadama, ennku onneai vera perili koopdiamudi yathu. (I call you tochammai, I don’t think I can call you by any other name). She told me unnakku enna pidikumo athu koopidu, nan unnayudae tochammaithan epppovum. She told me you can call me by that name; I will be your tochammai always. Now she is not with me, but still I fondly remember her every time I make dosa. She was a great cook I ever met, and she never asked me to learn cooking; she told you can learn it when you want to. Now you study, and I just did that. I still remember her staying awake with me while I was studying for exams, and she makes black coffee for me to stay awake.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, dosa is only thing I loved to eat, but I have to stop that in the middle of pregnancy, when I had gestational diabetics. Yes even If I took one or two dosa it was fine, if I went ahead and ate one more, my blood sugar started shooting up. Now my two kids love dosa a lot, if dosa is for dinner they will be happy to eat with little ketchup.
Dosa making is a family affair now. Every Friday I soak both rice and lentil in the morning, and in the evening, and my hubby would grind both rice and lentils in grinder and keep it in a plastic container, and after fermentation I will keep them in refrigerator. My ratio of making good dosa is, 2 cup of raw rice, 1 cup boiled rice and 1 cup of hulled spilt blackgram (urad dal). I do not add any fenugreek seeds. I like to grind the rice and lentils separately and then mix them. Also I won’t add salt before fermentation. I will add salt only when it is ready for making.
I have seen recipes adding, flattened rice flakes (poha), or cooked rice to dosa batter while grinding. I follow my grandma’s recipe without any add-ons. Also I like to eat dosa, while it is warm. Best way of eating dosa will be taking from the skillet to plate. It goes well with coconut chutney, idly milagai podi, sambar or even potato masala.
In my home state there is one store called Pai Dosa which makes 36 varieties of dosa, by adding egg, vegetables, idly milagai podi etc. If you ask me which I love, I will say plain dosa without any add-on’s or masala dosa with spicy onion and potato filling.
During our honeymoon trip in Mumbai, near Aurangabad, we had a funny episode, both husband and wife never had paper dosa in our life time. So in the menu when we saw it, we both ordered. Actually we ordered two. But the server told us, he will bring one and if you guys finish you can order the next one. We are happy and once paper dosa served both hubby and wife eyes were out, it is really huge, extending from one end of the table to other end. But we did enjoy most of the dosa, and thanked the nice server for not bringing the second one.
If you want a gluten free crepe/ pancake, which is delicious give it a try, or even look for a chance to eat, as it is one of 50 best food of the world, so don’t miss it in your life time.
Other type of dosa are