I still remember those olden days where my mom used to prepare the batter using Stone mortar (Rubbu roolu). Due to the heavy work involved in the preparation of dosa, and the size of the family (3 of our paternal uncles (babais) used to live with us) we used to get the feast once in a month only. Thanks for the technology and the evolution of many kitchen gadgets which makes women's life happy.
Bottom line – No matter how good the technology is, the taste of the batter prepared using the latest mixer grinders is no where close to the one prepared using old style Stone mortar.
Coming back from nostalgia, lets peep into the preparation of spicy masala dosa. To accomplish this you need to have Erra karam (Onion chutney), Aalu koora (Potato curry), pappula podi (Roasted channa dal powder)
For Dosa Batter
1 Cup – Urad dal
4 cups – Rice
Fistfull of cooked rice (Though optional, helps in quick fermentation)
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp (gives dosa rich gold colour)
Soak all the above for about 6 hours and grind into smooth paste. Ferment it for 8 – 12 hours.
What I normally do is I will soak every thing first thing in the morning before I rush to work. When I come back I will grind it and leave it for fermentation until next day morning. You can refrigerate the batter once it is fermented. Do not leave outside for long if you are living in hot countries like India or even during summer in cooler places like US, UK.
For Chickpea powder
Roasted chickpea - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Grind roasted channa with cumin seeds and salt into reasonably fine powder and keep it ready for masala dosa.
For Erra karam (Onion chutney)
Onion and Red Chilli
Onions Medium – 2 ( I prefer Indian Onion as this tastes better)
Dry Red Chillies 4– 5 (As per your taste) – You can also substitute this with chilli powder, obviously the taste differs.
Tamarind paste – ¼ tsp or Tamarind 1 inch (Optional, but this will help to reduce the raw flavour)
Grind all the ingredients coarsely. To achieve this you need to switch the power on for less than a minute. Turn off, stirr the contents and start again. Need to repeat this until you get it done coarsely.
For Potato curry
Potatoes Medium – 4 -5
Onion Medium – 2 Cut length wise
Green chilli – 4-5 grind into paste
Tomato – 1 chopped
Oil – 3 tbsp
For tampering - Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, channa dal, Curry leaves, turmeric.
Boiled and mashed potato, onion, tomato, chillies
Method: Boil the potatoes, peel and roughly mash into small chunks and keep it aside
Heat a pan with oil. When the oil is hot, fry chana dal along with mustard, cumin and curry leaves. Then add onion, Chilli paste and salt and sauté until the onion looks tender. Add the chopped tomato and fry until the tomato becomes mushy. Finally add turmeric and mashed potato and sprinkle bit of water and cover with lid for 2 minutes. Stir once again and remove from the fire.
Ready to go for masala dosa
To prepare dosa, take full laddle of batter and spread it in circular motion over the hot pan. Drizzle some oil.When it is done flip into otherside and cook for 1 minute. Flip the dosa back and apply errakarm, sprinkle some chickpea powder and drizzle ghee (Clarified butter). Now place the potato masala in the centre and wrap the dosa.