Velvet Dosai and Kaakaa Chutney

Velvet dosai, Kaakaa Chutney and its ingredients

Velvet dosai, Kaakaa Chutney and its ingredients

This is a trip down memory lanes..literally as my mother used to make the velvet Dosai and chutney and pack it up to be eaten at trilling canals and shady tamarind trees with fresh Nongu (Tadgole/palm fruit) as we meandered our way in cars to Sirgazhi, Nelpathur and Mayavaram.

Velvet dosai is what is popularly known as Kal dosai. The dosai is so soft that they resemble a velvet handkerchief that can be folded with layers of the chutney.


3 Cups                        Raw Rice
1 Cup                          Urad/Black Gram Dhal
½ Teaspoon              Methi/Fenugreek Seeds
1  ½ Teaspoon           Salt
½ Cup                        Sesame Oil


1. Heat a wok/kadai and sauté the rice until the rice is just warm but not roasted.

2. Switch off flame and immediately add methi/fenugreek seeds and water to cover the rice.

3. Let the rice soak for one hour in the same hot kadai.

4. When it has cooled down, drain the rice and fenugreek seeds and grind to a smooth paste adding fresh water.

5. Mix in salt, cover the vessel and set aside.

6. Soak and cover urad dhal in another vessel. Let the rice and dhal stand overnight.

8. Next morning blend the urad dhal until smooth and fluffy.

9. Blend the rice/methi batter separately and mix in the dhal batter thoroughly. This dosai batter should have dropping consistency.


The kal here refers to the heavy cast iron griddle that is still used in many households. I use a heavy bottomed non-stick saucepan that I can cover tight with a lid.

1. Heat a well oiled (sesame oil)  tava/Dosai Kal and reduce to a medium flame.

2. Pour a ladle of batter and spread into a thin round dosai/crepe.

3. You will see the batter bubbling and holes will appear on the dosai. Cover it with a lid.

4. Let the dosai cook in this steam for two minutes.

5. Remove the lid and wait for twenty seconds and then gently lift up the dosai with a broad spatula. The dosai need not be flipped and cooked on both sides.


This dosa is very similar to the kal dosai. It is made out of rice, unique to the region of Dakshin Kannada and Udipi District. The word ‘neer’ means water. The dish is named so as the batter is wattery. Serve with chutney or sambhar or for a change with jaggery mixed with grated coconut.

This dosai is actually made into a thick adai in Palghat Brahmin homes where it is called ‘Verum arisi adai”….or plain rice adai. The food value of this dish is greatly enhanced when drumstick leaves or murungai elai is added to it.


1 cup                         Raw rice
1 tablespoon           Grated coconut
½ teaspoon             Salt
Oil                            For greasing the tava/griddle


1. Wash and soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours.

2. Add water and grind with the grated coconut to make a very fine batter.

3. Set aside for about 30 minutes to an hour! Add more water if necessary to make a thin batter of pouring consistency.

4. Heat a heavy bottomed griddle or non-stick tava and sprinkle a little water on it. It should steam immediately. Wipe hard with a slice of onion or potato.

5. Grease the tava with a little oil and pour a ladleful of batter from six inches above the hot griddle and give the tava a twirl. This will let the batter spread thinly on the surface of the tava.  The dosa will have plenty of holes and be careful not to fill them in by spreading the batter with a spoon.

6. Cover and cook the dosa on one side only with its own steam. Do not brown the dosa and open the lid and flip the dosa twice to make a triangle shape.

7. Use up all the batter to make dosas and serve hot.

Kaakaa Chutney!!

Why this deadly chutney was called Kaaka Chutney is lost in the mists of time. Kak is a surname, kaaka in Tamizh means crow and kak means yoghurt in Konkani—and this chutney does tend to be dark in colour. It is a simple chutney to make from common ingredients in your larder.


2                         Long (2”) red chillies
1 teaspoon       Jeera/cumin seeds
1                         Onion
4 cloves            Garlic or asafoetida
1                       Tamarind–Ping pong ball sized ball
1 tablespoon    Gur/vellam/brown sugar
1 teaspoon        Sesame oil


1. In a saucepan or seasoning ladle, roast the red chilli in til/sesame oil to a dark brown. If using asafoetida roast this along with the chilli.

2. Quickly sauté the chopped onion and garlic pods with the chilli for just half a minute.

3. Switch off the flame and add the ball of tamarind.

4. Cool and blend with salt and gur/vellam into a chutney.

5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for a week.

Tasty Tip: You can make dosa sandwiches with this chutney. Spread the velvet dosai and brush with til/sesame oil and then apply chutney. Pile one dosai on top of another or make each one into a sandwiched dosai. Ideal for picnics, travelling and break boxes.  



About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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13 Responses to Velvet Dosai and Kaakaa Chutney

  1. Thank you for the recipe, it looks very tasty and it is lovely that it has fond memories for you.


  2. rummuser says:

    Brilliant. Am getting Bahurani to bend her back to this. Kaka is the affectionate term used to address Moplas of Malabar. This chutney comes from their cuisine. This was told to me by Moidu a classmate who was a blue blooded Kaka whose palace up in Malabar has seen me having some amazing Mopla food.


  3. Maxi says:

    This looks so delicious, Padmini. Most of all, glad to hear from you again.
    blessings ~ maxi


    • padmum says:

      Maxi…thanks. I have had problems with my laptop, phone etc. Ill health too kept me moribund. Will post some more. How are you doing? Hugs and you are in my prayers. Take care…you are special.


  4. Grannymar says:

    Welcome back to blogland! Velvet dosai looks like the crêpe, the very thin pancakes I make.,


    • padmum says:

      Yes Grannymar it is rice crepes. Rice is a staple grain in South India and it is an important ingredient in our cuisine. Most homes used to buy sacks of rice when it was harvested…twice or three times in a year. The previous harvests rice was usually used as it had aged and was more fulsome in quantity.


  5. Awesome ! You know I have been telling all these people here about Indian dosa and when they try it they like it too much.
    They call it Indian crepe .


  6. The Global Recipe Project is looking for great chutney recipes (we don’t have any chutneys, yet). I hope you will consider contributing a recipe – it’s for a good cause! 🙂


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