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.
TO MAKE THE KAL DOSAIS
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.
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
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.