Dosa batter is simple, but you just need to plan ahead since the dosa batter needs 12 hours to ferment. The sukha aloo, sauteed potatoes with onions, is even easier to put together and perfectly tasty on its own or with a side of rice.
- 1/4 cup dried, skinned and split black lentils (dhuli urad daal)
- 1 cup water, divided
- 3/4 cup plain white rice flour (not glutinous or sweet)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 fenugreek seeds
Pick through lentils and place in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let the lentils and fenugreek seeds soak for 5 hours at room temperature to soften them. Drain the soaking water and rinse the lentils 3 times by soaking in water and draining.
Process the lentils and seeds and 1/4 cup water in a blender until smooth and creamy. Mix together the blended lentils, rice flour, salt and remaining 3/4 cup of water in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and place the bowl an turned off oven. Let it sit undisturbed until the mixture ferments and rises to almost double its size, about 12 hours. Air bubbles will develop along with a slight sour smell. When ready to use, stir the batter (it will deflate in size). You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days to use later.
Stir the batter to deflate it and add a couple splashes of water if it is thick. It should be thick but still slightly runny so it is easy to spread around on a pan.
Heat a large non stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat and ladle 1/2 cup of the batter in the center. Using the back of the ladle spread the batter outwards in a circular motion. Do this quickly as the batter will cook very quickly. With a brush or spoon, lightly drizzle oil around the edges of the dosa and then a sprinkle over the center of the dosa.
The sides should begin to lift when the dosa is done (about 2 minutes). The top should be light and soft and the bottom lightly browned and crisp. Roll up and remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the batter. Enjoy these immediately!
If you’ve ever made pancakes you know that the first one is usually the tester as the heat of your pan has yet stabilized. Same goes with dosas. The dosa should be lightly crispy but slightly soft enough to bend without breaking (If it does, you are overcooking it.)
Sukha Aloo (Sauteed Potatoes with Onion):
- 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
- 2 dried chilies, torn
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1 fresh serrano chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise and then cut in half crosswise
- 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small handful of cilantro leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and toast the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and torn dried chilies until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Take care not to burn them. Then add the diced potatoes, onions, serrano pepper, turmeric and salt and mix.
Add a small splash of water, mix and cover with a lid and let it simmer until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes). Add cilantro leaves in and cook until wilted and serve with your dosas along with some coconut chutney!
(Recipes adapted from Entice With Spice: Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People)