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Dosa with Jose

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Side Dish
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    In America it’s called a pancake, in France a crêpe, in Spain a tortilla, and in India it’s a dosa. Dosa are made not with wheat flour but a mixture of ground rice and urad dal. Though usually considered a lentil, urad dal is actually the hulled and split seed of the black gram bean. Dosa are flavored with fenugreek, also known as methi. Like urad dal, fenugreek is a bean, but because of its pungent aroma and bitter taste, it is used as a spice. A dosa does bear a family resemblence to its Western cousins, but it tends to be much larger—usually sixteen inches in diameter—which makes this a good dish for sharing.

    Like crêpes and tortillas, dosa are used as shells for various fillings such as a spiced mixture of grean peas and potatoes. The pancake is folded around the filling to create a long rectangle or a squat triangle called masala dosa. Jose Pulloppilly of Bombay Bar & Grill in Westport, Connecticut, prefers to make his dosa into rectangles.

    Martha’s favorite local Indian restaurant, Bombay Bar & Grill, is just one of a small group of restaurants owned by the Asiana Group. The group’s other restaurants include Jaipore Royal Indian Cuisine in Brewster, New York (the Zagat Restaurant Survey’s highest-rated Indian restaurant in southern New York State), the Jaipur Cafe in Norwood, Massachusetts, and the newly opened Chola, in New York City.

    These restaurants serve the cuisines of both northern and southern India. Northern Moghul cuisine emphasizes rich meat dishes and sauces, grilled meats, and breads cooked tandoor-style, which is well-known in the United States. Less well-known but equally as delicious, southern Indian cuisine includes many vegetarian and seafood dishes that tend to be lighter and spicier than their northern counterparts.

    MASALA DOSA
    Serves 6

    2 cups long-grain white or jasmine rice
    1 cup urad dal
    1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
    3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    Potato-and-Pea Filling, heated (recipe follows)

    1. Soak rice, urad dal, and fenugreek in water to cover for 3 hours. Rinse under running water and drain. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and grind to a smooth yet thick batter. Set batter aside, and let ferment overnight at room temperature.

    2. Add salt and a little water, if necessary, to thin batter. Heat griddle to 350 degrees. Sprinkle hot griddle with water and a teaspoon of oil. Wipe clean with a cloth. Drizzle a little oil on the griddle. Spread evenly over the surface of the griddle, removing any excess with a bench scraper. Using a 1-cup measuring cup or ladle, measure 3/4 cup batter, and pour onto grill. Spread batter out into a 16-inch oval using the bottom of the measuring cup. Using a scraper, remove any excess batter from the top of the dosa. Cook until the surface bubbles and the bottom is golden brown (1 to 1 1/2 minutes). Place filling crosswise in center of dosa. Fold dosa in thirds to enclose filling.



    POTATO-AND-PEA FILLING
    Serves 6

    2 pounds Idaho potatoes
    Coarse salt
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
    1 tablespoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
    2 tablespoons roughly chopped cashew nuts
    1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    1 sprig fresh curry leaves
    1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
    Pinch of chile powder
    Pinch of turmeric
    Pinch of ground coriander
    1/3 cup peas, cooked
    1/4 cup of chopped coriander

    1. In a large saucepan, place potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until fork tender. Drain, peel, and cut potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces.

    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, cashews, ginger, garlic, onions and curry leaves. Sauté until onions are soft (3 to 4 minutes). Add curry powder, chile powder, turmeric, and ground corriander. Cook for 1 minute. Add peas and potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons water, and cook until heated through. Season with salt, and add chopped coriander. Use as a filling for dosa.


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