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Dosa

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69 replies to this topic

#1 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 08:57 AM

I have recently made trips to a Dosa spot that has been praised quite a lot around this site and elsewhere.
I was terribly dissapointed.

Dosas are one of my favorite foods. It is a pity that Indian restaurants in NYC have really not shared the magic that can come with each bite of a Dosa. Some friends of mine that have traveled to India and had loved Dosas even before making that trip, came back never wanting to eat American Indian Dosas again. There is such a marked difference.

Why is that so? What makes them so different?

Where do you find your favorite Dosa?

What are you looking for in a good Dosa?

What do you think the perfect Dosa should be like?

What should the Sambhaar have in it? What consistency should it be?

What should the chutney be like? What chutneys would you like to eat it with? What do you think are the authentic companions to a Dosa?

#2 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:03 AM

Below is link to a related thread..

Where to go for Dosa?

#3 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:04 AM

Another link

Dosa and Pongal

#4 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:06 AM

And then this one... (thanks Jason for the great pics :smile: )

Getting to know Indian food... (And Dosas)

#5 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:13 AM

And what a bad Dosa can do.....

Bad Dosas at Tamarind

I was told yesterday in confidence that the thread above was responsible for getting the South Indian Platter with Dosas and Idli removed from Tamarinds lunch menu. I will call the restaurant after 1 PM and check about this fact.

I was also told that the Idlis and the sambhaar were prepared at least a week in advance. And how I was correct in assuming that the Idlis were frozen and then microwaved. They most often only refrigerate them, but when they are getting too old to be left in the refrigerator, they were frozen. Hopefully now it is a non issue.

But this is one of the many reasons that I have found few if any good Dosas or Idlis in the US. There are certainly some good places serving good Dosas... but I have yet to find any that come even close to the quality and consistency one finds at Sagar and Woodlands and Dasaprakash in Delhi.

#6 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:14 AM

A good neighborhood place... not a destination.
When in the hood and craving a Dosa and too lazy to get to Hampton Chutney or Pongal... this should do...

Guru

#7 Suvir Saran

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Posted 09 September 2002 - 09:20 AM

My favorite Dosa in NYC... I wish the Chutneys were good.
When the Sambhaar is available, it too is the best I have eaten in the US...
But the Dosas are SUPERB!

Hampton Chutney

Well, even in the Hamptons, I find myself craving these Dosas... one would imagine I would be up for trying something new... but knowing that I can go to Hampton Chutney, I find myself quickly at their store front... and eating Dosa in the grass outside. So, for those that commute between NYC and the Hamptons, nothing is lost.... The best Dosas are available in both places. Hampton Chutney makes the best Dosas... the classic recipe is great. The others are wonderful.

The filling in the classic recipe is quite authentic. In fact more so than most South Indian restaurants today. The chefs simply do not care to make the filling authentic. The few I have spoken with blame it on their Bangladeshi crew and how they do not care to follow the exact recipe. I have always told the chefs its their name being maligned. I wish someday some of these great chefs will understand how the dishes carry their stamp.. and in the end, no matter who really cooked the dish, the chef carries the burden... good or bad.

#8 Suzanne F

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 12:22 PM

We used to love the dosas at Tiffin, but have not had them since the place became Spice Grill (Murray Street between Broadway and Church).

Any thoughts on Dosaria, on 6th or 7th? We're considering eating there before a Sunday matinee in the area -- my aunt keeps kosher, we're tired of Teresa's, and I refuse to go back to Miracle Grill.

#9 anil

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 12:58 PM

......-- my aunt keeps kosher, we're tired of Teresa's, and I refuse to go back to Miracle Grill.

I gather Pongal,Dimple and one other restaurant in Lexington Ave. area
are kosher places that serve dosas. Take your pick.

anil
anil

#10 Suzanne F

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 03:13 PM

I can certainly try those other places myself, but the whole idea is that I need someplace a few minutes' walk from St. Marks Place. That's why I specifically asked about Dosaria.

#11 Suvir Saran

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 12:22 PM

What do you do to prepare a perfect Dosa at home?

Or, is it something you eat at a restaurant?

How long do you let the batter rise?

What secrets can you share?

What proportions do you use for the rice and Urad Dal.

Do you add anything else into the batter?

#12 anil

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 08:29 PM

I had when I was young, friends who were from nearly all places in South India; every household had a different way of making dosas -- Fast-forward 25 yrs -- Two weeks ago, I had crabs/with - neru (sp?) dosa -- This was the first time experience ......

Never too late to find something different about the land :wink:
anil

#13 prasad2

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 09:21 PM

Anil
I think what you had was Kallu Dosa. Kallu is typically used for fermenting and it also contains alcohol.

Depending on the combination of dal and rice, in addition to that you can add a little Methi(Fenugreek), Chana Dal and some Sugar for you to get the color.
P2

Suvir
I usually can have one Dosa in a restaurant and probably 4 to 5 at home, with some coconut- lentil chutney, some sambhar and sometimes believe it or not, the left over chicken curry gravy from last night.

P2

#14 prasad2

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 09:50 PM

Sorry, I got thrown out of email, reference "a fatal error''

I like the combo og 2 1/2 dal to 1 Rice.

In winters, I usually leave it in the oven, under the stove I am cooking regular food for couple of hours and let it sit out side at least a day. Then add salt. Always salt after the fermentation.
P2

#15 Suvir Saran

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 10:34 PM

Prasad, what a treat it is to have you with us on eGullet.
You are so generous. Thanks!

#16 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 12:55 PM

Thanks to my days in Denver and the posts on this thread, I was able to get encouragement from my Sister to get a Dosa making lesson from her.
The batter she makes is excellent. Really, I have hardly eaten any Dosas that are so tasty.

She was preparing the Dosas using a ladle. Hers brought back memories of lunches and dinners I had enjoyed in the homes of Southern Indian friends. The Dosas were not the same as the ones served at restaurants, but delicious and addictive.

My mother offered to show us how to make thin, big and crispy ones. My brother wanted the restaurant style ones. I was game to get the lesson. Hers came out amazingly better than any one could find in a restaurant. They were not greasy at all, and yet crisp and thin. She used a glass pudding bowl to pour the batter and spread it on the griddle. I am now becoming an expert in this style, and my Dosas are gaining huge popularity in the family and also with friends that have had them. I have realized how easy Dosas really are to make, my initial fear of them is gone.

All you need is a puddling bowl and a good non stick griddle. If it is large, you will be able to prepare large Dosas. We bought ours at a Target in Denver. It cost around $25. My mom will take one back with her to India, and I shall take one back with me to NYC.

Dosas are delicious and now I know they are also easy to make at home, and you can have them be either the more homey kind, or have them be just as crisp and thin and large as restaurant style ones, it is all your call.

Thanks all for the posts on these threads, I am now not afraid of making Dosas. IN fact, I now want to make them for every meal.

#17 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 12 April 2003 - 01:02 PM

I can't make them. I just can't. However much i try

But, what is the favourite thing to stuff them with?

I don't eat potato so have made a stuffing of shrimp and cabbage or eggplant. Both work very well

S

#18 indiagirl

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 12:06 AM

Simon, I still find dosas a challenge, too. Although from repeated attempts I have found that the "stickiness" of the batter is a key element. The times I am most successful, and these have now been numerous enough to be statistically significant :unsure: , I have used rice flour instead of rice. Rava dosas, I think, are even easier to make.

The golden ratio, per my revered ma-in-law, is four is to one. Four cups of rice flour, made into a smooth paste, with say, 6-7 cups of water. Soak a cup of urad dal for a couple of hours (minimum) and grind to a paste using 1-2 cups of water. Add to rice paste along with 3 teaspoons of salt. Ferment overnight. Voila!

I make a chutney of peanuts, onions, coconut, green chillies and tamarind as company for a dosa. Really dry dal (parupu) also does the trick for me. As does a traditional coconut green chutney. I'm not as much into the potatoes as an accompaniment, although I do enjoy a bite now and then. I prefer sambars, chutneys and gunpowder.

#19 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 12:23 AM

I have been using 3 cups of rice and 1 of Urad Dal.
Have had amazing results.
I soak the lentils and rice together for at least 8 hours. Even 12 or more.
Then I grind them into a sily smooth consistency, using as little water as possible.
Soak overnight, at least 16 hours actually and then make the dosas.

I use similar accompaniments as Indiagirl. Sambhaar and chutneys are my favorite.

#20 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 12:52 AM

Coconut and shrimp stir fry works well with Dosas.

#21 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 03:40 AM

Suvir - You know how much I enjoy a good dosa. But how the hell do you roll it out on a griddle at home? Where do you get a griddle that large? I can see making a Utttapan (sp?) in a large frying pan. But the diameter of a dosa must be at least 18"-24". How do you do it?

#22 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 09:08 AM

Suvir - You know how much I enjoy a good dosa. But how the hell do you roll it out on a griddle at home? Where do you get a griddle that large? I can see making a Utttapan (sp?) in a large frying pan. But the diameter of a dosa must be at least 18"-24". How do you do it?

Steven you go to Target or any such store.
You buy a large skillet or griddle (16-20 inches) or smaller if you cannot find them.
You start preparing the batter days before you want to eat Dosas.
If you do not have a large skillet, you make small dosas as are the tradition in the homes anyways.
Not that difficult really.
And amazingly tasty..
Once you have mastered the art, you will have Dosas at home that can be as thin and crisp if not more, and most often without as much grease.
In fact, the only difference is that the Dosas made without ghee or butter or oil, as would be the case in restaurants, can be thin and crisp, but would be of a paler color.
You can add copious sums of fat and you can have that rich color if you so choose.
I tend not to want the fat if it only changes the color.

#23 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 09:14 AM

Hmmm, good idea. I'd love to make dosas. Any non-wheat bread that is easy to make is great for me. Sometimes we try to make socca but it never comes out right. You really need a pizza oven in order to burn the bottom. What would happen if you poured dosa batter into a shallow pan and the batter was say, a half inch to an inch deep. Would it cook like flapjacks? What consistancy would it be in the middle?

#24 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 10:09 AM

Hmmm, good idea. I'd love to make dosas. Any non-wheat bread that is easy to make is great for me. Sometimes we try to make socca but it never comes out right. You really need a pizza oven in order to burn the bottom. What would happen if you poured dosa batter into a shallow pan and the batter was say, a half inch to an inch deep. Would it cook like flapjacks? What consistancy would it be in the middle?

It may not be fine enough for your taste Steven if you were to do that.

I think you had, forgive me if I remember wrongly, made fun of Ethiopian food.

The result would be similar to the Ethiopian injira, maybe thicker.
If you have had Uthappam, it should be like that. Not quite as moist as an injera, but similar.

#25 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 03:28 PM

I think you had, forgive me if I remember wrongly, made fun of Ethiopian food


Sorry you have the wrong user here. I've never even had Ethiopian food. But are you saying that Injara is the same batter as dosa batter? And let's free-style a little. What do you think would happen if I used dosa batter in my George Forman wafflemaker?

Hey, maybe I just created a new food line. Savoury waffles for breakfast made out of dosa batter. Dust them with a sweet curry powder and serve with cumin-fenageek breakfast sausage.

#26 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 03:52 PM

Do you want to try this out and tell us what happens Steve?
Maybe you can even take pictures to share with us.

I am sorry about mixing you with another user. :sad:

Injiras are similar in texture to a thick dosa and a thin uthappan. In fact they are closer to what an appam is.

#27 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 04:12 PM

This summer after my kitchen renovation is done I will try it. I'm going to ask Gary at Hampton Chutney how to make the batter. Or even better, maybe I can get him to sell me a few quarts of batter to test out. Today dosas, tomorrow waffles, and then the world.

#28 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 04:30 PM

This summer after my kitchen renovation is done I will try it. I'm going to ask Gary at Hampton Chutney how to make the batter. Or even better, maybe I can get him to sell me a few quarts of batter to test out. Today dosas, tomorrow waffles, and then the world.

Great for you Steven.
Maybe you can ask Gary if he can get you some batter from the city.
Much better, and while he is doing that, he can even ask the chef to give you a lesson, in fact Gary and the staff at the Hamptons could learn from the chef in the city. She is the best Dosa maker in NYC.

And do let us know what happens with the waffle maker - dosa batter experiment.

#29 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 04:37 PM

This summer after my kitchen renovation is done I will try it. I'm going to ask Gary at Hampton Chutney how to make the batter. Or even better, maybe I can get him to sell me a few quarts of batter to test out. Today dosas, tomorrow waffles, and then the world.

Great for you Steven.
Maybe you can ask Gary if he can get you some batter from the city.
Much better, and while he is doing that, he can even ask the chef to give you a lesson, in fact Gary and the staff at the Hamptons could learn from the chef in the city. She is the best Dosa maker in NYC.

And do let us know what happens with the waffle maker - dosa batter experiment.

#30 Suvir Saran

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Posted 13 April 2003 - 04:46 PM

I have used ghee when I have made Dosas and someone was coming over and I wanted to impress them with crisp, thin and nicely tanned dosas. What kind of cooking medium do the rest of you all use?

I have helped a cousin in NYC make Dosas for many years now. And she always uses butter. Her dosas have always been superb as well.





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