Dosa or dosai originate from South India and are prepared there on a cast iron plate called tawa. However, they can also be fried in a large, coated pan, so special kitchenware is not necessary. Dosa are usually made from a fermented dough of rice and pulses, and we will present this classic version in another recipe. Today we have a variation with semolina, rava dosa. Unlike a fermented dough, it only takes a short time to prepare and the semolina makes these pancakes extra crispy.
Today we prepare Rava Masala Dosa, a typical breakfast dish in South India. The filling is a potato curry, aloo masala, which we explained here.
The dry ingredients for the dough, which are rice flour, wheat semolina and ordinary flour, are weighed out and mixed with cumin seeds, black pepper, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped fresh chilli (without seeds) and curry leaves as well as salt in a large mixing bowl.
Then water is added, and a very large amount of water indeed. At first, only half of it, so that you can stir the batter with a whisk until it is smooth without lumps. It is very important to follow this advice, because with the entire amount of water, the batter becomes so liquid that it is almost impossible to achieve this.
Even with half the water, the batter will seem far too runny. It is one of those doughs where you immediately think: this will never work. Adding the second half of the water will make more experienced cooks shudder – making pancakes out of this soup? Impossible.
But bear with us, everything will be fine. When all the ingredients are well mixed, let the batter soup stand for at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, that’s even better. The flour and semolina will now swell.
Heat a coated pan strongly over a high heat (for us: 8 out of 10). But do not add any fat or oil. Instead, sprinkle small pieces of chopped (red) onion into the pan.
Whenever batter is to be added to the pan, it must first be stirred thoroughly, because semolina in particular settles very quickly on the bottom. So you have to use a ladle to distribute the sediment well before scooping a ladle of batter from the bottom.
The very liquid batter is then spread into the pan in circles starting from the edge of the pan towards the centre. The layer should be very thin and is welcome to have small holes, this is completely normal. Do not try to fill all the holes with more batter, otherwise the dosa would become too thick.
A few small spoonfuls of neutral oil or melted ghee (clarified butter) are then spread over the dough.
This thin pancake must now cook for 5 – 6 minutes. After one minute, reduce the heat slightly (7 out of 10 for us). Don’t worry, this dough does not burn and also browns only slowly.
After 3 – 4 minutes, you can see that the first brown spots are forming around the small holes. This is a sign that it will not take very long now.
You can now carefully lift the pancake with a spatula and check the colour. When the underside starts to brown more, add about 3 tbsp of potato curry to the centre.
Now fold the patty over about a third of the way from one side….
…and then again from one of the other sides.
If you now also close the third side, you get this beautiful shape:
We are serving with some mango chutney and chopped stalks of fresh coriander.
Try this as a special breakfast on a weekend. Sensational.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (12 – 14 pieces for 4 people for breakfast):
155 g rice flour
90 g wheat semolina
30 g standard flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
Black pepper, coarsely ground (approx. 25 turns of a mill)
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 – 2 fresh chillies
1 tbsp curry leaves (fresh leaves chopped, dried crumbled)
1 ½ tsp salt
850 ml water
2 – 3 red onions
Neutral oil or ghee (clarified butter)