Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Masaale Dosay

mmmmmm.............Masaale Dosay. For Chunni Baabu of Devdaas, it was 'da' se dost, 'da' se
duniya, 'da' se dard etc., but for my hubby dear, it was, is and forever will be 'da' se
Dosay :-) . Come Sunday morning and he is all set to annihilate the crispy ones with no ado.
I call him to his plate only after at least 3 Dosays are in place, or I will not be able to
match his devouvering speed. He used to get Dosays in his lunch box, to office. I always
thought he brought so many just to share with everyone. This belief of mine was undone when
I made Dosay the first time after my wedding. I literally had to pry him out of the chair
using the Dosay 'setka'(the flat spatula used to lift dosays off the pan). I knew then that
all the dosays in his dabba were just for him. His expectation, the relish and the
satisfaction are all worth the trouble(??? is it any???). After his morning dose of Dosay I
can be sure to have all my wishes granted, just that he would be too sleepy to listen to any
of them.

His love for this delicacy is soooo strong, he has passed on the genes to my 3 yr old son,
whose every mealtime starts with the question, "ivattu yenu tindi?" or "ivattu yenu oota?"
(what's for breakfast/lunch/dinner today?). When i tell him its dosay, he goes "Yay
yippeee.....Dosay.... hoooray!! and i know for sure that it is gonna be one hasselfree
morning. He somehow becomes this well mannered boy who can eat by himself, who does not
spill while eating, who eats without having to be told 100 times!!!! Really, miracles do
happen around the Dosay. He loves to sit on the counter top and watch me make the dosay. He
loves the sizzle as the batter makes contact with the hot pan, and I just like to watch him
like that.... eyes wide with astonishment, giggles and squeals of excitement, my day would
be done! It is also a great way of pumping in all different vegetables into my son's
system. The leftover batter magically transforms into "Palak Paneer Dosay", "Carrot Dosay",
"Cabbage Dosay", "Sabbasge(dill) Dosay", "Tomato-Onion Uttappa" .... the options are

I remember the grinding stone back at my grandparents place, Shankaranarayana a village in
South Kanara. It was made of this huge block of stone, with a big depression in the centre for grinding. My mom had told me this incident where my cousin(when he was....abut 2 yrs old) went missing and they searched for him in all possible places, only to find him sleeping in the grinidng stone, happily sucking on his fingers!!!! My grandma would make atleast 6 to 8
gallons of dosay batter for a single day's breakfast as there would be atleast 20 stomachs
to be filled. Who now, has that kind of vessels even??? Catering buisnesses, I guess :-))

As for me, I love dosay too... but not to the extent of either my son or hubby. It brings to
me the mouthwatering memories of visits to either Meenakshi Bhavan hotel or City Club
canteen of my hometown Shimoga, where my uncle would take us on Sunday mornings for
breakfast. I think it would be very unjust of me to not mention the 'Benne Masale' dosays of Davanagere. I had the honor of tasting them while visiting my Sister-in-law who stayed there. I doubt anyone would eat it once and not be enthralled by its rich buttery taste. No mortal(I am not mentioning Gods here, cos I doubt they have the pleasurable access to Dosays) can escape its EORF(Eat Once Remember Forver) taste. After moving to Bangalore, it was the dosay camps of Shivananda Circle,
Jayanagar, Basavanagudi or the dosay at Janatha Hotel, Malleshwaram complete with 'wedding-lunch' style seating and music. The list goes on and on, each one as yummy as can be and introduced to me by my ever (dosay) loving husband.

Well, all you dosay lovers out there.... Indulge!!!

Here's my recipe for Masaale Dosay......

Ingredients and Method :
For the Batter :

Idly Rice - 4 cups
Urad Dal (Use whole dal, if available) - 3/4 cup
Chana Dal and Methi Seeds combined - 1/4 cup
(so, in effect, urad dal, chana dal and methi seeds together make up 1 cup)

Soak the rice and dals+methi seeds separately for at least 5 hours.
Grind into a fine paste. Keep the consistency to a little thinner than that of store bought condensed milk.
Keep covered in a warm place and allow it to ferment. I heat the oven, until it is just warm enough, and switch it off, and place the batter in it, overnight. By morning you will have good fermented batter.
Add a little salt and sugar and beat well.

For the Potato filling :

3 Medium Potatoes, boiled peeled and mashed
1 Big Onion, sliced into thick 1 inch long slices
3 green chillies slit lengthwise and then halved
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tablespoons
Salt to Taste
Lime juce to Taste
Coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds and let it sputter.
Add the Chana dal and fry until lightly toasted. This should take about 3 seconds.
Then add the curry leaves and the green chillies. Fry for a minute.
Add the onions and fry until just translucent.
Then add the turmeric power, mashed potatoes and salt. Mix well.
Dont let it get too dry. Add 3-4 teaspoons of water to keep it moist. Turn off the heat.
Finally add the lime juice and Coriander leaves and mix well.

For the Coconut Chutney :

Grated coconut - 2 cups
Green Chillies - 4
Coriander leaves - 8 to 10 sprig
Split roasted chana dal - 3 teaspoons
Tamarind - the size of a small marble
Jaggery - the size of a small marble
Salt - to taste

Put everything in a blender and grind to a fine paste.

For the Red Garlic Chutney :

Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Garlic pods - 3
Red Chillies - 4 to 5
Tamarind - the size of a small marble
Salt - to taste

Put everything in a blender and grind to a fine paste.

To make the Dosay:

Heat the pan to a medium. It should not be smoking hot, cos then the batter will get
cooked as soon as it hits the pan and you will not be able to spread it. It should neither
be on low heat cos then the dosay will take a long time to cook and will not be crispy and end up being rubbery. Keep adjusting the heat. I usually do the following:-

1. Heat the pan.
2. Pour a ladlefull of batter in the centre and spread outward forming a concentric
pattern of thin and thick batter areas.
3. Add a teaspoon of oil and let it cook, about 3 minutes or so.
4. When done, reduce the heat to low, and turn over the dosay and let it cook on the
other side (you can say it is done when the sizzling sound dies off, or when the dosay
starts to come off the pan at the edges, you can see the nice coloring too...). Fold in half
and take off the pan. That would make plain dosay.

If you dont want plain dosay, then, follow instructions from 1 to 3. Continue cooking for a little longer. Smear the red garlic chutney. Place a dollop of the potato filling in the centre. Fold the two opposite sides to converge at the centre, and take off the pan.
5. Now increase the heat again and repeat the process 1 to 4.
6. Serve hot with Coconut chutney.

:-) Majaa maaDi.....

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