Pichu Pati was a cooking wizard! She could efficiently cook a feast for a hundred people without any noise or fuss. She was a very slender and short lady and her deftness and speed was unimaginable. Whenever there was a feast at home, Pichu Pati was summoned for help. It never seemed as if she was hired help for the day, as she did her job with great devotion and love for our family. She had taught mother her trade secrets and had given her many of her hit recipes as well. One such recipe is making fluffy and marvelous Aval Dosai. Mother has been preparing this dosa ever since.
During one of our picnic outings to a nearby bird sanctuary (it was not buzzing with crowds, like it is in the present days) mother prepared hot aval dosais under the shade of the tall trees on the banks of the river. Though packing up the gas stove, the batter vessel, the tava and other knick-knacks was a wee bit of work, the experience of eating dosais, as we enjoyed the beauty of the gurgling river and the babbling of the fledglings in the bushes, is etched indelibly in our memories.
The photo below is of the aval dosai prepared by my mother during a recent visit.
Rice – 4 cups
Beaten rice – 1 cup
Sour curd – 1 cup
Salt – 1 ½ tsp
1. Soak rice and beaten rice for half an hour.
2. Grind them into a smooth batter adding sour curd in the end.
3. Mix in the salt and leave it in a warm place to ferment.
4. It takes at least 12 to 15 hours for the batter to rise.
5. When the batter is ready for use, heat a tava and rub it evenly with a drop of cooking oil. Using a halved onion to rub oil on the tava yields good results.
7. Once the tava is heated decrease the heat and pour one ladle of batter on it.
8. Help the batter to spread into a thick round dosa without applying too much pressure.
9. Dribble a little oil around the dosa and cover it with a lid.
10. Turning over is not necessary.
11. The dosa will look like a honeycomb with its numerous holes when cooked.
Enjoy with sambar or chutney or molaga podi or a vegetable korma. Kids love it drizzled with honey. Do not forget to top it with a fresh blob of butter.