Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Instant foods, take away foods and a taste for world foods have pushed home made traditional dishes virtually to the back seat in modern days.The traditional Thavalai Dosai is one among the list of dishes which is not prepared very often. The present generation of youngsters crack jokes by punning the name 'Thavalai' and refer to the dish as Frog Dosai! Thavalai is the name of a traditional wide mouthed heavy vessel made of brass or bronze which was used in large scale cooking in olden days. The LAI in Thavalai Dosai is pronounced similar to the English word 'lie' meaning recline. Unfortunately there is no phonetic sound in English to pronounce the 'lai' in Thavalai which means Frog in Tamil thus giving rise to wisecracks!
Now coming to the recipe of the delicious and nutritious Thavalai Dosai -
Rice - 1 cup
Green gram dal/ split Moong dal - 1/3 cup
Split Pigeon peas/Tur dal - 1/3 cup
Bengal gram dal/Chana dal - 1/3 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Oil - for roasting and seasoning
TO MAKE THE BATTER
1.Wash and drain rice and spread it on a kitchen towel to dry.
2. Wash and soak Urad dal for an hour.
3. Pulse Tur dal, Chana dal and Moong dal together in a mixer till you get a coarse powder.It should resemble fine sand. Add cumin seeds in the final round so that they get crushed.
4. Pulse the drained and dried rice similarly into a coarse powder using the mixer.
5. Grind the soaked Urad dal into a smooth and fluffy batter adding water.
6.Thoroughly mix the coarsely powdered lentils and rice with the Urad dal batter adding salt.
Allow the batter to sit for six hours.
INGREDIENTS FOR SEASONING THE BATTER
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Broken red chillies - 4
Finely chopped green chillies - 4
Finely chopped fresh ginger - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - chopped
Coriander leaves - chopped
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
SEASONING THE BATTER
1. Heat oil and add mustard seeds when you are ready to prepare the dosais.
2.When the mustard seeds splutter add the broken red chillies followed by green chilies, ginger and asafoetida.
3. Pour the seasoning into the batter.
4. Add chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves and the coconut gratings to the batter and mix well.
5.The dry lentil powder will absorb lot of water while soaking. Hence the batter will become very thick. Add enough water and mix well to get a dosa batter consistency.
TO PREPARE THE THAVALAI DOSAI
1. Grease a heavy bottomed pan or a tava using sesame oil since tavalais are scarcely used in modern kitchens. Cut an onion into half and use the cut side to rub oil thoroughly on the surface of the pan.
2. Heat the greased pan and pour one ladle of the Thavalai Dosai batter in the center. Gently lift up the pan and swirl it so that the batter spreads out into a round dosai. Or you can gently spread it using the bottom of a ladle.
3. Dribble sesame oil liberally around the dosai and cover the pan with a lid.
4.Cook the Thavalai Dosai on medium flame for two or three minutes.
5. Remove lid and check if the top is cooked.
6. Gently loosen the golden edge using a spatula and remove the Thavlai Dosai on to a plate. The top of the flavoursome Thavali Dosai will be steam cooked and soft, while the bottom will be crisp and crunchy.
Grease the pan/ tava before making the next Thavalai Dosai.
Enjoy the flavoursome THAVALAI DOSAI with chutney and sambar.