If I could only eat one cuisine for the rest of my life it would without question be Indian. If I had to narrow it further it would be South Indian. And if I had to narrow it down to a dish, it would be a dosa. On holiday in either Tamil Nadu or Kerala I eat them every single day, and more often than not, twice per day. I don’t go to my local South Indian restaurant without ordering one and they’ve been my dinner on Christmas day for the last 2 years.
A dosa is made with fermented batter and is similar to a crepe or pancake. Naturally gluten free and usually vegan, they’re a delight. There are quite a few varieties of dosa but my first choice is usually masala dosa – filled with potatoes. I love the chutneys that usually come with dosa but my favourite accompaniment is the sambhar – a slightly sour spicy lentil sauce that can either be poured over the dosa or dipped in as you go. I also love rava dosa which is made with semolina and often has spices such as black pepper and chilli actually in the batter.
I have tried to make my own dosa in the past but haven’t had overwhelming success. There’s definitely an art to quickly spreading the batter thinly enough and quickly enough so that it doesn’t stick and doesn’t get too spongy. You will also definitely need a good pan. My local restaurant uses wallpaper scrapers to quickly spread the batter. I enjoyed the version in Vegan Brunch but to be honest because I’ve got such a good choice so close to where I live I’ve stopped trying to make my own. If I moved away I’d have to perfect it because I certainly couldn’t live without them. If you do want to try your own there are plenty of recipes around the internet. This recipe from Kittee looks the business, but you will need patience, a sense of humour, and preferably, a back up plan!