I cannot make pancakes. I can't. I think it might have something to do with not knowing how hot the pan should be, or not keeping the heat consistent enough. I'm not sure. I just know I can't make them.
I don't claim to be spectacularly good at cooking anything. The whole point of this blog is recipes that are so easy they're impossible even for me to mess up. And I can mess up anything that resembles a pancake, so maybe shouldn't be posting any of those.
Yet I also feel sure there must be a lot of people who can make this delicious, simple, ancient, protein-packed dish. And I enjoyed eating even the wrecks that I produced. So I'm going to post this.
You might ask why I'm using my own recipe instead of linking to one by someone who actually makes these successfully. Mine is basically the same, but simplified. The batter tastes great. I've followed enough pancake and pancake-like recipes written by experts to the letter, and fouled them up anyway, that I'm pretty sure it's not my batter's fault that my dosas don't come out right. It's something about me. Since I won't be there in your kitchen, jinxing everything, I think you'll be okay. Feel free to leave negative comments if that's not the case. Or follow this very nice recipe, from which mine is only slightly adapted.
So: Dosas are are sort of South Indian crepe made from rice and lentils that have been fermented and ground up. So, protein. The fermenting takes a while, but at its easiest it just means leaving them for some hours in a bowl with a plate over the top, so it's not a big deal. Then you cook the dosas in a hot pan, and that only takes a few minutes. You can have them with any kind of chutney; I'm including a recipe for an easy one made of tomatoes and onions. You could also just buy chutney at the grocery store.
1 cup raw brown rice
1 cup raw lentils, any kind
pinch of turmeric
1 or 2 t chopped fresh ginger
salt and pepper to taste
Put the rice and lentils into a bowl with six cups of water, put a plate on top, and leave sitting out for four hours or, even better, overnight.
Strain them over a bowl, reserving the water. Put them in your blender with the turmeric, ginger and salt and pepper. Blend, adding enough water to make a thin batter, like crepe batter. It should be kind of a buttermilk consistency, or even thinner. You can start buttermilky, then experiment with thinning until you get the thickness you like when you cook them. You don't want big chunks in the batter, but it's okay if there's a little graininess; it shouldn't be perfectly smooth.
Heat a pan, slightly oiled, as you would for crepes or pancakes, and pour in dosa batter. Cook a few minutes on each side. They should ideally come out round, very thin, and crispy around the edges, not lumpy, weird, half-cooked and irregular like all of mine.
Fresh Tomato Chutney
Here's a very simple fresh tomato chutney from the BBC that will go nicely with your dosas.
|Piet Mondrian, Wood with Beech Trees, c. 1899|