There are so many varieties of 'Dosai'or dosa as it is popularly known. Though 'Ghee Roast', 'Paper Roast' varieties appear in every South Indian Restaurant menu, the soft dosa or the 'Ilam Dosai' ( spelt as 'E'lam dosai) is a speciality dosa made in our homes. Ilam dosa is absolutely soft and can be folded like a handkerchief. These naturally fermented dosa is light on the stomach and can be had for breakfast or dinner . It is so delicious and can be served with your choice of chutney and sambar.
This dosa hardly needs any oil and when slow cooked is also snow white in colour. In case you are wondering about the light brown colour in my dosai, I had ground the batter two days ago, but as my kitchen is under renovation, I had to refrigerate the batter for 2 days, before I could make them. But the texture was simply fantastic, super soft !! Do make the dosa after the batter has freshly fermented and you can experience the authentic white colour Ilam dosa.
Recipe Courtesy : The Chettinad Cookbook by Meyyammai Murugappan and Visalakshi Ramaswamy
ILam Dosai | Soft Dosai Recipe :
Preparation time : 10-12 hours
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 2
1 cup = 250 ml cup
Special vessel/equipment : stone grinder or mixer , Iron tawa/griddle, spatula, ladle
For the batter:
2 cups raw rice ( I used sona masoori)
1/2 cup husked black gram/urad dal
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek /methi seeds
1 cup water
salt to taste
For greasing :
1 tablespoon sesame oil
To grind the batter:
Important note: Stone grinder is best for grinding the batter. However, you can use a mixie/mixer for smaller quantities . But make sure to beat the batter well to aerate them.
1. Wash the rice, urad dal and methi seeds and soak them together for 2-3 hours.
2. Grind them to a smooth batter using the soaked water.
3. Beat the batter using a ladle or hand and allow it to ferment for 8 hours or overnight.
4. The batter will rise up .
5. Mix salt and your batter is ready to be made into soft dosas.
To make the dosa:
1. Heat a tawa and spread 2-3 drops of oil uniformly using a ladle or half cut red onion.
2. When the tawa is just hot, pour a ladle full of batter in the centre of the tawa and spread the batter from the centre to the edges in a circular motion ( usually done anti-clock wise).
3. Cover and cook the dosa in low heat for a minute. ( no need to flip and cook)
4. Remove the dosa using the spatula.
5. Repeat the same process for the rest of the batter.
Your soft dosai is ready to be served with Milagai podi/Chutney powder , Thakkali chutney, Thakkali kurma, Tiffin Sambar or Coconut chutney.
Chef Tips :
1. The tawa should not be too hot or cold. If too hot, the batter will scramble and if cold, the dosa texture will not be good.
2. You can check the heat by sprinkling water on the tawa. If it sizzles , then the tawa is ready.
3. However, wipe the water using a clean kitchen towel before pouring the batter.
4. Always keep the gas on low flame while cooking this dosa.
5. Use a well seasoned tawa to make the dosa.
6. You can grind the batter by 9 or 10 a.m and allow it to ferment , if you are planning to make it for dinner.
7. If you are planning to make this dosa for breakfast, then grind the batter late evening and allow it to ferment overnight.
You can also try Neer Dosa, a speciality dosa recipe from Karnataka.
Happy Cooking !