Preparation / Directions:
These nutritious pancakes from the Tamil Nadu region are versatile and can be eaten for breakfast as a light lunch or for dinner. They may be eaten plain with coconut chutney, or folded over potatoes.
Soak the rice and urad dal in separate bowls of water for about 2 hours. The water should cover them by around 1 inch. Drain. Blend the urad dal with 6 fl oz water in an electric blender for 5 - 8 minutes until it is pale, smooth, light and airy. Empty the mixture into a large bowl. Put the rice and 6 tablespoons of water into the blender and blend until it turns into a fine granular paste. Add to the dal with the salt and mix gently. Cover and leave in a warm place like an airing cupboard to ferment for 24-26 hours. The batter should double in volume. Add 7 fl oz water fold in gently and leave in a warm place for a further 1 1/2 hours. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan and when hot, drop 4 fl oz of batter in the center of the pan. Put the rounded bottom of a soup spoon very lightly into the center of the batter and using a slow, gentle and continuous spiral motion, spread the batter outwards with the back of the spoon until you have a pancake around 7 inches in diameter. Dribble 1/2 teaspoon of oil over the pancake and another 1/2 teaspoon round the edges. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, or until the dosa has turned reddish brown. Turn over and cook uncovered for a further minute or until the second side develops reddish spots.
TIPS: Urad dal is a small pale yellow split pea. Buy it from Indian grocers or substitute the more familiar yellow split peas available in supermarkets.