The Vegan Friendly Masala Dosa Making Class with The Naan-Americans Home Kitchen

Dosa is a popular Indian breakfast dish. Indigenous to the southern part of India, this crispy rice and lentil crepe has now gained popularity and is widespread across the world.

 The dosa and its manifestations can now be seen in many Indian restaurants across the globe as well as food trucks and street food festivals in popular cities like New York, London, Boston and more.

 The classic representation of a Masala dosa would be the large perfect round shaped crepe, crisp and golden in the bottom and a white soft mesh-like texture on the top. This now is generously smeared with the red garlic chutney and filled with the classic Onion-Potato filling and served with either sambar or coconut chutney or both on the side.

 Despite its popularity and it’s ubiquitous nature, the Dosa making is still an art. One needs to know the tips and tricks to get that perfectly thin, round, golden, soft, crispy dosa. As easy as it may seem, the spicy potato filling needs some tweaks and tricks, love and care,  to make it juicy and delicious and not dry and bland.

The cooking classes and culinary events with The Naan-Americans will help you with just that. Our goal is to show and teach our guests the small nuances, the tips and tricks, the hidden idea behind a recipe so that our guests can go back home and recreate the dish with confidence and ease.

 

 

Our latest Masala dosa making class was one such beautiful experience. Our guest Erica is a lover of Indian food. She frequently dines at Indian restaurants and has even tried to cook some Indian dishes at home. She mentions that she probably has the largest Indian spice collection in her kitchen. Her only concern would be that since she is Vegan she always needs to make sure the restaurants don’t serve her dishes that are cream based or even throw in a dollop of butter on top of her Rotis or Naan.

This was her first Masala dosa making class. She was excited because everything in here was Vegan. There was no room for error. The class met all her requirements. No dairy, No meat. Just perfect. She had a vegetarian host-instructor for the night who is from the Southern part of India and knows the in and out of Dosa making.

And what a beautiful evening it was. Our guest was super excited to attend this class while getting a chance to free herself a bit and get that Me-time, that we all sometimes crave for.

She was ready to get her hands on the Dosa making starting with the potato filling. The instructor had few things prepped ahead of time and had displayed the whole ingredients needed for their cooking party this night. Soon enough the spicy potato mixture was cooking in the Kadai, the aroma of the sweet onions filling the tiny kitchen. The guest was proud and happy to learn this new dish which was good just by itself.

About being authentic.

It is very natural to imitate. That instinct to be wanting to be “like” someone else. Someone who is better than us. We all do that. Try to be like someone else. Mostly because, when we are surrounded by people who are doing better than us, we often feel low and inadequate and the pressure builds to be good and achieve success “like” others.

This is so true especially in the world of blogging. I will tell you my story.

I started a blog because I wanted to have a blog. Not because others have their own blogs.

But over the period of time, when I started browsing hundreds of others’ blogs and noticing how great they were, be it their writing , be it their photographs or just their post titles, I felt awful. I felt  ” I am pathetic”. This feeling is strong, especially when your readership is so low and when the clicks on your blog is almost close to zero.

 

But then something happened. Something dawned on me. And it happened TODAY.

In today’s morning show, the popular blogger of Smitten Kitchen was featured on TV. She is the famous food blogger with her famous site, I realized. I was further intrigued when the TV segment featured her famous kitchen on TV. Her kitchen is famous, famous for being teeny tiny!!! Her kitchen looked like a warm, cozy place where you can find solace by making your favorite comfort foods and just enjoy them even if you are alone!

My curiosity rose and  in the afternoon I visited her site. This was the 10th time I was visiting her site. 9 times before the TV feature!

And what I read there caught my attention. She writes, “food has to be accessible”. And “she does not believe in fancy ingredients like an expensive bottle of pink Himalayan salt”.

I realized there was a song beneath these lines. A song of authenticity. A song of originality. A song of what she believes in. And that is what differentiates her and makes her unique. So unique to be featured on the TV show!

I took a deep breathe, refreshed my thoughts and came to a conclusion. Imitating, trying to BE Like someone else due to mere pressure to succeed, will not take me anywhere.

There is great strength in being original, being authentic, being yourself. Drawing inspiration from others is one thing, but completely trying to live other peoples lives while losing complete focus on yours is nothing short of ridiculous.

SO here I am. The new me. Trying to be myself again. In this humble blog of mine. Renewing and reflecting in what I believe in related to food and life. Mainly because when food and taste  is such a personal thing, it does not make any sense to imitate others.

Not Your Typical Dosa

So what goes in a typical dosa? Can you tell?

Great!!! You all are right!!!

The typical ingredients are, Urad dal (a.k.a Black gram dal), Rice, Poha (a.k.a flattened rice), and Fenugreek seeds. But you guys, this is NOT your typical dosa!

This is the most simplest, less time consuming and almost instant dosa. The taste??? You ask?

Superlicious, delicious!!!

It has the crispness, the aroma and softness of any other good dosa.

So what is in this Non typical dosa? I will tell you…soon 🙂

All great discoveries happen by accident. Do you agree?

In this case, it was partly an accident and partly inspired. I had read in many places about new ways of making dosas. Like in this recipe.

And, it so happened that one day I went ahead and soaked some Urad dal, thinking i will make some smooth Idlis. But, life got in the way and I could not make them.  So the soaked dal kept waiting in the corner of my kitchen counter top.

The next day I just rinsed and washed the dal and grounded it into a smooth paste using my wet grinder.

Now what? I thought. “Never mind if I did not make any Idlis. I can still make dosas!!!”, I said to myself and that is how my Non typical dosa was born.

Indredients:

1 cup whole Urad dal(black gram dal) soaked for 6 hours/overnight

2 1/2 cups of rice flour

1/4 cup of very fine Sooji rava( Semolina)

salt

Method:

Grind the soaked Urad dal in the grinder or mixer into a very smooth silky paste adding enough water.

Transfer the batter into a large vessel.

Add the rice flour and sooji rava and mix REALLY well. Pay attention to the lumps. Mix well until all the lumps dissolve.

Cover the container and let it ferment overnight.

The next day, mix well , the batter, adjusting the consistency with water. The batter has to be of pouring consistency(just like the regular dosa batter)

Add salt

On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of batter and spread into a circle, to make the dosas. add a tsp of oil around the dosas.

Once the edges turn golden brown, fold the dosa and remove it on a plate.

Enjoy them with chutneys or butter or pickle.