Event: Blogging Marathon #56
Theme: Indian States
My choice: Karnataka
I chose to go with Karnataka today, a state which is dear to me and where I have spent a major part of my life. I had planned to go with dosa recipes for this week's theme and when it comes to Karnataka, there is no dearth of dosa recipes, that are unique to the region. The famed masala dosa comes from the region and there are of course the yummy Mysore masala dose, Davanagere benne dose, set dose to name a few. I chose to go with neer dosa, a specialty of the Mangalore region for it's simplicity and the ease of preparation.
This post has been long due considering how frequently these are made in my kitchen. I always used to forget to note the amount of water used in the recipe and hence the procrastination. The consistency of the batter happens to be the key to achieve a perfect neer dose. The word 'neer' in the neer dose means water in the local languages of Kannada & Tulu, a reference to the watery consistency of the dosa batter. They go by the name pan pole (pronounced pun-polay) in Konkani language, 'pan' meaning leaf and 'pole' meaning dosa. It is probably a reference to leafy thin consistency of the dosa or the way they served folded, shaped like a leaf.
Like the other traditional versions, a neer dosa recipe doesn't use any form of lentils and are made using just rice and coconut. The batter does not need any fermentation and so they are quicker to prepare than a regular dosa. The coconut lends a great flavor to the batter and these taste fabulous. A cast iron griddle / henchu or henchina kallu as called in Kannada is traditionally used to make these lacy pancakes. However it is easy to mess up and so one can go ahead and use a non stick pan in case of lack of expertise and be sure to get decent neer dosa. Perfectly made neer dose are light, soft, lacy and are white in color. They are as thin as you probably can get, if not an exaggeration and so one ends up eating more than their usual share. They can be served with any spicy chutney of your choice. And any leftover batter can be refrigerated and can be used the next day.
Ingredients: (Yield 15 dosas)
1 cup rice (Any short grain rice will do.)
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
Salt to taste
1 & 1/2 cups water
Oil to make dosas (I used canola oil.
* Rinse rice thoroughly with water twice and drain. Soak rice in water for about 3 hours or overnight.
* Drain the soaked water and add the rice, coconut, salt and water to a grinder / blender and grind them to a smooth batter. The batter should be one of a flowing consistency, like the buttermilk. (Adjust the water quantity if needed.)
* Heat a non-stick skillet / shallow pan with a tsp. of oil. Pour a small ladleful of batter at the center of the pan. Immediately hold the (handle of the) pan and gently swirl it so that the batter spreads into a thin circle, covering the entire pan.
* Cover and cook on moderate heat for a minute or so. Once done, the edges of the dosa start leaving the pan. There is no need to brown the dosa or flip it. Fold the dosa twice and serve immediately.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining batter and remember to stir the batter each time a dosa is made.
* Serve immediately with coconut chutney.
1. The consistency of the batter is the key in making a perfect neer dosa. A thicker batter will not spread and doesn't yield the characteristic thinner version.
2. Do not stack the hot dosa since they get stuck to each other.
3. They are best eaten warm.