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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Temple Prasadams ~ Azhagar Kovil Dosai / Black Gram Dosa

I was stuck in the rut while planning for the theme of 'Traditional Temple Recipes' this week. As a south Indian, the popular rice based ones kept floating in front of my eyes whenever I thought about it and in fact I even cooked a rice dish. Then to break the monotony, I decided to explore the food cooked / offered in other states' temples than trying the ones I already know about. In the process, I got lucky and came across these Azhagar kovil dosai. Honestly I had never heard about dosas being distributed as a prasad anywhere and this one seemed interesting.
These flavorful dosas are served as prasadam in Azhagar kovil, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Azhagar refers to the Lord and kovil meaning temple in Tamil. This temple is situated a few kilometers away from Madurai, Tamilnadu. Going by the posts online, I don't think this is a well known dish among the non-locals. I read somewhere that devotees from surrounding areas offer rice and pulses to the temple which in turn are made into these delicious and filling dosas. 
The dosa batter is made with rice and whole black gram and it is flavored with spices before just making dosas. I am not new to the whole urad dal dosas but I was surprised to see how the ordinary dosas were elevated in the taste and flavor departments by the addition of a few spices. They were tasting like a soft version of temple vadas because of the urad dal and the spices. We loved it so much that I have already made it twice in the past two weeks.  
Traditionally these are made into thick, crisp dosas, generously toasting with ghee. One can of course add oil to cut calories but I would highly recommend trying these dosas with ghee. It adds a huge flavor factor, making these dosas stand out. I made some dosas thinner for my husband, who likes dosas that way and for me I made thicker ones. These are spicy and flavorful enough on their own that they do not need a side dish to go with. I noticed that a chutney masks the flavors of the dosa. However if you wish to serve the dosas with chutney, you can go ahead.

Ingredients to make a dozen dosas:
1 cup rice (I used extra long grain.)
1/2 cup whole black gram / Urad dal with husk
Salt to taste
1 tsp. ginger powder / dry ginger
2 tsp. black pepper corns
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 stalk of curry leaves
Ghee / oil to toast dosas (I recommend ghee.)

* Wash and soak urad dal for about 8 hours in water, such that it is immersed well in water, through out the soaking period. Similarly wash and soak rice for about 4 hours. Or you can soak both rice and urad dal together for about 8 hours.
* Gently rub the urad dal with fingers and discard the husk if you prefer. I decided not to do so. Grind rice and urad dal together to a consistency, thicker than regular dosas. It is ok if the batter is ground slightly coarser. 
* Transfer the batter to a large container. Add salt to the batter and mix well.
* Allow it to ferment overnight or about 6 - 8 hours depending upon the weather.
* Grind ginger, black pepper, cumin seeds and curry leaves coarsely.
* Add the ground spice powder to the fermented batter and mix well.
* Heat an iron griddle or a shallow nonstick pan. Pour a ladle-ful of batter at the center of the griddle and spread lightly.
* Keep the dosa thicker than the regular version. Drizzle ghee and cook until both sides turn golden.
* Serve them hot.

Check the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking for BM#52.



Sandhiya said...

Recently in one of the tamil tv channel, they telecast the program about azhagar kovil and mentioned about this dosa. Yours looks delicious & very healthy.

Unknown said...

I also made this dosa once... I remember it was very tasty and delicious.. Yummmm

Srivalli said...

Ah your Kovil dosai looks very inviting..I have mine coming up too!

Saraswathi Ganeshan said...

Authentic recipe!! dosa turned out so good...

kitchen queen said...

delicious dosai

Varada's Kitchen said...

Nice variation. Reading your post makes me long for some dosa.

Pavani said...

Very interesting dosa with all those spices. Sounds flavorful and delicious.

Chef Mireille said...

what ahealthy dosa!

Harini R said...

Healthy dosa with unique spices. I also read up on these dosas online..

Priya Suresh said...

Authentic kovil dosa..Healthy and one of my fav..

Sneha's Recipe said...

Tempting dosai.