For someone who wants to start off with a good millet dosa for everyday meals, here’s something I’d love to help you with. I’m not going to share any set recipes because frankly, for me, it’s millions of dosas and millions of recipes. People are already fooling you and confusing you with the millet drug, I don’t want to be one more to add to the confusion. Rather as a millet trainer, I’d love to help you out with some basic tips here. Keep reading.
1. If you are not aiming to reverse any lifestyle disorders, I suggest you start with positive pimples like Kodo Millet, Little Millet, Barnyard Millet, Foxtail Millet, and Browntop Millet. You can also go for neutral grains, but because positive grains are higher in fiber and nutritional content, they cleanse your gut in a better way.
2. All millet needs soaking. And a minimum of 6-8 hours. The beans should be thoroughly washed and properly soaked.
3. Always soak lentils separately. Never mix dicots and monocots while soaking.
4. Eat one millet at a time. But keep in mind that it’s okay to improvise with recipes too. Mixing grains does not mean that you are consuming something inedible or toxic. If it’s okay for your gut and doesn’t give you any heartburn problems, every now and then it’s okay to mix in grains and enjoy making recipes with them.
5. For millet and lentils, you can choose any ratio such as 2: 1, 1: 1, 4: 1 and 3: 1. The secret lies in the proper fermentation of the dough. I have tried all the possible proportions and the dosas have all turned out well. With a good cast iron griddle, a convenient ladle, a few techniques, and regular practice, you’ll be there in a few weeks.
6. I prefer to keep the ratio of millet to lentils at 2: 1. It means 1 cup of millet to ½ cup of dal (any dal, even I have tried it with Rajma, red beans too). A tablespoon of methi seeds soaked separately is always good.
7. If you want to avoid lentils, go to my Instagram profile. I have shared a recipe in which we can ferment the dosa dough with discarded sourdough. Yes, gluten-free discard would be nice too.
8. It is not mandatory to add cooked rice or poha. However, if you are a beginner, 2 tablespoons of any traditional cooked rice will make your dosas crispier and fluffier. I love adding cooked Rajamudi rice, and you can go for sonamasuri, kolam, govindbhog, kerala sundari, and many more from our Indian soil.
9. Yes, there is a thing called oil-free dosa. If you season your cast iron griddle well, you can dish out lip smacking dosas without a drop of oil.
10. Lastly, try sticking to one millet for two days. It is always better to do it the right way.
This is what I cooked for my Sunday breakfast. It is dosa of green gram of foxtail millet without oil.
DOSAI GRAM GREEN MILLET OF FOX TAIL ZERO OIL
1 cup foxtail millet (washed and soaked)
½ cup green gram (sabut moong), washed and soaked
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
Rock salt to taste
1. Soak the millet, dal and methi seeds separately.
2. Use methi water for the dough and millet water for the dough. Discard the water that you soaked the green gram in.
3. Blend them all and leave to ferment for 12-16 hours. It generally depends on the weather. In winters it takes a little longer to ferment.
4. Once the battery is well fermented, add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Start doing dosas and check out the attached video.
6. Serve with your favorite sabzi or chutney.
7. If you are gluten sensitive, start replacing your wheat with these easy dosas.
8. Keep practicing.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and organizes innovative Millets cooking workshops for all age groups)