Continuing with the dosa series from last week, I received a lot of inquiries on my Instagram about fermenting the dough, adding curd to the dough, using flours directly, and more.
And while I’ve been answering many of those queries in my weekly follow-ups, I wanted to address a few here today. I hope that with this column I can help you. In fact, today’s recipe is an attempt to answer many frequently asked questions with just one dish.
Can we make instant dosa with millet flour directly?
Of course you can, but don’t expect the same texture as your perfectly sourdough. I always emphasize making millet flours at home. Not only does it change the textures, it elevates the flavor. I love experimenting with millet flours and in all these years I have learned that when it comes to dosas, nothing can beat the traditional ways of fermenting soggy beans.
Can we ferment the millet flour?
Yes. But you won’t get that characteristic bitter taste that comes from grinding and fermenting beans. This is surely a shortcut and saves time when you have the homemade flours ready.
Can we add curd to speed up the fermentation?
I’d say you choose to discard sourdough. Curd is good when you want your dosas to be soft and fluffy. I’ve seen many people add yeast or baking soda to their dosa curd shakes and honestly, that idea has never resonated with me. Today’s recipe has responded to this when I added curd to the homemade red jowar flour and produced a fluffy uthappam instead of a crunchy dosa. With curd, crispy dosa is not possible.
Can we make crispy dosa in cast iron tawa using an induction hob?
It’s complicated and you have to keep adjusting the temperature. Induction stoves do not generate heat; is magnetic induction. So, you can first let the greased tawa (griddle) smoke well, and then after turning it off, spread the batter. If the iron is too large, keep it around the center. Once done, turn on the induction. Note that it must be good to adjust temperatures.
How to add vegetables to the dosa without showing them at all?
I usually add leftover soups to my batter and my daughter is now used to those beet dosas. He often calls them rainbow dosas. As a mother, it is sometimes a challenge. You can always steam and puree vegetables like pumpkin, squash, zucchini, sweet potato, etc. The magic ingredient here is the spices. I love adding pizza toppings when making uthappams and dosas for my daughter. With steamed vegetables, it’s the spices and chutneys that will dominate the dish.
Now about today’s recipe: It was impromptu, but it gave me more information. The more you cook, the more you learn. It has to come from the heart. Enjoy this recipe and let me know when you try it.
Red jowar curd utappams with zucchini and bell peppers
Ingredients (makes 4 uthappams):
4 tablespoons red jowar flour (fresh homemade)
3 tablespoons of curd
Rock salt to taste
· ½ cup bell peppers, chopped onions
1 medium zucchini, sliced
Pizza seasoning (you can also use traditional pods)
Oil for greasing and cooking
1. Cut the zucchini into slices and chop the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pizza seasoning and set aside. Let the spices absorb.
2. In a deep bowl, whisk together the millet flour and the curd. Add salt, vegetables and optimal water to get the consistency of the dough.
3. Preheat the cast iron tawa in an induction stove.
4. Grease it with oil and let it smoke.
5. Turn off the induction and roll out the dough. Keep it around the center.
6. Turn on the induction and watch as you adjust the temperatures.
7. Spread marinated zucchini slices on top of the uthappam and let it rest at low heat.
8. Turn carefully and cook on the other side as well.
9. Enjoy it fresh with homemade curd or any chutney.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and conducts innovative millet cooking workshops for all age groups)