Friday, 30 March 2012

Rava Dosa with Coconut Chutney

Just one of the things I love most about Indian cuisine is the fantastic variety of breads they have.

Back in my childhood picky days, when my mother had a beau who would take us for Indian food that I looked at with some suspicion - I could always be counted on to eat the bread. In fact I was known to order several different kinds of Indian bread and no actual dinner. (Yes, I was a little on the plump side, why do you ask?)

As I grew up my tastes expanded, thank goodness, and I know that one of the greatest joys with Indian flatbreads is tearing them in pieces and using them as scoops for delicious curries and chutneys and dals... you get my point. No forks necessary, you eat with your bread. Awesome.

This dosa is made with semolina flour, yogurt, and fresh chile and cilantro for great flavour. You make it crepe-style, but it has no eggs so it is a bit more fragile. Fortunately it is sturdy enough when cooked, you'll know when you can flip it when it releases from the pan and is nicely spotted brown.

The chutney is a lovely condiment that complements the dosa - just throw in a simple veggie or chicken curry and you have a wonderful meal!

Rava Dosa
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

2 cups semolina flour
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 red chile, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 Tbsp fresh or dried curry leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
½ tsp salt

Up to 2 cups warm water

Put all the ingredients, and just one of the cups of water, in your blender. Purée. Add the last of the water bit by bit until you have a nice, smooth, crepe-like batter.
If you have added too much of the water, you can blend in a bit of white flour
Pour into a bowl and let stand for one hour.

Heat up a crepe pan or shallow frying pan on medium. Give it time to truly heat up to temperature. Throw in ¼ tps butter and spread it around the pan. Pour in an almost full ladle of the crepe batter (stir before using) and swirl around to get at least an 8 inch circle. Cook for a couple minutes on each side - until browned in places, and stack with wax paper in between. Repeat with the rest. (I got 9 dosa) Serve warm.

Coconut Chutney - make ahead
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

1 cups grated coconut - fresh or frozen is best, but I had dried so used that.
2 chiles, chopped fine (ribs and seeds removed if you want less heat)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 dried (soaked for 10 minutes and drained) or fresh curry leaves
½ tsp hulled urad dal

½ cup - 1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup crushed pineapple (optional)

Blend the first batch of ingredients into a paste using a small food processor or a mortar and pestle. Set aside in a bowl.
Heat up the olive oil in a cast iron pan.
Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop, add in the shallots and sauté, stirring. Add in the curry leaves and the urad dal. Keep cooking until the shallots are nicely translucent. Let cool.
Combine the fried ingredients with the coconut paste, thin out with yogurt and add in the cilantro -and pineapple if desired.

Let rest in the fridge for the flavours to combine for half a day. And bring out a half hour before serving to take the chill off, adjust flavourings if necessary.

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