Yummy Spongy .... Barnyard Millet (Varai) ~ Urad Dal ~ Chana Dal Dosa ... Served With Spicy Amla Pickle ... Millets are considered very good for health, So go ahead and enjoy this spongy ~ soft dosa with chutney or pickle .......
Millets are now being recognized more for their health benefits. I hear a lot about how introducing them into our daily diet improve our health and wards off various diseases. Though there is no such guarantee, I have tried adding them into preparation of my dishes. Nachani / Finger Millet / Ragi is something that is being used by Konkani Saraswats very often, so is varai / barnyard millet. Bajra and Jowar are two millets I started using after settling in Mumbai though not often. My Blog will have many more millet recipe henceforth as I am on the lookout for the other millets that may be available locally. So till then will have to do with these four millets which are easily available in Mumbai ie. Nachani, Varai, Bajra and Jowar. Recipe credit goes to my friend Archana N. Prabhu .... Thanks Archie ... they are superb.
Wash and soak 2 cups of Varai (Barnyard Millet) with ½ cup of Urad Dal, ¼ cup of Chana Dal and ½ tsp of methi seeds for about 4 hours.
Drain excess water and grind all to a smooth paste with just about 1 to 1.5 cups of water. More or less depending upon the requirement. Do not make the batter too thin. Remove in a large vessel and in salt and cover with a tight lid. Leave the vessel untouched overnight to allow the batter to ferment.
Heat a medium sized tava till hot, lower the heat to minimum, sprinkle some oil and rub evenly with the help of a tissue all round the tava. Take a ladle full of the batter and pour it in the center of the tava it will form by itself into a round dosa. If not gently run the bottom of the rounded spatula over the batter and swirl it to a round shape. Drop in a few drops of oil all round the circumference of the dosa. Cover with a lid and cook the dosa on medium heat till done. There will be plenty of holes formation on the dosa. The more the hole, the better the dosa batter has fermented.
Sometimes during winter season they do not ferment well or if you are living in a cold country you may face this problem. In which case just leave it out in a warm place concealed for a few hours more. If too cold a place, you can leave it in the oven with just the light on overnight for warmth. The right outcome of the dosa is for it to have lots of holes, but in case not so do not worry, the taste of the dosa does not get affected. Its only the sponginess that may be a little lesser. With trial and error you will soon learn the technique of preparing such dosas. As it is winter season now in India, even my batter did not rise well. So you can see that there are fewer holes. So just go ahead and make them and just don’t worry.
Once the top side of the dosa is cooked, gently lift the dosa by running a flat dosa removing spatula round the corners of the dosa and then gently lifting if off from the tava. Place it on the plate to be served and serve with any accompaniment of your choice, like chutney, sambar, pickle or any spicy curry. This dosa is not flipped over and cooked on the top side. So do not flip it over to cook on top side. If you are new to such types dosas to check if the top portion of the dosa is cooked, just uncover the tava by removing the domed lid and gently touch with your finger tips, if the batter touches you finger tips, immediately cover it again and let cook for a few more minutes. If the batter does not touch your fingers and the dosa bounces back when touched, its done.
Continue with the remaining batter depending on how many dosa’s you need for serving. If there is excess batter, immediately put it in a tight fitted box and store away in refrigerator till further needed. Always serve the dosa immediately upon removing from the tava, specially this one. Do not topple one on another coz. they not only loose their texture but looks too and the sponginess of the dosa gets pressed down. So remove the dosa and serve immediately as and when needed only.