Like all typical South Indians, a couple of weeks without dosas or idlis, and my body flails frenzied from intense withdrawal symptoms. Initially nothing seemed to cure these pangs other than a salver of the fermented pancakes or the puffed dumplings. But soon the fact, that I had to grapple for myself and my lazy ass showed no compassion when it came to work, my body learned to settle, for if not the same, but equally good member of the aforesaid clan. Same name, just an added prefix -‘Rava’.
Yes, Rava dosa is my saving grace when my senses are over powered with crapulous lust for some good South Indian gratification and my spirits, as always, are too weak (lazy?) to do much about it. Unlike the typical dosas, that take almost an entire day to make, considering the soaking, grinding and waiting to ferment period, this comes together in a matter of minutes if you are lucky to have some really sour curd/buttermilk at hand. If not, don’t fret. Just keep the batter in a warm place for an hour or two and voila, they are ready to be poured onto a hot skillet.
Like most other Indian dishes, this too has a number of variations in the recipes. The basic ingredients are mostly rice flour, semolina/sooji/rava, wheat flour and buttermilk. You can really go berserk with the seasoning. If you think it might taste nice, the chances are, it definitely will. That is how accommodating this dish is.
A very hot skillet and very watery batter is the secret to the gossamer weave finish of a semolina crêpe.
½ cup rice flour
½ cup rava /sooji /semolina
1 tbsp wheat flour
1 green chili finely chopped
½ tsp whole ground pepper
2 –3 curry leaves chopped fine
½ tsp ginger grated on a micro plane
1 tsp cilantro chopped fine
big pinch of asafoetida
1 small onion chopped fine
sesame oil or ghee(clarified butter)
½ cup sour butter milk or ¼ curd
2– 3 cups of water depending on how watery you want the batter to be
salt to taste
Crush (not grind) the whole black pepper and mix it with all the ingredients except oil to form a nice watery batter and set aside for 30 minutes.
Add more water if the batter gets thick once the semolina swells up.
Heat a skillet at high flame and smear it with 1/2 a tsp of oil (I use an onion cut horizontally into half, to smear oil on the skillet. This tends to give a nice aroma to the dosas).
Pour batter on the hot skillet, forming a circle from the outside and gradually filling up the insides.
Drizzle a little oil or ghee on the side and on the inside where ever you see tiny holes.
When you start noticing a golden brown color, Turn the dosa over.
Serve hot with sambar or any spicy chutneys.