150 g picked over for stones, then rinsed urid dahl (skinned black lentils)
0.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp salt
water (as required)
20 tsp (two for each dosa) sunflower oil
Take two large mixing bowls, pop the rice into one and the dahl into the other. Pour enough cold water into each bowl to very generously cover the rice and the lentils. Cover each bowl with a cloth and leave to soak overnight and no less than 8 hours. Pop the fenugreek seeds into a cup, cover with two tablespoons of cold water and leave to soak overnight and no less than 8 hours.
When all three have had their time soaking, drain the lentils, pop them into a food processor bowl (or blender jug) with 150ml of cold water and blitz to a smooth, pale, fluffy (as possible) paste, about 4 to 5 minutes, then pour and scrape into a large mixing bowl.
Next, drain the rice, pop it into your food processor bowl (or blender jug) with 150ml of cold water and blitz to a fine, granular paste and add to the mixing bowl. Add the soaked fenugreek seeds and their ‘soaking water’ to the mixing bowl. Then combine all the ingredients to form a thick batter, thick enough to coat a spoon, like warm, gloopy jam.
Cover the bowl with a cloth, pop onto a tray and place in a warm place, like your hot-press or airing-cupboard. Leave the bowl there for at least 20 hours.
20 hours later, add the salt to the bowl, stir the (now) fermented batter really well and it’s ready to cook!
Then, take your favourite non-stick frying pan, about 8inches or 20cm in diameter. Add the first teaspoon of oil to the pan, pop the pan on to a medium, high heat. Using a medium sized ladle or a ½ cup measure, dip into the Dosa batter and fill; you’re looking for about 120ml of the batter.
Pour the batter into the centre of the pan and, using the back of the ladle and in circular, spiral motions gently spread the batter across the pan’s surface. Now, get another teaspoon (or so) of oil and drizzle over the batter’s surface and around its edges. Put the spoon down, grab the pan handle and swirl the oil around so it runs all around the Dosa as it continues to cook.
Once the upper side of the Dosa has changed to an opaque colour, the edges begin to look cooked and golden brown, after roughly 1½ minutes, turn the Dosa over. A silicon spatula is best for this. And cook for another minute or so. When cooked, slide the Dosa out of the frying pan and onto a warm plate…it’s done!
Serve with a beautifully spicy Masala filling of potatoes, ginger, dahl pulses, onion, spices and a little fresh tomato.