A Beginners' Guide to Dosa
What is a dosa?
In simple terms, it is basically a savory crepe made of rice and lentil batter. It is one of the staple dishes of South India and is served usually with chutney/dipping such as tomato chutney and coconut chutney along with a rich vegetable-lentil soup called sambar.
How is a dosa made?
Although the dish looks simple and can be made at home, dosa requires a lot of preparation and patience. Before the rice and lentil is grounded to a batter, they must be soaked at least overnight. After the batter reaches a thin consistency, it must be fermented so that it becomes a thick paste.
A large flat non-stick pan should be lightly coated with either butter, ghee or oil. A ladle of the batter will then be poured into the center of the pan (similar amount of when making pancakes) and then the batter will be spread in a circular motion imitating a very thin pancake.
Shortly afterwards, the surface and edges of the dosa should be drizzled with your choice of butter, ghee or oil. As the surface begins to solidify and look cooked, the dosa will be flipped showing the glazing light golden color of a perfect dosa.
After folding the dosa in thirds, it will be plated with sambar and chutneys and finally served!
What are the different types of dosa available?
If you have gone through our menu, you might have noticed a wide variety of dosa available but the dosa that we serve, are simply differentiated into two sections: the classic rice and lentil batter style and the rava or semolina wheat batter style.
The surface of these dosas are then topped with fillings such as masala potatoes, spicy chutneys, spring vegetables, onions, chillies and also in of our most popular item among our younger guests; Cheese for the Cheese Roast Dosa.
Why eat dosa in a restaurant if you can make it at home?
A valid question indeed! Dosas made at home are the best dosas. But, looking at the other side, there are some benefits of. First, not everyone is a master at cooking and there could be situations where you buy the wrong ingredient since there are a lot of Indian spices which look the same but taste completely different; your chutney might end up tasting bitter instead of spicy. Also, not everyone has a large enough pan to make a paper dosa in a size that we do. And there are problems with managing time, getting that golden glaze, preparing the perfect sambar and truly enjoying the food instead of getting tired from cooking it.
And this is where our team at The Madras Cafe steps in! While you stretch back and relax, we will prepare the perfect golden dosa made exactly according to your wants! Classic rice and lentil batter or the textured semolina wheat, with or without the masala, with or without additional toppings and spices. Served with the freshly made hot sambar, and the chutneys made with the correct ingredients.
The only task left for you will be to savor the goodness brought to your table! And the best way to do so is use your well washed and sanitized hands to tear the dosa and dip in the chutney of our choice and sambar let your taste buds do the rest.
Drop by and try one of our fourteen dosa options! We have our Vegan and Jain guests covered as well!