Dosas are crispy crepes made of fermented rice and lentil batter. Dosas originate from South Indian cuisines, but they are famous all over India, and pretty common to find in other places of the world too. Dosas are a tricky thing to make if you have no experience of making flawless crepes. The right balance of the crisp and consistency is hard to find. There are so many things that have to go right to make a perfect dosa. There is the batter, the dosa Tawa, right heat, right consistency; even the kind of spatula you use to take off your dosa from the pan has a role to play. So here’s a look at getting the perfect dosa, one variable at a time.
1. The Batter-
The batter in theory is very simple to make. But to get the desired end product, it is important to get the fine details right at the origin. There are two basic elements in the batter; the rice and the lentils (urad daal). The ratio is ideally 3 parts of rice and 1 part lentils. The choice of rice also has a role o play in how crispy your dosas end up being. Idli rice is the preferred choice, but it’s not unusual for health-conscious people to make all daal batters using moong or urad daal. One can also infuse some puffed rice at the end to make the dosas crispier. One thing to remember is not to grind the paste to fine, because a little coarse batter is what will make it taste fantastic. Add some water relating to the required consistency.
2. The Pan-
This is the important part. This is where most people mess up. The batter is fine and all, but the batter sticks to the dosa tawa while trying to remove it. One can use a regular Teflon non-stick dosa tawa that can help you here, but those surfaces won’t give you the crispy brown texture that you want from you dosa. That texture is achieved from a dosa pan that allows the batter to stick to itself, crisps and browns the top surface, and then lets it go naturally. That you can best achieve from a cast iron pan, which you need to season first. The way to season your pan is by coating it with oil, and then heating the pan till the oil reaches the smoking temperature. Then gently wipe off the oil, and make sure there is no oil on the hot surface of the pan when you’re making the dosa. This will naturally give you a very crispy dosa.
3. The Tools-
To spread the batter, use a sauce ladle. It should be the ideal way you can spread the batter in perfect circles. Use a firm hand while circularly spreading the batter, because if you’re too concerned about the batter sticking, it will instead stick on your ladle and make holes, and then the whole dosa is ruined. Once you see the browning from the corners, apply some oil at the edges, and then scrape it off with a slim steel spatula.
I hope this guide helps you finally solve your dosa problem, and get you started on making the street style crispy dosas at your home!