Continuing with the dosa series from last week, I received many queries on my Instagram on fermentation of the batter, adding curd to the batter, using flours directly, and more.
And although I have been answering many such queries in my weekly follow-ups, I wanted to address some here today. I hope with this column, I am able to help you. In fact, today’s recipe is an attempt to answer many FAQs with one single dish.
Can we make instant dosa with millet flour directly?
Of course you can, but do not expect the same texture like your perfectly-fermented batter. I always stress on making millet flours at home. It not only changes the textures, but elevates the taste. I love to experiment with millet flours and in all these years I have learnt that when it comes to dosas, nothing can beat the traditional ways of fermenting soaked grains.
Can we ferment millet flour?
Yes. But you will not get that characteristic sour taste that is achieved by grinding grains and fermenting them. This surely is a shortcut and saves time when you have homemade flours ready.
Can we add curd to fasten the fermentation?
I would say, go for sourdough discard instead. Curd is good when you want your dosas to be soft and spongy. I have seen many people adding yeast or baking soda to their curd dosa batters and honestly, that idea has never resonated with me. Today’s recipe has answered this when I have added curd to the homemade red jowar flour and have churned out a spongy uthappam instead of a crispy dosa. With curd, crispy dosa is not possible.
Can we make crispy dosa on cast iron tawa using an induction cooktop?
It is tricky and you have to keep adjusting the temperature. Induction cooktops don’t generate heat; it is the magnetic induction. So, you can first let the greased tawa (griddle) smoke nicely and then after turning it off, spread the batter. If the griddle is too big, keep it around the center. Once done, turn on the induction. Please note, you should be good at adjusting temperatures.
How to add veggies to dosa without showing at all?
I usually add leftover soups to my batter and my daughter is now used to those beetroot-y dosas. She often calls them rainbow dosas. As a mom, it is challenging sometimes. You can always steam and puree vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potato, etc. The magic ingredient here are the spices. I love to add pizza seasonings when I am making uthappams and dosas for my daughter. With steamed vegetables, it is the spices and chutneys that will rule the dish.
Now, about today’s recipe: it was impromptu, but gave me more insights. The more you cook, the more you learn. It has to come from the heart. Enjoy this recipe and do let me know when you try it.
Red jowar curd uthappams with zucchini and bell peppers
Ingredients (makes 4 uthappams):
· 4 tbsp red jowar flour (freshly homemade)
· 3 tbsp curd
· Rock salt to taste
· ½ cup chopped bell peppers, onions
· 1 medium zucchini sliced
· Pizza seasoning (you can also use traditional podis)
· Oil to grease and cook
1. Slice zucchini and chop vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pizza seasoning and keep it aside. Let the spices be absorbed.
2. In a deep bowl, whisk millet flour and curd. Add salt, veggies and optimum water to get the batter consistency.
3. Preheat cast iron tawa onto an induction cooktop.
4. Grease it with oil and allow it to smoke.
5. Turn off the induction and spread the batter. Keep it around the center.
6. Turn on the induction and be watchful while adjusting temperatures.
7. Spread marinated zucchini slices on top of the uthappam and allow it to settle on low temperature.
8. Carefully flip and cook from the other side, too.
9. Enjoy fresh with homemade curd or any chutney.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative millet cooking workshops for all age groups)