We celebrated my parents’ Wedding Anniversary yesterday, the 21st…. I asked Mom…have you experienced any change in these 33 years? She responded with a lopsided grin and said nothing. I assume she had a lot to say, but chose to remain mysterious like the Scorpio she is….uff Moms! 😉
So anyway…I wasn’t around 33 years back…but I WAS there futher on, and frankly, the only change I’ve noticed is how they have NOW, stopped yelling at me to —study, sleep, not chew my pencil-butts, not make my books dog-eared, eat those darn cucumbers off my plate….etc 😛 You be the judge!
As is the custom with us, special celebrations at home are brought in with homemade pomp and splendour; by that, I mean we cook at home, and save dinner-time for restaurants. This year, I was very, very keen to go the Southern route, and make something that we haven’t made before. Mangalorean food!!!
Neer means water in Kannada and Tulu languages, and because the dosa batter has a watery consistency, they’re are called Neer or Neeru Dosa in Kannada, and Panpolo in Konkani. Made from rice and coconut, these dosas, or rice crepes are paper-thin and have a very lacy, perforated look. The batter is splashed on to a hot iron tava, cooking it almost instantly since they’re so thin. These dosas don’t need to be flipped over, and the batter needs no fermentation!! Can there be anything simpler?
Neer Dosas can be had with a variety of sides; simple chutneys, gur/jaggery/molasses or even non-vegetarian specials. We had these with a Prawn Ghee Roast, and some coriander-coconut chutney for breakfast. I was very nervous about making these intricate dosas, but my friend, Tanushree not only gave me her Mum’s recipe, but also told me how to splash the batter on to the tava, very precisely over the phone.
So, while these aren’t perfect being my first try and all that… I’m super happy that they came out close to perfect, and taste-wise, we were bowled over clean. How soft, luscious and delicious are these doas! I wish I had made them earlier 😀 but well, now no stopping, eh? 😉
One thing I have to mention…the dosas, while easy to make, involve some technique, and a lot of practice. The perfect shape, texture and flavour comes only from practice, especially the splashing of the batter on to the tava. I obviously am no expert, so I had to spread the batter on the tava by tilting the pan…but glad they came out well and tasted good.
Neer Dosa/Panpolo (Recipe credits Tanushree Aich)
- Rice (Basmati or similar) – 2 cups
- Fresh coconut – grated, 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Oil to grease the pan
- Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hours.
- Later, discard the water, and grind the rice and coconut, using little water…into a smooth paste.
- The paste must feel smooth to the touch, with a little bit of graininess..
- Add salt, mix and add enough water to bring it to a watery consistency.. (I would say, paste to water ratio would be approx 1:3)
- Heat a non-stick pan or a dosa tawa, and lightly grease with oil..
- Turn the heat on high, and splash the batter on to the pan.
- You must be able to hear a sizzling “churrrr” sound as the batter touches the pan.
- Spread the batter uniformly around the pan, and turn down the heat.
- Cover with a lid, and let the dosa cook for about 2 mins.
- Remove the lid… DON’T FLIP….and gently, using a spatula, lift off one side of the dosa and fold in half.
- Then again, fold it in another half, creating a triangle.
- Slide dosa on to serving platter and serve hot with choice of side.
- We had this with prawn ghee roast, and some coriander-coconut chutney.
- If you don’t let the dosa cook covered, you will find it difficult to fold it, and it may burn from the bottom.
- Before EVERY USE, stir the batter VERY WELL…as the rice tends to settle at the bottom and the water rises on top.
- Increase water if you find batter not flowing smoothly in the pan.
- Don’t pile dosas on top of each other..they will stick. Place on a greased plate, or banana leaf, side by side.
- The more coconut you use, the softer the dosas will be. But if you’re pressed for time, you may skip the coconut.
- There’s no need to ferment the batter.
- If you have leftover batter, refrigerate it..and then let it come down to room temp before use.