Recipes
Rava Masala Dosai with Sambhar
(Potato and onion pastry with vegetable stew)
New Delhi, India

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Makes 20 (10") shells

Ingredients:
Dosai Shells
1/2 cup urad dal (lentils), split and skinned
1 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups rice flour
3 1/2 cups water
Oil for cooking

Potato Filling
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 large onion, diced
1 large serrano chili, diced
10 curry leaves
6 medium white potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed (1/2 inch cubes)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chutney, optional, for serving

Sambhar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, diced
3 dried red chiles
2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
10 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium tomato, diced
2 medium Japanese eggplant, peeled and diced into small 1/2" cubes
1 1/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
3 teaspoons salt
6 cups water
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 dashes asafetida

Method of Preparation:
For the Dosai Shells:
1. Place the urad dal in a medium mixing bowl and cover with water. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
2. Drain the urad dal; grind using a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle. While grinding, you will need to add a little water at a time to make a fine paste. Season with salt.
3. Combine the urad dal, rice flour and 3 1/2 cups of water in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Cover the batter and set aside in warm place to ferment and bubble for at least 8 hours. Batter will double in volume and will have a bitter smell.
4. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Spread a very thin layer of oil in the pan with a cloth or paper towel. Pour the batter, using a 2-ounce ladle, in the center of the skillet. Quickly swirl the dough away from the middle of the skillet, using the back of the ladle until it is thinly spread and even in a 10-inch circle in the pan.
5. For crispness, add a little oil around the edges of the pancake. Cook for about one minute, or until edges brown. With a spatula, flip and cook until the other side is golden brown.
6. Remove from skillet and roll the dosai into large tubes. Keep warm until served. Repeat process with remaining batter, wiping the skillet with a paper towel between each dosai.

For the potato filling:
1. Heat oil in a 9-quart stock pot. Toast the mustard seeds in the oil until they pop.
2. Add onions, chili and curry leaves and sauté until translucent.
3. Stir in potatoes, turmeric and salt. Cover mixture with 2 1/2 cups water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and water is evaporated.
4. Mash the potatoes with an immersion blender or handheld blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve: Place warm dosai shell on a plate and spoon 4 - 5 tablespoons of the filling in the center; fold the sides over the filling. Serve with your favorite chutney on the side.

For the sambhar:
Makes 8 (1 cup) servings
1. Heat oil in a 9-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes until the seeds begin to pop.
2. Add the onion, dried chiles and serrano chiles and cook the ingredients for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are translucent and soft. Stir constantly.
3. Add curry leaves, coriander seeds and turmeric; stir until combined.
4. Add tomato and cook for five minutes. Stir in eggplant, potatoes, toor dal and salt.
5. Add 6 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
6. Add fresh cilantro, tamarind paste and asafetida; continue simmering for five minutes, covered.
7. Season to taste with salt and tamarind paste. Serve hot.

Cooks Note: Urad Dal are black lentils that has been split and skinned. You can purchase them already split and skinned at your local Indian market. They are also referred to as white lentils. The first dosai shell you cook is often unusable. Consider it practice and it seasons the pan for the rest of the shells. Sambhar is one of the most popular dishes in South Indian cuisine. This view accompanies most every meal.