Instant raagi dosa / Red millet pancake

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Summer brought rather busy days… travel, writing, meetups, driving lessons… a flurry of activities that kept me away from the blog. I cooked, clicked photos, made notes, but somehow did not find the respite to post those recipes. Today though, I was keen to make an extra effort and write about a new experiment. After all, blogging helps me as well. It is like a journal, which I can leaf through to revisit old recipes.

Today’s post is on instant raagi dosa i.e. pancake of red millet flour. Ideally, dosa (a South Indian pancake preparation) is made of naturally fermented batters of grains and lentils, which requires planning of at least a day ahead. Now and then, though, one gets an impromptu craving to enjoy it. At such times, the pancake tricks come handy. Using some of those, I made this vegan raagi dosa. I used a mix of fruit salt and lemon juice (instead of yogurt or buttermilk) to get the fluffy texture and savory taste.

INSTANT RAAGI DOSA / RED MILLET  PANCAKE

Makes six pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups of raagi (red/ finger millet) flour
1/2 cup besan (gram flour)
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 green chilli peppers
1 inch piece of ginger
Handful of coriander leaves
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ajwain/ carom seeds (optional)
2-3 teaspoon of oil
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon plain fruit salt (can be substituted by pinches of baking powder)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine raagi flour, besan, turmeric powder, oil, ajwain seeds.
  2. Blend together green chillies, ginger, coriander, salt, lemon juice, and a cup of water.
  3. Add this blend slowly to the flour bowl and mix thoroughly, taking care of not to form any lumps.
  4. Add one more cup of water to make a thin batter of pancake.
  5. Just before, taking out the dosas, add fruit salt and mix it with the batter.
  6. Apply a thin coat of cooking oil on a non-stick pan and heat it.
  7. Pour a ladle or two of the batter on heated pan, swirl it to make a round-shaped pancake.
  8. Let the bubbles appear, and cover pan with a lid till the dosa is done.
  9. Take it off the pan and let cool on rack.

It can be served with any side of a curry or stir-fry. Today for instance, we had with a simple warm curried salad of greens.

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Appam/ Hoppers Treat

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Appam or hoppers is one of my favorite South Indian food. Made of rice and grated coconut, they are rather uniquely shaped pancakes with thick and fluffy center and crispy thin periphery. There are two versions of appam. While both have rice and grated fresh coconut, one uses black lentils in its mix, which with its naturally occurring microorganisms would initiate the fermentation of batter. The recipe covered today, though uses yeast for the process. The original recipe of these appams is by Veg Recipes of India. I would reiterate my take here briefly:

APPAM / HOPPERS PANCAKES

Ingredients:

2 cups regular short-grain rice
1 cup parboiled rice
1 cup grated fresh coconut (I used frozen)
Handfuls of poha/ flattened rice (the original recipe has given the alternative of cooked rice)
1 tbspoon yeast
Pinch of sugar
2-3 cups of water to make a pancake like batter
Oil to coat pan
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and soak regular and parboiled rice together for about 5-6 hours.
  2. Proof the yeast with sugar and keep aside.
  3. Grind the soaked rice, coconut, and poha together with adding water.
  4. Add proofed yeast to the mix and keep overnight (or about 12-15 hours to ferment).
  5. Add salt to taste. Adjust water (if required) for consistency like that of usual pancake batter.
  6. Next day, coat a wok-shaped pan with oil and heat on medium-high.
  7. Add a ladle full of appam batter onto the heated wok pan.
  8. Swirl it in a circular motion to spread the batter. Due to wok-like shape, you would get a thicker center and thinner sides. That is exactly what we want.
  9. Cover with lid. Let the appam cook till its center cooks.
  10. Then using spatula, take the appam off the pan. Start from the side. Do NOT flip it.
  11. If your pan is non-stick, then it would not require another coat of oil before making next appam. Mine was a cast iron pan, which needed a thin layer of oil coating before every appam.

Traditionally, this appam can be served with spicy vegetable korma and sweetened coconut milk (which balances the heat of appam). This is how we enjoyed our appams for the lunch. A nice recipe for simple vegetable korma can be found here. For the other, blend coconut milk with granulated brown sugar and some cardmom powder. Chill and serve with your piping appams and korma. The combination is winning.

For dinner, however I simply made a cabbage slaw and wrapped it in appams. Just mix shredded cabbage, chopped onion, chopped garlic, grated coconut, chili powder together. Season it with salt and lemon juice to your liking and say hello to crunchy and healthy salad-appam wraps. 🙂