Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rava dosa- Semolina crepes recipe with Video tutorial

I am back with another South Indian dish. This time I have for you, the recipe for Rava dosa. The rava dosa is nothing but a delectable, crispy and easy to make counter part of the traditional dosa. The rava dosa is usually prepared with fine semolina, rice flour, and all purpose flour. Since the batter doesn't need any fermentation, these crepes can be prepared almost instantly. The addition of onions, chilies and coriander, increases the flavor quotient of the crepes and makes them quite irresistible. 

This recipe was actually passed on to me by my grandmother. It seems like yesterday when, as a new bride, I had made her dictate a number of recipes and I had written them down in a book. The book is dog eared and the ink has faded. But the memory is still etched in my mind. 

I wanted to post this recipe for a long time now. Since making the rava dosa is lightly different than the ordinary dosa, it can be slightly tricky as well. In order to help you make the crepes easily, I decided to make a video. This my first attempt at making a video and I am afraid, it is not very skillful. But I do hope the tutorial will be help you to make the crepes easily. 

Rava dosa recipe:
Preparation time: 15min+standing time
Cooking time: 20-25min
Makes- 12-15 dosas

Chiroti rava or fine semolina- 2 cups or 240gms
Rice flour- 1 cup, 120gm
Maida or all purpose flour- 1/2 cup, 60gm
Onion- 1 large, chopped fine
Finely chopped Coriander leaves- 2tbsps
Green chilies- 2, chopped fine
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Sour curds- 2 tbsp
Water to make the batter- approximately 5-6 cups or as required
Oil to shallow fry- as required

  • In a large bowl, combine the semolina, rice flour, all purpose flour and salt and mix well
  • Add the chopped onion, coriander leaves, green chilies, cumin seeds, the sour curds and enough water to make a thin batter. The consistency of the batter should be like that of buttermilk. 
  • Cover and allow the batter to rest for 10-15min
  • Heat a skillet and rub 1/2 a tspn of oil.
  • Pour 1/2 a cup of batter from the outer edge of the skillet to and then proceed to the center, filling any gaps.
  • Drizzle a tea spoon of oil and cook the dosa on low heat for a minute. Increase the heat and cook further for another minute or till you see dark patches appear on the crepe.
  • Carefully Remove the dosa with a spatula and serve hot with coconut chutney.

  • The rava dosa, doesn't need any fermentation unlike the regular dosa.
  • The batter can be refrigerated for 3-4days. After that it acquires a sour taste.
  • The crepe should have a netted texture. If the crepes are not netted and lacy, then simply add more water to the batter.
  • Some of my friends argue that the batter should be allowed to stand for at least an hour. But I have never found the need to do so. The crepes that you see in the photographs were made just after 15mins of making the batter.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Baked Nippattu- Savory onion crackers

When you live away from the place where you were born, bred and spread, there are times when nostalgia hits and it hits you hard. Although rarely, there are times when I do miss Bangalore terribly. However, the nostalgia is never about the incredible sights or the malls or the shopping sprees. It's about those simple and silly things that we mostly tend to take for granted. Like the smell of ink on the news paper (we never get the news paper here) or the rasam my ajji made or amma's rava kesari, etc.

Apart from all these, one memory (or should I say aroma) that makes me most nostalgic is the Iyengar bakeries of Bangalore. These omnipresent bakeries dot every large street in Bangalore Suburb. My own haunts in Jayanagar and Banashankari had some of the best bakeries. The honey cakes, dil pasand and dilkush and the toasts were a regular part of my growing years. If these catered to my sweet tooth then the vegetable puffs, the toast and the palya buns were the obvious choice when it came to my savory cravings. 

In spite of all these wide range off goodies, that the Iyengar bakeries offered, I became particularly addicted to these savory crackers. There was something about these sweet and spicy discs that made it hard to resist. There was a time when one was sure to find two packets of these crackers in the cookie jar. Even after all these years, I make sure to gorge on at least one packet of baked nippattu when I visit bangalore. S tells me that he can see the pure joy spread on my face whenever I take a bite of this herb filled cracker.

So on my last visit to Bangalore, I decided to carry the two packets of nippattus (I would have carried more if it wasn't for the weight restrictions). But then they were over before I knew it and I started craving for them again. But this time, I decided to make these myself. I had read the ingredients on the label and I vaguely remembered it. So I just decided to give it a try. 

Bingo!! The crackers turned out very close to the ones they sell in the Iyengar bakeries. The taste was a brilliant combo of slightly sweet and spicy and the texture was super crispy. These crackers were a perfect accompaniment to my evening coffee. So here's my version of the famous baked nippattu.

Baked Nippattu recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Baking time: 15-20 min
Makes- approximately 3-4 dozen crackers

All purpose flour- 2cups or 480gms+ 3tbsp to dust
Corn flour- 1tbsp
Milk powder- 2tsp
Baking soda- 1tsp
Salt- 1to 1tspn or to taste
Paprika powder- 1tsp
Sugar- 2tspn
Butter- 4tbsp melted
Vegetable oil- 3tbsp
Coriander leaves- 2tbsp finely chopped
Mint leaves- 2tbsp finely chopped
Curry leaves- 10-12 finely chopped
Onion- 1 large, finely chopped
Green chilies- 2, finely chopped
Asafetida- a large pinch
White sesame seeds- 1-1/2tbsp, toasted
Water to knead as required


  • Sift the all purpose flour along with the corn flour, milk powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves, asafetida, chopped onion, green chilies, toasted sesame seeds, melted butter and oil and mix well.
  • Sprinkle water a few spoons at a time and mix to form a stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 15-20min
  • Divide the dough into four portions and roll each portion into a disc of 1mm thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the crackers into desired shapes and prick holes into the dough using a fork.
  • Alternatively, pinch small lemon sized balls, place them between two plastic sheet and press to flatten it into a disc.
  • Arrange the crackers on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 min, flipping once after 10min.
  • Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.
  • Allow the crackers to cool completely before storing them in air tight containers.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Paneer and Soya chunks Jalfrezi

I know it's been a fortnight since I posted anything on this space. But the last few days has been extremely hectic, tiring and sickening all at the same time. First there was this nasty flu that Purvi contracted. My poor daughter suffered with incessant coughs for almost a week. I had a tough time nursing her back to health. By the time she was better, I feel sick with the flu and it had me bed ridden for almost two days. 
Although the fever subsided, the coughing and sneezing persisted for almost ten days. By the end of these ten days, I felt like my tongue had turned to lead and had lost all sense of taste and smell. I desperately needed something to perk up my taste buds. I rummaged my refrigerator and found this small piece Paneer and halved red and yellow bell peppers. I knew there was some Soya chunks some where in the Pantry. So I decided to put everything together to make this crowd pleasing curry.

The best thing about this curry is that, it can be prepared with any combination of vegetables and still manage to taste great. You can either prepare this curry with just vegetables or with only paneer or with mushrooms or baby corn. You see, the possibilities are endless. And anyone will fall in love with this versatile curry. All it takes is just 30min of your time and voila!! You'll have a brilliant side dish to dig into. 

This recipe was given to me by a kind hearted chef of restaurant in Dar. I remember memorizing the recipe after he had told me. From then on, this curry has appeared on our dining table from time to time. Jalfrezi is my go to dish whenever I have unexpected guests or whenever I need to dig into something rich and comforting. No matter what the reason is, the curry has never disappointed me. So here's my version of Jalfrezi.

Paneer and Soya chunks Jalfrezi:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time: 15min
Serves- 4

Paneer- 150gm, cut into cubes
Soya chunks- 1-1/2 cups
Fresh or frozen peas- 1/2 cup
Red and yellow bell peppers- 1/2 cup, cut into strips.
Oil- 2tbsp
Ghee or clarified butter- 2tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger- garlic paste- 1tsp
Onion- 1 large, julienned
Tomatoes- 2 large, Blanched and pureed
Tomato Ketchup- 1-1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tspn
Aamchur powder- 1tsp
Garam masala- A pinch


  • To prepare the soya chunks, Soak the the chunks in 3 cups of warm water for 10-12min.
  • Squeeze the soya chunks thoroughly, retain the chunks and discard the water.
  • Heat ghee in a non stick pan. Add the paneer cubes and fry till golden brown, remove from ghee and set aside.
  • Add the capsicum strips to the same ghee and fry till tender. Remove and set aside.
  • Add oil to the same pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sputter.
  • Add the onions and fry till transcluscent. Stir in the ginger garlic paste and peas and fry till the raw smell goes and the peas are tender
  • Stir in the pureed tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, sugar, coriander seed powder and Aamchur powder and fry till the gravy thickens. Add the tomato ketchup and fry for 2-3 min more.
  • Add the soaked soya chunks, paneer cubes and garam masala and mix well.
  • Add the fried bell pepper strips and mix gently. Allow the curry to cook for 2-3 mins more before taking off the heat.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve hot with rice or rotis.

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