Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mysore Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa makes all those south Indian’s born in 70’s, 80’s (or early 90’s for that matter) nostalgic. Treat for us was Masala Dosa or roadside masala puri + pani puri until 12 standard. After that, slowly started our ice-cream parties & the dhaba treats (spending couple of hundred rupees could fill 5-6 people tummy easily).
I, being born in a orthodox Brahmin family, was not allowed to eat out. I remember my mom packing some snacks even for a movie!! My mom was opposing me from eating from neighbor’s house or friend’s house, because of usage of garlic & onion at their places. But, a visit to GTR every month for a Sunday breakfast was like an unwritten family rule. GTR (Gayathri Tiffin Room) is a "world-famous restaurant in Mysore" . It is located in Chamundipuram area. We used to wait for that Sunday, get up very early in the morning, take headbath (one more rule in our family), wear nice clothes & be ready by 9 a.m sharp. The entire family used to be in front of GTR at 9:30a.m. Entrance of GTR used to disappoint us, as most of the times we were made to wait 10-15mins.
Once we get seated, waiter used to serve water & ask our choice. My father’s response would be 4 masala dosas, for one masala dosa don't smear red chutney (reason being: red chutney contains garlic & my mom is off to it), 2 upma, by-two coffee & 1 cup milk. This was our standard menu for many years!!! By-two coffee was for me & my dad, milk for my mom!!! I keep telling my mom that, you are missing greatest pleasures in life by not drinking coffee & not eating garlic. She can starve out but will never touch garlic or drink coffee.
Those were my wonderful primary & middle school days. Later, my father got transferred from Mysore & I said a “bye” to beautiful Mysore & also our favourite restaurant GTR. I got a chance to go to GTR again when I was in my 2nd or 3rd year of graduation. The place was still the same as I saw it 7-8 years before, but generally felt, it lacked the glamour of other happening restaurants around & hence couldn't attract the crowd. I happily went, enjoyed each bite & ate till I was full. It tasted heaven. After that, I never got a chance to visit GTR. But, I keep dreaming that I shall once take my kiddo, hubby & my parents to GTR to recreate moments…, hope to do it during my next visit to India.
I know, most of us have such nostalgic moments, when it comes to our favourite dishes. We all can go for hours talking about this. Let me list down the ingredients before you go down the memory lane…

For Dosa:
1 cup urad dal
½ cup channa dal
4.5 cups rice (normal sona masoori rice or idli rice could be used)
1 cup beaten rice
3/4th cup cooked rice
Salt according to taste

For potato palya (Potato dry curry):3 medium sized potatoes
2 onions
A handful of fresh/frozen green peas (optional)
2 green chillies
1/4th tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
1 tbsp oil
Pinch of turmeric
4-6 curry leaves chopped
Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt according to taste

For red chutney:
3-4 pods of garlic
6-8 red chillies
½ tsp lemon juice
a fistful of coconut (optional)
½ tsp oil
salt according to taste
(One more version of red chutney can be found here)

Method:Red Chutney Preparation Steps:
  • Add oil to a small pan, roast the garlic until raw smell disappears (one can use raw garlic too, I don’t like the raw smell of garlic, hence like to fry it a little)
  • Remove the garlic & add red chillies & fry it for a minute.
  • Allow them to cool & blend garlic, red chillies, lemon juice & coconut together (don’t add water while grinding). It should become like a coarse powder with little stickiness.

Potato Palya preparation Steps:
  • Boil the potatoes (keep it in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles). Allow it to cool
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the onions & green chilli.
  • Take a broad pan, add oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add urad dal & fry till it turns golden brown.
  • Then add chopped green chilli, curry leaves, onion & sauté till onion turns golden brown
  • Add green peas, turmeric & cook for another 1-2 mins.
  • Mash the potatoes, add potatoes, salt, mix well.
  • Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Dosa Preparation Steps:
  • Soak all the listed ingredients (except cooked rice & salt) for 4-5 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth paste, add cooked rice to it while grinding (batter should be of pouring consistency).
  • Allow it to ferment for 7-9 hours (I normally keep it in a dry place one night).
  • Next day morning, add salt to it, mix well & prepare dosas
  • To prepare dosa, pour a ladle full of batter in the center, spread the batter in circular motion (clockwise) until it becomes 10cms diameter.
  • Immediately smear the red chutney prepared, add ½ tsp of oil. Cook it for a minute.
  • Now, place a tbsp of potato palya prepared in the centre.

  • Close the dosa & serve it hot with chutney of your choice.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining batter. 

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