Thursday, 17 October 2013


At last!!!! I very proudly enter this blog. This really is one of my all time favourite recipes. It is also a really good recipe to be premiering the new look on my blog! Like it eh? Well I definitely think that it suits my blog better and I really am starting to feel like I have started to accomplish something, with this blog :-)

I feel so proud of myself for finally perfecting this recipe, as I live in a cold climate, it has been a real challenge for me to get the fermentation right and also the right ratio of ingredients.

There are many, many different types of dosas, fillings, chutneys, the list just goes on and on! I must say that i find masala dosas absolutely irresistible. They are filled with creamy masala potatoes and spices. I also quite like to add a red pepper and fried onions to the mixture.

I have had this dish many times at restaurants, but I will never forget the first time I tried these miracles! It was at a very large buffet restaurant, you like one of those all you can eat places, so I wasn't really expecting this place to be as good as it was. In this restaurant, you kinda get lots of tiny little open kitchens and I suppose this was one of those things that completed the whole experience. I walked up the the tiny street vendor style kitchen and asked for just a small masala dosa to try and the chef was more than obliging. I watched in utter amazement as he slapped some white batter onto the hot griddle and in a circular motion, he made the dosa, slapped on some chutney, smeared it around and then slapped on some potato masala, rolled it up and handed me some chutneys and sambar. VOILA!!! The finished dish was utterly amazing!

So for some time now i have been trying to recreate the dish that he cooked for me. So here we go, THE most popular dish in south india........... DOSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

In this photo, there is the masala dosa,south indian coriander chutney, garlic chutney, "gunpowder masala" and carrot and chilli pickle. I will write the recipe for the rest of the chutneys very soon. :-)

Lots of planning and time needs to go into the dosa batter, but please dont let this put you off as they are actually really easy to make with the right equipment and the right instruction, so go on..... give it a go and let me know how you get on and what you think. :-) ;-)

The above photo shows what the fermented dosa batter should look like.

Ingredients for the batter, to be soaked:-

2 cups of plain long grain rice,
1/2 cup of parboiled easy cook rice,
2 1/2 tbs channa dal,
1 cup white urad dal,
1 tsp fenugreek seeds,
water- as required. 

To be added after fermentation:-

a pinch of bicarbonate of soda,
1-2 tsp salt- to

1) Wash the dals with the fenugreek seed and the rice separately, but just a brief rinse. I have learned that there must be wild yeast already on the dals, which is very important for the fermentation. Leave them to soak separately in bowls of water over night. be sure to use plenty of water to soak, as the will grow in size. I have also found that you really do need to soak the rice and dals for at least 12 hours, but you can even go as long as 24 hours if it is a cold day. sometimes, the longer the better.

2) The next morning, drain the rice and the dals and reserve the water that it has been soaked in.

3) Firstly, blend the dal and the fenugreek seeds as finely as you can, gradually adding the reserved water. This is very important as the water helps with the fermentation. If you use water straight from the tap, your batter may not ferment. You should add enough water for the dals to grind properly and so it is not too hard on your blender. you will need approx 1- 1 1/2 cups of the reserved water for the dals. After blending properly, you batter should be light and fluffy.

4) leave a small amount of the liquidized dal batter in the blender and add the rice. blend this mixture with the same principle of adding just a small amount of water at a time. Again you should be left with a thick, lump free batter with just a few gritty bits in it.

5) In an overly large metal bowl or stock pot, add the batters and mix very well. In most recipes, at this point the ask you to add the salt. Where I live i find it impossible to find non iodized salt, or kosher salt, so I never add the salt until the very end, otherwize your batter will probably not ferment at all.

6) As I live in a cold climate, it can be a real challenge to find a good place in the house to ferment my batters. Some people use the oven with just the light on, but that never seems to work properly for me. It always works best for me if I put the batter into the airing cupboard for me, so I pop the batter in there and leave it until it is fully fermented. around 12/24 hours for where I live. see photo for reference.

7) Once the batter is well fermented, add the salt. You can actually taste the batter at this point for checking the salt levels are to your taste. Pre-heat a heavy based towa or a good and preferably new large frying pan onto a medium heat. Dont ask me why, but for some reason if you have used a pan for chapattis or anything of the sorts, then your dosa will stick and become a mess. So please chose your pan wisely.

8) Once the pan is hot and you can check by splashing a few drops of water onto the pan. If it sizzles straight the way, then the pan is hot enough to use. If you pan is too cold, then you will not be able to spread the dosa around the pan properly.

9) For this next step, you will need something with a flat bottom or something very close to flat. I use one of my metal measuring cups. Just before you need to use the batter, ladle a few spoons into a separate bowl and mix a tiny pinch of the soda and mix thoroughly.

10) So then next, starting from the center, ladle a good dollop of the batter and spread, using a circular movement until you have a thin even circular shape.

11) Wait for a few moments or until it is starting to look as though it is starting to dry out. At this point you need to splash a few drops of oil around the edge of the dosa and a few dotted randomly around. spread the oil a little if you can.

12) You now need to let it cook for a minute or so, or until you start to see brown spots. It should hopefully start to curl up at the edges too, so with the back of a spatula, loosen the dosa off the bottom of the pan and then gently flatten the edges until you have a nice even golden colour on the bottom.

13) At this point, if you are making masala dosa, place some of the potato masala into the center of the dosa and spread it around slightly.

14) With the spatula, curl or fold the dosa and gently slide onto a plate, which already had all of the extras served onto it. The most famous side dishes are sambar, coconut chutney, gunpowder chutney, coriander chutney etc.

ENJOY!!!!! :)
 Any feed back always leaves me eternally grateful. especially if you start to follow :-) 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Chilli Fundamentals "MELTDOWN" sauce

I'm going to blog about something different today, but first of all, I would like to apologise for the length of time it has been since I have updated my blog. I have just been so busy with my little family, enjoying the summer and attending lots of gatherings and festivals.

One of those festivals was held in the town of Melton Mowbray. " The Country Fair is definitely one of the nicest little country fairs that you can go to. There are many different types of stalls from fast food, games, crafts and of course there are many delicious specialist food, jams, pickles, preserves and sauces.

Well, this is what leads me to my new type of blogging. I am still always going to blog about all of my favourite recipes, but there was one particular stall that just blew me away.......literally! Have held a stall at a few food festivals now in the town of Melton Mowbray and I would say they definately stood out of the crowd with their amazing array of pickles and sauces. I can guarantee, that once you have taken a look or a taste, you will absolutely come back to buy more.

The sauce that I came away with, really is the most incredible sauce ever!!! It's called "MELTDOWN" This sauce is a fantastic combination of onions, carrots and of course the amazing "Ghost chilli" The Ghost chilli really does have an amazing flavour and perfectly balanced acidity.

The sauce is endlessly versatile. We have used it to spice up mexican dishes like chilli con carne, used as a marinade mixed with yogurt for lamb, great for b-b-q's and as a dip with chips! The list goes on................

So go on, please buy some chilli fundamentals and do your taste buds a flavour.... oh I mean favour! :-)