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Sunday, April 2, 2023

leisurely Sunday ! - art of making dosa !! - அண்ணனுக்கு ஒரு ஊத்தப்பம்

 Not a personal Q – not a gender-bias Q either !   How often do you enter your kitchen ? – do you make your own coffee ! – can you make delicacies !! – do you really enjoy cooking.  Wrong Qs to some, who cannot differentiate between – Urad dhall, Moong dhal, Toor dhal and .. .. .. .. .. for sure, we enjoy Vadivelu comedy, where he goes to a hotel and customizes his required dosa –  there are two major variants of dosa – if you cannot predict the answer – it is at the last !! 

அண்ணனுக்கு ஒரு ஊத்தப்பம் காமெடி !  - தோசை கல்லை துடைப்பத்தின் பின் பக்கத்தாலா வறட்டு, வரட்டுன்னு இழுத்து கழுவி விட்டு, ஒரு கிண்ணி மாவை எடுத்து - சின்னதாவும் இல்லாம, பெரிசாகவும் இல்லாம ஒரு வட்டம் போட்டு, அதில் பொடிபொடியா வெங்காயம் தூவி, ஒரு நீளமான கேரட்டை சன்னமா கட் பண்ணி, கொஞ்சமா தூவி, ஒரு 16 கரண்டி நெய் எடுத்து, அதில் 6 கரண்டி நெய்யை ... .. கடைசியில் அந்த சர்வர் - அண்ணனுக்கு ஒரு ஊத்தப்பம் என்று சொல்லும்போது வடிவேலுவின் எக்ஸ்பிரஷன்  !!!


Life has changed in fast lane – 50 years ago, the best (or the only available hotels) in Triplicane would be Murali Café, Vaitha Hotel, Bommi hotel, Neo Mitra bhavan,  Ratna Café and a couple more, apart from famous Mess like Sydoji, Kasi Vinayaga …….. those were the days when the ‘Menu card’ was not prevalent [it is another that in many hotels, you are not able to decipher what the dish is going by the name in the card – one needs to order and guess what would end up !] …. The eternal Q is to be ‘What is hot’ ? [meaning what is available – freshly made] – the server would reel out – idly, vada, pongal, dosai, rava dosai, chapathi, masala dosa, puri, idiyappam ….and the like – and sometimes the person would simply order ‘coffee’ !  

Dosas are the most sought after food in South Indian hotels……… the server might reel … kara dosai, kal dosai, set dosai, podi dosai, vegetable dosai; paneer dosai; mushroom dosai; cauliflower dosai; ghee roast; masala dosai; paper masala; maharaja dosai; …. Rava dosai, rava masala; pesarattu and more…….. and these pancakes are accompanied by chutnies of various taste and colour like – coconut chutney; mint chutney; kothamalli chutney; thakkali chutney; milagai podi (mirchi powder) and sambar – what a dish to savour and relish.  

Dosai is made of batter of rice and urad dal – these are mixed and soaked in water – some add fenugreek seeds too.  After hours, the water is drained and ground to make a grainy paste.  Some salt is added to the batter and kept in a large container – it will ferment and require more space.  Spreading of the batter in sweeping circular motion on the hot upper surface requires expertise – more so in taking it out in a round shape without getting shattered.  

In 1990s when I was travelling almost every alternate week, saw a dosa making machine in Central –  it was so captivating ! – there were rollers in different direction – a dropper would dispense exact quantity of batter, as it rolls, it would take a round shape and would be pressed thin too – murumuru dosai !  

Sometime back on a business trip, in a Star hotel, there was live counter – behind a French window where one can see items being prepared fresh.  A young well-dressed, stylish Chef – took the batter – first couple of times, it was not in round shape, so abandoned, then few more times, it was somewhat better in shape, but he could not take them out in a single piece !!   

While at home, most of us would have the dosa turned on both sides of the hot surface, at most hotels, it is single sided.  Now if you ask what the two variants are :

1.      The nice thin layered dosa in proper shape

2.      What we do most times – the battered bruised odd-shaped, mangled, multi-piece dosa !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sampath Sir 😊 for taking back to good old and golden days.

    Incidentally I read this blog while eating dosa on this leisure Sunday and honestly it was made by my wife.

    Yes of course for me kitchen remembers me and I remember what are all there in kitchen.

    I consider kitchen is my best place for stress buster where I become like a scientist and enjoy cooking some thing of my choice at times family choice.

    The only thing my family/ children don’t like is whatever I make I expect some feedback and till get positive feedback I peruse.

    True making dosa on a hot surface of similar size and shape and quantity never been considered as an art who are at their 50;s.

    It was a cake walk and smallest thing for wives ..mothers.. sisters who does it for entire family including maids.

    But for younger generation probably who born from 90’s it’s a great achievement if they make atleast one dosa in proper shape.

    Yes now it is an get it in a shape and true most of this generation do not know which Dal is what and for it use.

    Keep writing ✍️ Sir and enjoying all blogs which takes aback to recall those beautiful days.