Saturday, December 10, 2016

Recipe of the month: Ragi Dosa (Finger Millet Crepe)





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If you have lived in India, particularly South India, chances are, you are familiar with ragi (also called finger millet or nachni).

A generation or two ago, ragi featured commonly in the Indian states where the crop is cultivated. The once well-known cereal is however diminishing from most people’s diets today. It is unfortunate, considering the nutritive and therapeutic value of ragi towards health and well-being. Ragi has high protein content, is a rich source of minerals, helps control diabetes, keeps weight in check, battles anemia, reduces 'bad' cholesterol and has anti-cancer properties. I can't think of a single reason why we shouldn't incorporate this miracle cereal into our diet! It won't be long before this one finds recognition in the International 'superfoods' list which has become quite the craze in recent years. And then I will roll my eyes 😝

Despite hailing from Karnataka and living most of my life in Mysore, ragi is not something that I grew up eating. The reason being that ragi isn't originally a part of Udupi-style cuisine. Ragi mudde, ragi dosa and ragi rotti are dishes that I used to see most of my friends and neighbours eating. I was curious about the dark brown ragi-containing dishes that didn't look appetizing to me at all. As I grew older, my mum did start experimenting with ragi by making ragi rotti once in awhile but I wasn't too keen on it back then. Ragi is definitely an acquired taste so over the years, in the form of rotti and dosa (I'm still not a fan of mudde), I've somewhat grown accustomed to it.

This is the instant version of ragi dosa that I am sharing with you which means no fermentation required (yay!). At first, I tried making ragi dosas using just ragi flour but it felt like something wasn't quite right. I then started adding in a little bit of this and that to make the taste and texture better. I found that incorporating semolina, rice flour and whole wheat flour made the dosas much more palatable. After several trials, I arrived at this particular recipe and it has been my go-to recipe ever since. It appears on our breakfast table during the weekends very frequently even replacing rava dosa which was a previous favourite. Maybe calling it ragi dosa would be a bit unjustified since it contains other grains as well but we'll just go with the name ragi dosa, because I say so okay? Okay.

If you have never tried cooking with ragi or haven't had any culinary success stories with it or even if you nurture a dislike for it, you should try this recipe because it is a pretty good one (if I do say so myself!). Even my toddlers who are quite fussy, like this dosa and will eat it with great gusto.

This recipe is vegan (if you replace ghee with vegetable oil) and gluten-free (if you omit the wheat flour) so aside from being tasty and good for you, it fits the bill for even stringent dietary requirements. 

Check it out now!

Ragi Dosa (Finger Millet Crepe)

Preparation time: 30 mins; Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 2-3
Recipe category: Breakfast/South-Indian
Recipe level: Easy

Ingredients: (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)

1/2 cup ragi flour/finger millet flour
1/2 cup unroasted rava/sooji/fine semolina (we call it chiroti rava)
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
4-5 green chillies, finely chopped (adjust according to spice level)
6-8 curry leaves, chopped
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
~ 5 cups water or add as required
salt as required
oil or ghee for frying the dosa

Method:

1. Mix the ragi flour, rava, rice flour, whole wheat flour and salt in a large bowl.


2. Add in the chopped onions, curry leaves, green chillies and coriander leaves. 


3. Gradually add 4.5 cups of water. Add one cup at a time and mix well after each addition. Keep aside for 20 minutes. The batter should have a pouring consistency like buttermilk. 


4. Heat a cast iron tawa or non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Spread 1 or 2 tsp oil or ghee. With a ladle, mix the batter very well and then pour the batter from outwards towards the centre in a circular motion. You will see gaps and that lacy pattern is what we are looking for. If you have big gaps, fill them lightly. Note that you cannot spread this batter like a normal dosa. Drizzle ½ or 1 tsp of oil from the top. Cook until the dosa becomes golden and crisp. Make sure the dosa is cooked through. 


5. Fold the dosa in half. There is no need to cook the other side (I don't) but you can if you wish to do so.


6. Prepare all the dosas this way. Make sure you mix the batter very well before pouring it onto the tawa each time. If you see the batter getting thicker, add in about half cup of water more and mix well.

7. Serve the hot dosas immediately with coconut chutney, onion tomato chutney or any bhaji or curry of your choice. 


Notes:

  • Make sure the tawa you are using is seasoned otherwise the dosas will stick. It is advisable to have a separate tawa for dosas and rotis/chapathis
  • Chances are the first one or two dosas may not turn out so good but the subsequent dosas do come out well so don't get disheartened
  • Before pouring the dosa batter on to the tawa each time, give the batter a good mix
  • The manner of pouring the batter onto the tawa is just like how we do for rava dosa. There needs to be small gaps throughout the dosa
  • This dosa takes time to cook so be patient. If you are short on time, I suggest you keep multiple tawas going
  • You can add in cumin seeds, grated carrot or scraped coconut into the batter for extra flavour


Cheers,
Megha

1 comment:

  1. this looks so so good! omg! I need to try it ;)

    you have such a lovely blog, I'm following! I'd love if you could follow me too XD

    xx
    the-not-so-girlygirl.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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