Amma's Special

RecipePongalam – the much adored dosai

I hate to eat dosais nowadays outside home. There were hundreds of versions coming up everyday but not one had satiated the dosai craving of yours truly. Many times I crave for dosai which is homemade and soft.

When it comes to dosai I have several pre-requisites for it if I should love the entire plate.

1. The batter should be just a day old. If it grows older and sour then its suitable for only crisp dosais and not to my liking

2. It should accompany as many chutneys possible a coconut chutney, a tomato chutney, a pudina chutney and more is fine. A vegetable kurma can replace all the chutneys.

3. It should have very less oil

4. Not even a single spot should be crisp / brownish

And I prefer a kal dosai kind…Wait…I am going to explain all these conditions with pictures in this post. Since I started this blog except for a kids favorite I haven’t paid much attention to dosais which I eat day in and day out.

The above described dosais were the kind I prefer anytime in a day. But if the batter gets sour I have a different type made by which Amma used to make as an after school tiffin. And to my surprise till date she calls it a “Pongalam”. Don’t know why!

These were by looks resemble uthappams but they were way better beauties. I never like sour idli batter turning into crispy dosais but I adore pongalams.

Playing an hour long after the school hours with dirty soiled uniform and sweating body when I arrive at th door step with my sister, my mom all fresh and dressed up in her bright colorful saree with a turmeric coated smiling face and a kunkum pottu lighting up her face will welcome us with the crisp yet soft and greasy pongalams.

After a quick wash and freshening up we will settle down with our plates with non-stop chattering about the day’s happenings at the school and run out to play with a full stomach and happy heart. Oh when u can burn more calories than that went in with these pongalams why do ever think about it ? I hardly heard the word calorie at that age :)

Lots of onions, red chillies, chana dal and urad dal along with curry leaves adore this crispy dosai. And its drenched in oil. You will end up with a greasy hand afer eating this but a full satisfied tummy. you don’t need any side dish to push this in. Just pluck pieces of this and eat and you will never stop. And to your wonder these pongalams are not cooked in dosai tawas. Yes, they were cooked in kadais. Ok, let me jump to recipe and pictures.

Ingredients : Yields 4 pongalams

2-3 days old idli batter – 1 cup (please don’t thin it with water. It should be as thick as it was in the day one)

Onions chopped – 1/2 cup

Red chilles – 2

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Chanadal and Urad dal – each 1 tea spoon

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tea spoon

Peanut oil – 1 T for tadka and 3 teaspoons for each pongalam.

How to make it?

In a thick bottomed kadai heat 1 T of oil. When hot add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the chana dal, urad dal and curry leaves. When the dals turn pink add the onions and broken red chillies. Fry till onions turn translucent. Add this to the idli batter and mix well. Check for enough salt in the batter. Adjust salt now.

Retrun the kadai to the stove and add 1 tea spoon of oil. When its slightly hot add 1/2 cup of the batter. Note that the addition of onions would have increased the volume of the batter. Turn the stove to low and cover and cook for a 2 minutes. After that take away the lid and add 1 teaspoon of oil around the pongalam and turn it upside down. Cook on low heat (do not cover the kadai this time) until the edges turn crisp and golden. Serve hot.

These pongalams taste a bit sour because of the age of the batter. The onions were a delight to bite in. The outer skin is cripy goden and the inner parts will be cooked soft like a sponge. The red chillies provide the right heat and the dals give the crunchy bites.

All in all its a delight to enjoy sour idli batter. Now you know why I don’t like eating dosais outside home ;)