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Question Dear Kurma,
I have a question about Dosas. My mother used to cook them with a lovely crust, but I have not been successful. Do you know what gives them the reddish brown color to its surface?

AnswerHi Julia,
Thanks for your letter. I think a lot has to do with batter proportion, batter thickness, heat of pan, amount of ghee used in cooking, amount of batter on pan, length of time the dosa are on the pan, and type of pan. Dosas are not so easy to make as good as Mum used to make, I am sure. Nevertheless here are a few pointers:

Proportion of dal to rice ( for 6-8 dosas): 2/3 cup split urad dal to 1 1/2 cups basmati or other long grain rice.

Wash both before soaking.

Soak both separately for 4 - 6 hours.

Drain both.

Add up to a total of 3/4 cup water to the drained dal in spoonful amounts, and blend in food processor until light and frothy. Pour into non-metallic bowl.

Add the same amount of water to the rice also in small batches.

Combine both batters and leave for 24 hours or until bubbly and pleasantly fermented.

Iron griddles will give you the brown crust. I find non-stick pans to be useless in that they never allow the proper browning.

The pan should be hot enough for a drop of water to dance on the surface then vanish, no hotter or cooler.

You should drizzle on about 3/4 cup of ghee during the cooking, total, for all 6-8 dosas.This will assist in the browning process and make them delicious. Don't use more than 1/3 cup of batter per dosa.

The dosa should cook 2 - 2 1/2 minutes on the first side, and another minute or so on the second side.

Hope this helps. Glad to have been of assistance.

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