Any discussion about Neer dosa takes me back to my school days - late sixties and early seventies. I did my schooling in the western part of Karnataka a state in Southern India. Culture, language, customs and food of this region are influenced by coastal belt of Karnataka where rice is the staple. This versatile grain is transformed into crepes (dosas), dumplings (kadubu), idlis (steamed dishes), shyavige (rice noodles) each one with a unique taste and flavour. On the side it is always a coconut based chutney/gravy/sauce to accompany. Neer Dosa is a very common and popular break fast dish in this region. Till late nineties this delicacy had not made inroads into Bengaluru/Mysuru regions. However neer dosa is equally popular through out Karnataka.
In the local language Kannada neer means water and I used to wonder how could somebody make a dosa with just water? This question kept bugging me until I tasted this heavenly, soft, melting in the mouth neer dosa in a friend's place. I got my answer. You will also get the answer in a while.
What is neer dosa? What are the ingredients? How is it prepared?
Neer dosa batter is very watery/thin hence the name. Basic ingredients are rice and coconut meat. How is it made let us explore.
- Ease - trial and error initially, to get perfect texture and consistency
- Preparation time - 10 - 15 minutes
- Cooking time - 15 minutes to grind and 30 - 40 minutes to make 15 dosas
- Serving /portion - to make 12 - 15 dosas
- Raw rice - 250 gms (sona masoori/ dosa rice/ kollam rice should be ok)
- Coconut meat/grated coconut - 2 cups ( I have used tender coconut meat)
- Salt to taste
- Soak rice with enough water overnight/6-8 hours
- Grind soaked rice very smoothly and keep aside
- Grind coconut meat/grated coconut also finely and add to ground rice
- Add salt and water if required to get a thin consistency (watery unlike other dosa batters) and leave for 30 minutes
- Heat dosa tava/griddle and check for heat by sprinkling a little water. Water should sizzle/evaporate. Skillet should not be over heated also. Always keep medium heat.
- Pour the dosa batter to form a circle of the size of your choice. (Do not try to spread)
- Cook the dosa covered for a minute and remove the lid cook further till you are able to lift the dosa easily from the tava/griddle
- Repeat the process for rest of the batter
- Serve dosa with spicy coconut chutney/ginger chutney
- One favorite side dish with this dosa is kayi bella* (kayi=coconut, bella=jaggery)
*Preparation of Kayi bella - mix grated coconut and powdered jaggery in equal proportion and flavour with cardamom powder
This dosa is cooked on only one side do not flip the dosa on the griddle
When cooked the dosa will be white in colour. It should not be roasted to get golden brown/red hue.
No need to drizzle oil/ghee while making this dosa
This dosa tastes best when fluffy and soft.
Do not use boiled rice, use only raw rice.
Use fresh batter. Refrigerated batter will affect texture and taste.