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Friday 21 June 2013

Learning How To Make Dosas With Dosa Deli

I made this dosa!
I could happily eat a dosa every single day.
For the uninitiated, dosas are South Indian style savory crepes usually filled with potatoes, commonly served as street food or quick bites, and accompanied by coconut chutney and sambhar, a hot gravy containing vegetables.

A couple of weeks ago via Twitter I discovered that Dosa Deli were running a Dosa Making Masterclass. The closest I'd come to seeing dosas being made was on Madhur Jaffrey's recent cookery show, but according to her they took over 48 hours to make. Was she right? I decided to find out...

Dosa Deli are a mobile dosa making company run by husband and wife team Kristian and Amy, who travel around London making fresh dosas at events and markets.

For the class, the first one they'd ever run, they hired a community kitchen in London where around 15 of us came after work to learn how to make dosas.
The evening started over delicious ginger and lime mocktails as they explained the format of the evening, before Kristian taught us the most important bit - how to 'swirl' a dosa.

The basic ingredients needed for a dosa are urad dhal and white rice flour; both which need to be finely ground/blended up. 

Kristian talked us through the 'quick' 24 hour method. 
The dhal and flour are mixed with water and then left to ferment overnight. However the traditional method that Madhur Jaffrey uses does indeed take 48 hours as the batter is left for longer and made using rice instead of rice flour, but I'm assured they taste the same. 
Kristian's sample dosa
After that it was our turn to have a go. I was paired up with Shaun who I'm pleased to say was a perfect companion as like me he's not the most perfectionist of chefs!
My first attempt was a little on the small size...

But I kept going!
Shaun's dosas were nice and big...
We practiced until everyone in the class had creates piles of dosas.

Kristian then explained how to prepare the sambhar to have on the side and an extremely yummy coconut chutney made from mixing coconut and water with a delicious blend of oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves and asafedida which had been pre-fried/tempered. 
I was also pleased to find out more about the strange green vegetable you commonly get in sambhar - it's a soft veg that has sticks in which you can't eat - I never knew what it was called until now - a drumstick, available in ethnic food shops. 
Or if you can't find one, I think rhubarb would be a good alternative.

Next we moved on to making the filling - which was for a classic masala dosa.
These are usually filled with potato but at Dosa Delhi they have potato and butternut squash.
The whole class got stuck in making and eating dosas (they are best eaten hot and fresh).
As we tucked in Kristian whipped up some other tasty Indian street food snacks including idlis which I LOVE. I had no idea they are made from the same batter mixture as dosa. 

I also discovered they are made in idli moulds. The moulds are filled with batter and then steamed in a saucepan. 

Kristian also cooked some yummy bondas, savoury doughnuts which were fried and served with a tamarind sauce.

At the end of the class it was great to see people getting really creative with their dosa displays, I was particularly impressed by these canape style dosas, cut into more managable pieces. 

I was also happy that after my early attempts I too finally managed to create a dosa I was proud of.

By the end of the night, myself, and by the looks of things everyone else, were totally dosaed out! 
I couldn't eat another mouthful...(I did however take some idlis home which I ate the next day at work!)

Dosa Deli don't yet have any other dates for dosa making classes lined up but keep an eye on their Twitter and website as annoucements will be made there. You can also find out where they will next be serving up their dosas near you so you can try one! 



  1. I was there too, it was great but I'm not sure I'm ready to recreate them at home. Like you I could eat dosa every day and it is my go to comfort food if I ever have a bad day!

    1. Yeah I enjoy eating them out but have no intention of making them myself! I possibly crave them more than any other food but like giving money to a good dosa maker!