There is a story in our household regarding sago crepes. It so happened that quite some time back R and his family had been to a place called Bandipur National Park in India. This is a place where you get to see a lot of wildlife in their natural habitat. So they have a lot of memories from that place and one of the memories was about how amazing it was to see deer and other wildlife when you looked out of the window at the cabin where they were staying. But in addition to the tales of these animals R and his parents always talk about one more thing from this place.....food....not something you expect someone to remember from their visit to a wild life sanctuary.
Apparently in the place they were staying, there was this cook who on the day of their arrival offered to make them sago crepes(dosai). When he got it for them they were all completely blown away by the softness and taste of the crepe/dosai they were offered. They happily consumed copious amounts of bite sized little crepes/dosai and remember it until now. When the family sits together and is reminiscing about old times often this tale about their trip to Bandipur followed by the tale of sago dosai is almost always brought up.Unfortunately though none of them thought to take the recipe from that cook and this dosai and its memory has become a legend around our home.
So now whenever I experiment with something in my kitchen and tell R I made it out of the top of my head R suggests to me that maybe I should try my hand at making the sago dosai.He has been ever hopeful that somehow I will be able to put together the ingredients of an item I have never even seen, let alone tried, and will be able recreate the exact same dosai he once enjoyed. What can I say, R is an eternal optimist when it comes to my cooking :-) He helpfully gave me two clues to help me in my quest for the perfect sago dosai, he told me that that the dosai he had was soft and it had sago in it:-)
Well that information has led me to experiment with various proportions of sago and other ingredients in dosai, sometimes with disastrous results, and sometimes like this one, when I hit upon something that tasted yum and that we enjoyed.This dosai has been the softest dosai I have had and had a very light and delicate texture and for those who like their dosai to be crunchy when made very thin and kept on the tawa for a bit longer it turned very crunchy too.
My search for the elusive Bandipur sago dosai/ crepe continues and at the very least this search has proven to be very interesting until now and has the fringe benefit of contributing to my collection of recipes in the process.
Ingredients and method to make Sago Rice crepe ( Sabudana Dosai)
1 1/2 cups brown rice (or white raw rice)
1/2 cup sago (sabudana/ Javarsi)
1/2 cup Beaten rice flakes/ flattened rice (jada poha/ aval)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or cooked white rice)
salt to taste
A few drops of sesame oil
Wash, drain and soak the rice in water for at least 4 to 5 hours
Soak sabudana in water ( the water should just cover the sabudana) for about 4 to 5 hours
Just before grinding, wash and drain the flattened rice and keep aside.
Grind the rice until smooth adding water as required. It should be free falling but not runny.
Grind the sago,cooked rice and flattened rice together until very very smooth. Add water as required but keep this sago,cooked rice and flattened rice mixture thicker than the ground rice.
Mix both the ground mixtures together and add salt to taste and mix well.
Heat the tawa/griddle/flat pan on medium heat and when it is hot pour a ladle full of this batter in the center and spread quickly into a thin circle as possible.
Add a few drops of sesame oil on top and let it cook.
Flip over and cook the other side too.
Yields about 12 to 15 dosais (depending on size )
For those of you who like things spicy you could grind a couple of green chillies (or more or less according to taste) with the rice or the sago to spice things up a bit
Notes for Sago rice crepe
I used long grain brown rice( brown basmati) but any type of white raw rice can be substituted in its place.If you use white rice, this dosai will also look whiter and not have the creamish tinge mine had
The batter should be free flowing but thick not runny. For those of you familiar with both idli batter and dosa batter it should be thicker than dosa batter but a little thinner than idli batter.
If the tawa gets too hot the batter will start rolling even as you try to spread into a circle, so try and keep the tawa on a medium heat throughout.