Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bajra Dosa~Kambu Dosai~Savory Pearl Millet Indian crepes

Pearl millet/ Bajra is a highly nutritious, gluten free grain. It is said to be an excellent source of protein, fiber and is rich in minerals like phosphorous and iron. It is also beneficial to lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cancer. One of my resolutions this year is to try and include millets much more often in our diet. I do use finger millet/ragi/nachni much more often, but pearl millet has not been something I have used very often.

The first thing I tried with millets was this dosai and it was an instant winner in my book. It does not taste vastly different from the traditional dosai and yet has the added nutritional benefits of bajra. Since the first time I made this, I have made this dosai many, many times. Sometimes with brown rice, sometimes with white and sometimes a little of both. It works well in all of these variations. Since the batter can be made ahead, I love this for weekend breakfast, its quick and easy and yet provides a great start to the day :)

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Kambu dosai
1 cup hulled pearl millet (bajra/kambu)
1 cup raw rice (chawal/arisi) (see notes)
1/2 cup split black gram lentil (udad dhal/ ulatham parappu)
salt to taste
a little sesame oil to shallow fry the dosai

In a large bowl, add millet, rice and lentils and mix well. Add water to this, swirl with hand and drain. Do this a couple of times. Fill with sufficient water to submerge the grains and soak for about 4 to 5 hours.

Drain and grind the grains in batches with water as required to a smooth batter.The batter should be of pouring consistency but not too thin. If in doubt err on the side of a thicker batter, you can always add more water later to achieve required consistency. Pour this batter in a large bowl that is large enough to allow the batter to ferment, when it ferments the batter doubles in size. Add a pinch of salt, mix well and keep in a warm place for about 8 to 10 hours.

I usually keep it in my oven with the oven light on, since we have such cold temperatures here. Sometimes I set the oven @ 175 deg F, switch it off, then switch on the oven light and keep the batter in, depending on how cold it is here. If you live in a warm place, you can avoid all this fuss and just cover the batter and wait for it to ferment :)

After it has fermented, add salt to taste, mix well. 

When you are ready to make the dosai, heat a tawa/ flat pan/ griddle. Add water if required to achieve required consistency.  The batter should not be runny or watery but slightly thick pouring consistency.

When the tawa is hot, pour a little batter in the center and quickly spread into a thin circle. Add a few drops of oil around the circumference of the dosa. When the lower side is golden brown, flip over and cook until the other side has light golden brown spots.

Here is a video clip of the process, it is not of this dosai, but something similar, just to give you an idea of the process of making the dosai......

Remove and serve hot with chutney of choice, sambar or with some kind of masala curry. This time I served this dosai with tomato chutney (will post the recipe here soon) and a carrot potato masala curry (will post the recipe for that too)

Balance of batter can be refrigerated and used within the next 2 to 3 days for maximum freshness.

This dosai turns out fine with white raw rice/ brown rice or half white and half brown too. The batter with brown rice is slightly more creamier, this time when I took the pics I used half white, half brown, hence the creamier color of the batter.

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