South India is known for its pancakes. Typically dosa are served as a snack, or tiffin, in the afternoon but they are also served for breakfast. Everyone who has eaten at an Indian restaurant has tried a dosa. You would remember it if you had because the flavor is incredible. It is made from a batter of rice flour and a bit of urad dal that is fermented overnight then cooked on a griddle or tava. It is served with Sambar, Red Coconut Chutney or Green Coconut Chutney and Mulaga Podi mixed with oil. The only problem is to remember to prepare the batter the night before you want to eat them.

Rava dosa are also pancakes that are cooked on a griddle but they have two very fundamental differences. First, the batter is made from ground semolina (coarsely ground wheat) and a bit of rice flour so the texture and flavor are more delicate. Second, the batter for rava dosa does not have to ferment so this recipe can be made on the spur of the moment. Using flour that is already ground instead of soaking and grinding it at home, also contributes to making this recipe a breeze.

Rava Dosa

Rava Dosa, hot off the griddle, are a delicious snack any time of day.

Several ingredients are added to the batter give this dosa its distinctive flavor. I like to add a bit of green chile, cilantro, chopped onion, chopped coconut and cashews. The last step of preparing the batter is adding a few spices that are tempered in hot oil to enhance the flavor. In this version I added green onions for more color and additional spices for even more flavor.

Rava dosa are also served with Sambar, Red Coconut Chutney or Green Coconut Chutney and Mulaga Podi  mixed with oil.

 

Everyone who has ever eaten in an Indian restaurant has eaten the delicious, fluffy North Indian bread called naan. I have to confess that when I started eating Indian food, I would stuff myself with at least 2 of them when I would eat at Indian buffets. Now as I am a few years older (yeah, right) and have struggled to loose a lot of weight, I am very careful about which and how much Indian bread I eat with a meal. Since bread is one of my all time favorite foods, I am dedicating this month’s recipes to some of South Indian delicious breads.

 

South Indian breads can be made with wheat, rice or lentil flour. Since there are so many types, I am going to constrain my recipes to just the ones that are made with wheat flour. The basic ones are Chapati, Paratha and Poori recipes. Variations on these recipes include adding spices or stuffing them with fruit, cheese or egg.

Chapatis

Chapatis, also called roti, are unleavened flatbreads that are made fresh and served with almost every meal, just like rice. In fact, my husband prefers them to rice. The dough is made from a blend of whole wheat and white flour, a little oil and some salt that is kneaded then rolled out into circles that are cooked on a tava or dry skillet.  Add some spiced scrambled eggs during the cooking process and you have a delicious breakfast or lunch on the go, Mutta (Egg) Chapati.

 

 

Fresh Chapati.

Fresh Chapati.

 

Parathas

Parathas are a made with whole wheat flour just like chapatis except the dough is layered during the rolling out process so they puff up when cooked. One version of this recipe that is popular in Kerala is the layered paratha – it is deliciously delicate and flakey. Parathas are often filled with scrambled egg, Egg Paratha, or a spiced meat mixture, Kheema Paratha, for a few of the many variations.

 

 


Fresh Paratha

Fresh Paratha


Pooris

Pooris are made with a 50-50 blend of whole wheat and white flour with some oil salt and water. After the dough is kneaded it is deep fried in hot oil. Within a minute, the dough puffs up into a ball and it is done. When served hot and steaming, they taste soft and heavenly. If they are cooked a bit more, they become crunchy. Pooris are my son’s all time favorite Indian food.

 

 

Fresh Poori

Fresh Poori

 

Enjoy!

 

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As I was reworking the recipe pages on my website, I grouped foods by their state of origin, Kerala or Tamil Nadu (Madras). One thing that I noticed right away is that I don’t have any South Indian recipes for bread. Since that is an easy gap to fix, the recipe for May is Chapathi. Similar to tortillas, they are made of whole wheat and are very tasty.

Chapati are made fresh daily in South Indian homes.

Chapati are made fresh daily in South Indian homes.


The best part of making your own Chapatti from scratch, beyond the mouthwatering flavor, is making them with your children. Mine liked making different shapes with them. When my daughter was learning shapes, we made them in circles, squares, triangles and rectangles. She even made some very “artistic” shapes that had no name.

Visit KachisKitchen.com for Indian recipes and cooking tips.

 

Try making
your own Chapatis, you will never buy packaged tortillas or Chapatis again!

All text and photographic content are property of KachisKitchen.com and are not to be used without permission of the author.