Aromatic Kanchipuram dosa: The soul of silk city in a plate

Photo: Shutterstock/PRABHAS ROY

Kanchipuram, the renowned silk city of Tamil Nadu, is also known for its rich culinary heritage, especially its delectable traditional dishes – especially idlis and dosas. Similar to regular dosas, Kanchipuram dosas are made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils. However, what sets them apart is the addition of spices like cumin, pepper, ginger, and asafoetida. These dosas are usually thicker and have a slightly spicy flavour.

Here is how to prepare a classic Kanchipuram dosa:

1 cup rice (preferably parboiled rice)
½ cup urad dal (black gram dal)
¼ cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust according to spice preference)
A handful of curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee for cooking

Wash the rice and lentils separately and soak them in water for about 4-6 hours
Also, soak fenugreek seeds along with rice
After soaking, drain the water and grind the rice, urad dal, chana dal, and fenugreek seeds together to a smooth batter consistency
Add water as needed while grinding
Transfer the batter to a large bowl, cover it, and let it ferment overnight or for at least 8 hours in a warm place

In a small pan, heat some oil or ghee
Add cumin seeds and black peppercorns
Let them splutter
Add chopped ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves
Sauté for a minute until fragrant
Add asafoetida (hing) and mix well
Remove from heat and let the seasoning mixture cool down
Once the batter is fermented, add the prepared seasoning mixture to it
Also, add salt to taste and mix everything well
The batter is now ready for making dosas
Heat a dosa tawa on medium-high heat
Once hot, pour a ladleful of batter onto the center of the tawa
Using the back of the ladle, spread the batter in a circular motion to form a thin dosa
Drizzle some oil or ghee around the edges of the dosa and in the center
Let the dosa cook until the edges start to brown and crisp up, and the bottom turns golden brown
Flip the dosa and cook for another minute or until the other side is cooked and crisp
Remove the dosa from the tawa and serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar, or any chutney of your choice.

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