Make a Dreamy Dosa

A bub­bly-on-the-in­side, crispy-on-the­out­side crêpe is the key to a real-deal dosa

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You can use a non­stick pan to make a 12-inch ver­sion, or mimic the whop­ping crêpes made on com­mer­cial grid­dles in In­dia by us­ing a large, well-oiled cast-iron or free­stand­ing elec­tric grid­dle. Ei­ther way, learn­ing to per­fect the bal­ance be­tween crunchy edges and a pil­lowy un­der­side takes a few tries. (A prop­erly mixed and fer­mented bat­ter goes a long way; recipe at right.) Once you’ve got the bat­ter and shap­ing down, Raj says, “the trick to a crispy dosa is a lit­tle oil or ghee.” Here are Raj’s in­struc­tions.

STEP 1: La­dle and Spread

Be sure the dosa bat­ter is free of lumps. In the cen­ter of a hot pan, work­ing quickly but evenly, add a ladle­ful of bat­ter (start with ⅓ cup for a 12-inch pan). Start­ing in the cen­ter, drag the bot­tom of the la­dle in a steady spi­ral mo­tion, pulling the bat­ter to­ward the pan’s edges.

STEP 2: Oil and Fill

When the top looks set, brush or driz­zle a lit­tle melted ghee or oil over the outer por­tion of the dosa. Quickly spread on some of the gun­pow­der paste (if us­ing). If fill­ing, mash and spread some potato sabzi across the dosa’s cen­ter. Or skip to Step 3 to serve the fill­ing on the side.

STEP 3: Fold and Re­move

Loosen the dosa from the pan with a spat­ula. Coax one edge of the dosa over to the other side, tuck­ing the edge slightly to cre­ate a tall cylin­dri­cal roll. (If it doesn’t form a cylin­der, fold both sides to­ward the cen­ter like a let­ter, and flat­ten.) Cut or tear, and eat with your hands.

Bub­bles, which should spring up as you spread the bat­ter, sig­nify a suc­cess­ful fer­ment.

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