Here is a tasty alternative to the good old dosa. The first time my mother made it for one of her friends, the friend’s husband was very amused. He said it 'looked like a big fluffy idly' (steamed rice cake) but 'tasted like dosai' and hence he named it "ISAI."
Raw rice – 2 cups
Aval (poha) – 1/2 cup
Urad dal (black gram) – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Water for grinding
Soak the rice, aval and urad dal together for 4-5 hours. Grind into a smooth paste, add salt and let it ferment (preferably overnight). In colder regions, it might take longer.
Heat the dosa pan, pour 1-2 ladles of batter onto it (do not spread like regular dosa). Cover with a lid and let it cook. Unlike the regular dosa, Isai needs no flipping. As the dosa is slightly thick, it might take a few minutes to cook thoroughly...be patient.
Serve hot with chutney(s) of your choice or potato stew (recipe given below).
Onion (diced) – 1 (big)
Green chillies (slit into long pieces – to taste)
Ginger (long slices – to taste)
Coconut milk – enough to make gravy
Grated coconut (instead of coconut milk)
Curry leaves (garnish)
Coconut oil (garnish)
Salt to taste
In a pressure cooker, with sufficient amount of water, cook the potatoes, onions, green chillies, and ginger with salt. Leave for 2/3 whistles and turn off the stove. Make sure that the vegetables do not get mashed. Once the pressure has released, remove the vegetables (leave out the excess water), add coconut milk and mix well to combine all the ingredients. If it feels too thick, add more coconut milk or the excess water from the cooker to make more gravy. Garnish with fresh curry leaves and a dash of coconut oil. Serve with Isai.
Alternatively, if you do not have coconut milk, grind the grated coconut as you would for making chutney and add to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and garnish as mentioned above.
Note – Don't worry if you do not have a pressure cooker. This can very well be done in a regular pan/vessel too. The cooker only quickens the process.