Rava dosa is the Indian crepe of South India and it is a cousin of the popular Dosa. Down south,it is also known as Ravvattu. It is easier to make than the regular dosa and is available at the restaurants only in the evening. My love affair with Rava dosa goes back to my childhood. I have vivid memories of going out on Sunday evening with my uncle, siblings, and cousins. All the others would invariably order masala dosa or plain dosa while I would stick to Rava dosa. Even now given a choice I would opt for only Ravva Dosa but then I need to seek company to go to a restaurant in the evening and have it.
No worries as I have mastered it at home and I can now relish it at any time of the day. For example, I had it for breakfast and even for dinner a while ago. One look at that golden griddle-roasted delicacy will have you drooling. Hot, crispy at the edges, with a soft centre, slightly piquant and delicious all by its beautiful self. I just couldn’t resist this scrumptious, delicious, ambrosial, mouth-watering, soft, delectable and appetizing Ravva Dosa? (I ran out of adjectives!)
What is Rava Dosa made with? Semolina or Rava, rice flour and a little of regular flour. The other Dosas date back to ancient times but Ravva dosa was concocted only during the Second World War. Rice was rationed and not easily available in southern India. It was during this time that many recipes that traditionally used rice were modified by adding semolina to replace the rice. Items like uttapams and Rava idlis were also made with semolina, and many restaurants even now carry these alternatives on their menu.
It is made with a batter of semolina, rice flour and water along with cumin seeds, salt, diced onions, grated carrot, cashew nuts, chopped cilantro and green chillies. The mixed ingredients are then poured thinly onto a heated, lightly oiled griddle using a ladle in a circular motion. Then, oil or ghee is sprinkled around the dosa and it is cooked for about two minutes, after which it is ready to be served with chutney or sambar.
Rava dosa Recipe
½ cup unroasted rava/sooji/semolina)
½ cup rice flour
2 tbsp flour/maida
1 green chili finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cups buttermilk or as required
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Roasted cashew nuts (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee for roasting the dosa
Mix the rava, rice flour, all purpose flour, green chilies, cumin seeds, onion, coriander leaves, salt in a bowl.
Buttermilk – whisk 3 to 4 tbsp of yogurt in 2 cups of water
Add the buttermilk and make a thin batter without any lumps. The batter should not be thick or of medium consistency. Keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat the griddle or non-stick pan. Smear a little oil with an onion half or a napkin all over the griddle.
Dunk a ladle into the batter and pour the batter from the edges of the griddle towards the center. It is ok if the dosa is not a perfect round as the batter is very thin. It should form a mesh with holes all over.
Drizzle 1 tsp of oil into all the holes in the dosa and around the edges.
Once the edges begin to rise and the dosa becomes golden and crisp, fold and remove the dosa onto a plate.
This Rava dosa is best served with coconut chutney and sambar but you can serve it with any chutney of your choice and I never need sambar to go with it. Serve immediately.
Recipe for coconut Chutney is here.
The Rava and the flours tend to settle at the bottom after some time. So keep stirring the batter every time you make the dosa. In case the batter becomes thick after making a few dosas, then add some water and stir again.
The humble yet versatile dosa has made its way into the haloed Oxford dictionary but then such a amazingly satisfying and healthy meal that satiates the tummy deserves a mention in the world culinary vocabulary.