Back home in Tempe, Az, there is an absolutely awesome vegetarian Indian restaurant called Udupi Cafe. I LOVE their food. I didn't even realize it was vegetarian the first time I ate there. I guarantee you wont miss meat when you delve into their delicious mounds of curried veggies and potatoes. One of my favorite dishes there is a variant of dosa, or a rice and lentil pancake that can be eaten on its own, smothered in butter, or filled with all kinds of sweet or spicy goodness.
Here is some basic instruction on how make the dosa and my favorite variation: Masala Dosa. This information listed below was copied directly from Wikipedia.
Basic PreparationA mixture of Rice and Urad dal that has been soaked in water is ground finely to form a batter. The proportion of rice to lentils is basically 2:1 or 3:1. The batter is allowed to sit overnight and ferment. Sometimes a little Fenugreek seeds are added to the Rice-dal mixture. Rice can be uncooked or parboiled. The mixture of urad dal (black lentils) and rice can be replaced with highly refined wheat flour to make amaida dosa, or semolina for a rava dosa.
A thin layer of the batter is then ladled onto a hot tava (griddle) greased with oil or ghee (clarified butter). It is spread out evenly with the base of a ladle or bowl to form a pancake. It is flipped to heat both crusts and removed from the griddle when the crust becomes dry. A dosa is served hot, either folded in half or rolled like a wrap.
Masala dosa as served in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMasala dosa showing potatomasala fillingA masala dosa is made by stuffing a dosa with a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices. It wraps the dosa around an onion and potato curry or sabji.[clarification needed] It is listed at number 49 on World's 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN Go in 2011.
Before it was invented, plain dosa was served with potato curry (liquified potato palya) without onions in a separate cup. During a shortage of potatoes, a method was created in which potato was mashed and sautéed with onions with other spices. This was then placed inside the dosa instead of in a separate cup to hide the onions, which are not eaten by orthodox Hindus and Jains. This came to be known as "masala dosa", from the sautéeing of spices (masala) during the preparation of the potato palya.
Like most traditional dishes each recipe is a bit different depending on the region, family, or even the individual family member you get the recipe from. This is why I have not included a step by step recipe. I'm sure you can find them somewhere on the web but in keeping with tradition I like to just gather the ingredients and make it from scratch each time till I find a variation I like. So happy experimenting!! If you have a particular version you enjoy, please feel free to submit the recipe!