Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Neer Dose - Smooth, Soft, Snow-white 'n lite Dosas

“Ma, I’m coming home this weekend”
“Ohh good... what do I make for you?”
“Anything is fine ma.... I’ll love to eat whatever you make”
“Shall I make neer dose”
“Ohhhh wow! I’d love it! I’m waiting for the weekend....”

This would be my common conversation on phone with Ma. When you’ve never gone and stayed away from home for almost a quarter century, and suddenly you’ll have to go and stay in another home, though it’s supposedly yours from now on, you know how it feels.
Something like, Hmmmm.... everyone’s good there, but still you don’t feel comfortable enough; there are enough people to take care of you here, but still you miss those few who you’ve been with through out your life; you’re given very good food, may be better than what you normally had, still you miss that particular simple dish your mom used to prepare for you....That used to be my state during the initial state (Of course it is the same to some extent still;) ). And this conversation with ma, and the wait for the weekend used to be a like a silver lining!

Coming to the dosa part of the story, I would pull up a chair to the dining table in the kitchen, and settle down with a plate for the much awaited breakfast. A big bowl of coconut chutney would be ready on the table. And mom would start making these smooth, white dosas one by one and serve them hot to my plate directly from the tawa. And before the next dosa is done, the plate would be empty! The bowl of chutney also starts getting emptied. After umpteen servings of hot dosas, I’d start feeling if I’m eating too much! And mom would say, “Stop counting! These are very small dosas, and very thin too. It’ll get digested in less than an hour.”. And another few rounds would go on, before I’m completely filled with these soft, smooth, white dosas. And the satisfaction of it would last for a long time......

Nothing can beat the taste of these dosas that mom makes – first because she is my mom and the second reason being the flat thick old tawa she uses.
I too have started making them now, it sure is a hit with everyone at home. I do get the satisfaction of making them and serving hot to the family, but that joy of sitting in the kitchen, chatting with mom and eating her dosas is something that is unexplainable!

Okie, enough of my story, and here’s the recipe...... Agree that it needs some experience to make these neer-dosas, but it’s not too tough either. A couple of trials, and I’m sure anyone can be an expert in it! The best part of it is that it doesn’t need fermenting. You can make them instantly after making the batter.

Neer Dose

Preparation time : 20 min (apart from soaking time)
Cooking time : 10-15 min
Serves : 4

Dosa Rice - 2-3 cups
Cooked Rice - ½ cup (optional)
Grated Coconut - ½ cup (optional)
Salt - ½ Tsp or as per taste
Cooking Oil - 1 Tbsp

Dosa Batter:
• Wash and soak rice in enough water for 3-4 hours or overnight (I generally soak it overnight)
• Grind the soaked rice with some water in a wet grinder / mixer
• Once the rice is ground to a coarse paste add the coconut and/or cooked rice (Left over rice would be the best to use) – This is however optional
• Add water if necessary and grind the batter to a very fine paste – The finer the better
• Transfer the batter to a separate vessel
• Add enough water to make the batter free flowing (Thinner than normal dosa batter)
• The batter is ready!

• Heat a non stick griddle/tawa
• Smear 1 tsp of oil evenly on the tawa
• Now take a big spoon/ ladle of the batter and spread it on the tawa outside in.

(What I mean here is, unlike normal dosa where you pour a ladle of batter on the centre of the tawa and run the spoon over it, spreading it inside-out, for this dosa, do it the opposite way. Pour in the batter very quickly making a circumference of the dosa first and start filling the inside. Don’t run the ladle over the batter spread on the tawa. Well, if I’m confusing you, check out the pic above. The thinner the dosa, the better it tastes.)

• Cover it with a plate/lid
• After half a minute, remove the lid, smear another tsp of oil over the dosa and leave for another half a minute (you may have to adjust the heat, not to burn it or not to leave it uncooked)
• Once the dosa is cooked, take it out of the tawa and serve straight to the plate
• Enjoy the bisi-bisi dosa with coconut-red chili chutney and a spoon of ghee!

Tips n Tricks:
• The batter should not be too thin, as it would take a longer time to cook and may also stick to the tawa
• The thinner the dosa, the better it tastes.
• This dosa tastes better when not crisped
• Use a flat tawa to make things easy – the one I’ve shown in pic is a concave-curved tawa, but a flat one would be better initially

For a flavored version of Neer dosa, add some raw spices while grinding the batter, like any combination of the following:
• Onion - 1 small, quartered
• Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
• Curry leaves - 1 small bunch
• Green chilies - 2-3, depending on taste (optional)
• Ginger - 1" cube
• Coriander leaves - a small bunch

Green chilies and fresh coriander may be replaced with red chilies or back pepper and dry coriander seeds (dhania)

Neeru in kannada means water. This dosa is probably called neer-dose as the batter is very much watery when compared to that of normal, fermented dosa.


  1. absolutely rite yaar! I used to crib about food a before I got married. But now, I just eat anything that my mom cooks because it tastes great and special. I think every girl who's been married and staying away from parents will relate to you. I have tasted Neer Dosa only once in my life, in some so-called hi-fi chain hotels, i remember it to date not for the taste but for the price I paid for that horrible thing called dosa.. anyways.. i have heard a lot about real neer dosas.. I would try this out for sure!

  2. remember sometimes men too need to stay away or part with parents!!thanks to nuclear families!neeru dosa.. wow i triedit on the way to agumbe at someshwar and i heard malnadu or coastal karnataka neeru dosa is very famous

  3. It is amazing how we all have similar experiences despite of our differences. I am a North Indian who has lived away from home since I turned 18 and this time when I went back home and my Mom was serving me parathas, I told her something like "I have already eaten four" and she said like she always does “Stop counting! Never count when you are eating.”

    Btw, I am a huge dosa fan and would love to try this on my next trip to South India :)

  4. @ Preeti - Learn this recipe before I come to meet you :D

  5. I just luv neer dosa! I tried this for the first time and it came out very well. Everyone liked it at home and now I plan to prepare the same every week. Keep posting nice recipes.

  6. @ Preeti
    Try this Preeti, and with the tips i gave u for dosa, and it'll surely be a hit... And let me know when u try :)

    @ Chandu
    Yup Chandu, It's a famous dish in malanadu and coastal karnataka.

    Hey Ricky, Welcome here... yeah, moms are moms, always! Try it, and u'll surely love it.

    Hey Veena! So good to see u here! And thanks for trying and letting me know :) Keep looking here for more interesting recipes! And i guess u too would start a food blog soon!

  7. Dosa looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sending.


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