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Apr 23, 2007

Masal for Masal Dosa

Whenever I visit Salem (My hometown in Tamil Nadu), I will make it a point to have the delicious Masal Dosai from a cafe called Sri Krishna popularly called KCB. My mouth has started watering just by mentioning the name of the place. Hmmm...This place has a very simple ambience and is crowded all the time. Nei Roast and the unlimited Sambar and Chutney served in a hygienic disposable Plantain Leaf.....makes the place very special. Apart from the Aromatic Ghee Roast, the Steaming Iddlis, all kinds of Chutneys, Vadais, and all the typical tamil tiffin varieties and the rice varieties, and sweets like Badam Halwa...Everything that is listed in the menu is delicious. The menu is painted in the Wall that is visible to all.

The best part is, there is no 'PLEASE WAIT TO BE SEATED' Board in the front. The minute we are settled in a table, Plantain leaf will be placed in front of us. As soon as we sprinkle some water and wipe it clean, the waiter will bring steaming Iddlis and place 2 iddlis in each leaf and serve Red, Green and White Chutney and the tasty Sambar (which is unlimited), then will take a pencil which is usually hidden behid the ears all the time, makes note of what ever we have ordered. He will then turn towards the kitchen and shout at the top of his voice, the item we have ordered. So, the noise in the place is usually the usual chattering and the shouts like 'oru masal dosai'. 'rendu vadai', 'oru pongal', 'oru nei roast'....and so on.

Usually there is no conversation while relishing the Dosa or Poori or Oothappam we have ordered, wiping the leaf in one stroke, then licking our fingers in all possible ways and end with a big burp. KCB is close to my house and we usually walk back talking about how much we enjoyed the treat. I really miss KCB. Just not this place, we have other joints like Lakshmi Halwa Stall and Restaurant, and Chandra and Saravanas in Salem.

Salem is a developing city and all that we had when we grew up were many movie theatres and many many restaurants...lots of sweet stalls and of course famous Temples to visit, like Sugavaneswarar Temple and Kottai Maariamman Temple, Sri Raaja Ganapathi Temple, Vyasaraja Mutt and many more. Located in Tamil Nadu, the city of Salem is the focal point of the surrounding agricultural area. It is a major handloom-weaving center (Kaithari). Industries located in the city include the manufacture of textiles, cotton and silk apparel, and chemicals. Iron-ore deposits and magnesite deposits are nearby. Salem is famous for Salem Stainless Steel Plant and for the tasty Malgova Mangoes. Whenever we have guest during the weekend, we would take them to either Yercaud or Hogenakkal Falls or tour around Salem and visit many temples or just hire a van and plan a day trip to our Family Deity Sri Prasanna Venkateswarar in Gunaseelam....If I start talking about Salem, This post will not be enough..and I can not stop talking about the lovely little Maambazham (Mango) city. Howmuch ever I describe my home town, it will not be enough. One has to live in Salem to admire its real beauty. Coming to the Tamil Nadu Cuisine, I want to contribute Masal for Masal Dosai. This RCI event is hosted by Veggie Cuisine. Thanks for hosting Lakshmi.


For Masal:

Potatoes - 5
Onion - 2
Green Chillis - 2 to 3
Turmeric Powder
Asafoetida Powder
Curry Leaves
Oil for seasoning
Mustard and Urud Dal.


Cut each Potato into Half and cook all the Potatoes. Preferably in Pressure Cooker. Peel off the skin and half each piece. Keep it aside.

Chop Onions and Slit Green Chillis vertically.

Heat Oil in a Kadai and tamper the Mustard Seeds. Add the Urud Dal and when it turns light brown, add the chopped Onions and Fry for sometime. Add the Cooked Potatoes and other Ingrediets. Stir well. The Masala is ready. This Masala can be used for Masal Dosai as well as for Chapathis/Rotis.

Ingredients and method for Dosai:

Wash and Soak 1 Cup Urud Dal add 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
Wash and Soak 3 Cups Iddli Rice (Food World White Iddli Rice) and 1 Cup Raw rice (Ravi sona Massori) add a handful of Aval (Flattened Rice)

Grind (using a grinder) urud dal. When its done, take it out and grind the rice. When its done. Mix it with the ground urud. Mix little salt and Mix well using hands. Pour in large containers and allow it to ferment. This is how I do the Dosa Batter. I use it for Iddlis the first or second day after it ferments. The Batter is preserved in the fridge. For Detailed Method for making the Batter Click Here.

For making Dosa: Take a laddle of Dosa Batter and pour it in the middle of a hot tawa. Move the same laddle in circular motion towards outside. Apply oil around the corner and when it becomes crisp in the bottom topple the dosa. And when the dosa is cooked the other side too, topple the dosa again, fold it and keep it aside.

For making Masal Dosa: Place half a cup of Masal in the middle of the Dosa and then fold it. Garnish with little butter and chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy the Masal Dosa.

"Kal thondri Mann Thondra Kaalathe Munthondriya Mootha Kudi Thamizh Kudi". Since the Event is all about Tamil Nadu, I would like to quote a few lines from a Tamil Poem that I remember which I learnt in School days. As far as I can remember, the lines go like this.

" Ee ena erathal Ezhindhandru, adhanedhir

Eeyen endral Adhaninum Ezhindhandru.

Kol Ena Koduthal Uyarndhandru, adhanedhir

Kollane endral Adhaninum Uyarndhandru"

I still remember these lines mainly because of its meaning. The lines mean,

"To say 'Give' is bad, on the contrary

saying 'I will not Give' is very bad.

To say 'Take' is good, on the contrary

saying 'I will not take' is very good."

This is a literal translation that I wrote myself. Please forgive me if its not up to the standards. but I am sure the main idea of the verse is made clear.

This is my entry to Dosa Mela hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all seasons.


Sharmi said...

hey enna ya selam nu solure padhi per enamo un kitte kannada le pesuranga?? what ever, I usually go to Saravanas in salem directly after getting down from bus. I love to have appam there. You write up made me home sick. My home town is erode and did my higher education there.I freak out a lot in Selam too. lot of nostalgic memories. hey you said you were going to India right?

Mythreyee said...

Sharmi: I am from Salem, en mother tongue dhaan Kannada. But total thamizhachi. I too love the Saravanaas. I am losing patience now after this brief writeup about Salem. Yes, I am going to India next month.

FH said...

Hello Myth,loved reading about that restaurant.Sounds like out MTR in B'lore,a small but very popular restaurant famous for Benne Masal dosai with chutney!:))

Love the recipe,of course we make it for masal dose.Going to India,hope you blog your mom's recipe,rasams amd sambhars!!Drooling already:))

Mythreyee said...

Asha: I have also heard about MTR in B'lore. Got to visit and will surely try the benne masal dosai. Yes, Asha, I am going to India next month for a couple of month's stay. There will be a brief blogging break. I will try to capture what ever my mom does and will post those when I come back. She is an expert when it comes to cooking for many.

Dr. Soumya Bhat said...

hey mythree,
This baji looks great.Love masala dosa.hee.hee..nice pics that baji looks tempting.

Anonymous said...

small restaurants make most delicious recipes. i love masala dosa from indian coffee house. your look good.

Richa said...

hey, good to know about your city, it is the memories that inspire us right!! There is a sarvanas in NJ/NY area which always has atleast 1/2hr wait, good food though. thanks for sharing your recipes.

DEEPA said...

hey mythreyee...Too good ...The way you have presented the dish ...Masala dosai my fvt ...I wish i could also join u in going to india ...Me tooo coming !!!!!

Mythreyee said...

Sowmya: Thanks.

Reena: Thanks and yes you are right. I sure there will be atleast one favorite small restaurant like this for everyone.

Richa: thanks and yes, we have one saravana bhavan too in sunnyvale and the taste is authentic chennai taste.

Deepa: Thanks buddy. Sure, join me. I am leaving end of may.

Sunshinemom said...

That sounded so much like Annapoorna hotel in Coimbatore! My first visit here - I am so glad that Sri hosted a dosa mela else I might not have discovered your blog!!