Considering I’m not much of a “kitchen person” ( it’s a persona I’ve assumed because I couldn’t imagine spending my life in a kitchen – I’m not a bad cook otherwise – I just prefer not to cook ), this meal is one of my favourites to make and eat. Comfort food. I love South Indian cuisine and while I can’t really make “rice crepes” the way they’re supposed to be made, I make them my way, from pre-made batter.
How I Make It
I’m not sure how many of us have time or help at home to actually make batter from scratch. I get this green-white packet from Le Marche – the brand is called Rishta. I’ve tried a couple of other pre-made wet batter brands but this one works best for me at many levels. Depending on how many dosas I’m planning to make – mine are thicker than normal and smaller in circumference – I pour out some batter into a vessel, mix a little bit of water and let it sit while I prep for the rest.
The rest involves sauteing tomatoes and crushed garlic in ghee. I eat a lot of ghee. I love ghee. ( I’m currently using the cow ghee from iSayOrganic – it is the only thing I buy from the brand ).
In this picture I’ve sauteed three tomatoes and about 8-10 large garlic cloves. I cut the tomatoes into thin and long slices and dump them into a pan with about 3-4 tablespoons of ghee. Then I use the flat metal of a knife to crush garlic gloves using my hands. These are added to the tomatoes. Add salt. I let this cook till I can see the ghee again – my Mom says, “Jab tamatar tel chhod dein, tab hataa dena gas se”, which literally translates to, “When the tomatoes leave / shed the oil, remove pan from gas”.
The salmon I buy is from the frozen section, again at Le Marche. Usually a variety of Norwegian salmon. I prefer the fillets with skin on them. Those were out of stock, so I cooked a non-skin one, which is in the picture above. This is one fillet cut into two. Salmon is super quick to cook and I don’t even like cooking it all the way through. Cooked in ghee and salt.
Then I pour out the dosa batter to make my dosa / uttapam hybrids. I cook them really slow because otherwise they stick to the pan and then I end up with rice mash and not crepes. Told you I don’t know how to cook. I’m probably not getting the water:batter ratio correct. But my solution is to cook them SLOW.
I love onions, so there’s got to be a raw onion to bite into on the side and I’m ready to dig in. It take a while to cook this and I think that’s one of the reasons why this is such a comfort-inducing meal for me. Slow cooking, the smell of ghee, garlic and fermented rice. A warm plate of food in my lap as B and I watch yet another episode of Brooklyn 99. I hope that show never ends!
I try to eat this as my main meal of the day whenever I’m going through my “dosa” phase, which is about once in every three months. Eating this at night, very close to bed time, is not a good idea for my gut.
In general, I try to eat out as little as possible but it’s difficult. Most times the only reason I end up eating outside is because I’m hungry and there’s nothing else available except oily bits on a tray being served at an event. So, I reach for a bite and try to keep it down. At home, the rest of my food intake is a mix of eggs or sometimes I make a nice spinach raita with a ghee + jeera + garlic tadka or then I’ll make potato fries ( preferably sweet potato but that’s not always available ). I don’t eat a lot and the ghee helps me hit my satiety pretty quickly.
Black coffee with a teaspoon of honey is what I start my day with.
I have these phases where I’ll decide to cook a particular thing and then I’ll cook it everyday till I run out of the vegetable or the batter and then I’ll find something else. I am, to my surprise, enjoying the cooking process a bit more than usual. As long as I keep it simple and have only one pan to clean after I’m done.
And I cheat. If my body isn’t getting enough fiber from food, I dunk Isabgol. Because why not. Better to have it than not, regardless of where it comes from. Better to have it with your probiotic supplements too.
That’s it for now! Maybe I’ll do another “in my kitchen” post next year 😀