March 2, 2011

fermenting rice and beans changes EVERYTHING.

this is one of the most popular requests from my vegan and gluten-free friends. throw some stir-fry on top (or puree it and throw it in the batter!) and it’s a whole meal.


just soak equal parts rice and some small pulse like split peas, lentils, urad dal, channa dal, etc.

after many hours (whenever you remember, really,) grind them to a paste (with water) about the consistency of pancake batter.

put the batter in a non-reactive vessel (glass, pyrex; a bowl or baking pan is fine – just nothing metal) and just leave it on your table for a few hours. no lid. no worries. if you have flies, drape a kitchen towel or plastic bag over the top loosely.

it’ll start smelling yeasty after six-ish hours. ferment it for longer if you like!

season it (we love fresh ginger, garlic, and chilis, and lots of spices like coriander, cumin seed, ajwain seed, cinnamon, allspice, and a little mango powder)
and fry the sucker up like a pancake with plenty of oil.

tricks i’ve encountered to making a perfect dosa:
use LOTS of oil
grind the paste so that all the chunks are gone
thin pancake, high heat
ferment for a long time
don’t flip until it’s browned on the bottom (otherwise it falls apart)



  1. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde

  2. […] top with toasted pistachios and kalamata olives. serve with a grain (yellow rice? quinoa? fresh grill-bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt? dosai?) […]

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