For someone who is wishing to start with a good millet dosa for everyday meals, here is something I would love to help you with. I am not going to share any set recipe because frankly, for me, it is million dosas and million recipes. People are already fooling and confusing you with millet dope, I don’t want to be one more adding to the confusion. Rather as a millet coach, I would love to help you with some basic tips here. Read on.
1. If you are not aiming at reversing any lifestyle disorder, I would suggest start with any positive grains like Kodo Millet, Little Millet, Barnyard Millet, Foxtail Millet and Browntop Millet. You can opt for neutral grains too, but because the positive grains are higher on fiber and nutritional content, they cleanse your gut in a better way.
2. Every millet needs soaking. And a minimum of 6-8 hours. The grains need to be washed thoroughly and soaked properly.
3. Always soak lentils separately. Never mix dicots and monocots while soaking.
4. Have one millet at a time. But please note, it is also okay to improvise with recipes. Mixing grains doesn’t mean you are consuming something inedible or toxic. If it is okay for your gut and not giving you any acidity issues, once in a while it is okay to mix grains and enjoy making recipes with them.
5. For millet and lentil, you can choose any ratio like 2:1, 1:1, 4:1 and 3:1. The secret lies in proper fermenting of the batter. I have tried all possible ratios, and dosas have come out all good. With a good cast iron griddle, a convenient ladle, some techniques and regular practice, you will be there in few weeks.
6. I prefer keeping millet to lentil ratio as 2:1. It means 1 cup millet to ½ cup of dal (any dal, even I have tried with Rajma, kidney beans too). A spoonful of methi seeds soaked separately is always good.
7. If you want to avoid lentil, head on to my Instagram profile. I have shared a recipe where we can ferment dosa batter with sourdough discard. Yes, gluten free discard would be fine too.
8. It is not mandatory to add cooked rice or poha. However, if you are a beginner, 2 spoons of any traditional cooked rice will make your dosas crispier and batter fluffier. I love to add cooked Rajamudi Rice, and you can opt for sonamasuri, kolam, govindbhog, kerala sundari and many more from our Indian soil.
9. Yes there is a thing called zero-oil dosa. If you nicely season your cast iron griddle, you can dish-out lip smacking dosas without a drop of oil.
10. Lastly, try to stick to one millet for two days. It’s always better to do the right way.
Here’s what I cooked for my Sunday breakfast. It is zero-oil foxtail millet green gram dosa.
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ZERO-OIL FOXTAIL MILLET GREEN GRAM DOSAI
· 1 cup foxtail millet (washed and soaked)
· ½ cup green gram (sabut moong), washed and soaked
· 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
· 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint leaves
· Rock salt to taste
1. Separately soak millet, dal and methi seeds.
2. Use methi water in batter and millet water for your batter. Discard water in which you soaked green gram.
3. Grind them all and allow it to ferment for good 12-16 hours. It generally depends on the weather. In winters it takes a little longer to ferment.
4. Once batter is fermented well, add rest of the ingredients.
5. Start making dosas and refer to the video attached.
6. Serve with your favourite sabzi or chutney.
7. If you are gluten sensitive, start replacing your wheat with these easy dosas.
8. Keep practicing.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)