Set Dosa – Soft and Spongy Dosa

Set dosa is a popular breakfast item at Udupi restaurants in Bangalore. It usually comes as a set of three soft and thick spongy dosas served usually with sago or vegetable korma. The best part of this dosa is that it is oil free and remains soft and spongy even when cold. Serve this with mixed vegetable korma and you have a complete and nutritious meal.
Like with other urad dal based dosas, proper fermentation of the batter is very important to get spongy dosa. Fermentation time may vary depending on the local climate. During summer time, 8 hours of fermentation is sufficient for the batter to raise well.

Idli/Dosa rice – 2 cups (You may also use 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice)
Aval/poha/avalakki – 1 cup
Urad dal/uzhunnu parippu – ½ cup
Fenugreek/methi seeds – 1½ tsp
Water as needed
Salt as needed

While preparing dosa:
Oil to taste

Cooking Time:
Soaking time for ingredients – 6-8 hours
Grinding batter – 20 mins
Fermentation – 8-12 hours
Dosa making time – 2 mins/dosa
Makes 25-30 set dosas

Making batter:
Wash and soak rice in water in a bowl. Wash urad dal and fenugreek seeds and soak in water. Let these sit for about 5 hours.
Wash poha/aval in water just before grinding. Drain the water.
Add soaked urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and washed aval to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smoote paste. Remove the ground paste from the mixer and transfer to a large bowl.
Add rice to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the bowl containing the urad dal batter. Add salt. Use your right hand to mix the batter well. The batter should be idli batter consistency. You may add water to make it the right consistency. Remember, you can always add more water if needed but if you make the batter watery, your will not get the right texture of dosa. Adding the right amount of water at this stage is very important. A very thin or thick batter may not ferment well.
Set the batter aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours, you will notice that the batter has risen well and almost doubled. Use a ladle to stir the batter and mix it well.

Making dosa:
Heat an iron tawa. When the tawa is appropriately hot, place it on medium heat and pour one ladle of batter on the tawa and gently spread it around to make a small round shape (about 5 inches/similar to the size of a CD-ROM). Do not spread thin like the regular dosa. Keep the flame in medium. If the batter is fermented properly and if the heat is right, you will notice holes forming on the surface of the dosa. You may choose to sprinkle oil around the edges. You may skip this also.
Set dosa is usually not cooked on both sides. Personally, I prefer cooking it on both sides. But, if you choose to cook it only on one side, after spreading the batter on the tawa, cover it with a lid.
When you notice the edges turning crisp, flip the dosa and cook for less than a minute.
Remove the dosa from the tawa, place on a serving plate, and serve hot with vegetable korma or chutney.

You can also sprinkle milaga podi on the dosa just before serving.

I used 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice and hence the dosas are slightly red.
If you live in colder regions, place the ground batter near the refrigerator/warm stove to aid in proper fermentation.


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