I first read about BeNNe Dosa on Shilpa's Blog. I have been a regular reader of her blog and especially love all of her mom's traditional Konkani recipes. When I read her interesting post of the crowded restaurant that served these dosas, I immediately wanted to try them out.
"BeNNe" means butter in Kannada. Apparently, this dosa is said to have originated in the Davanagere district of the state of Karnataka. It is prepared by adding liberal doses of butter (Benne) and hence the name. What makes it different than the traditional dosa is the addition of rice flour and maida in addition to rice and urad dal. The rice flour makes it very crispy on the outside and maida gives it some softness. The main ingredient "BeNNe" gives it a nice golden brown color and heavenly aroma. I made a few changes to the dosa batter by adding some methi/ fenugreek seeds and some cooked rice which I usually add for fermentation. I served these dosa's with palya or potato bhaji, coconut chutney and my mom's spicy peanut chutney. I made the potato bhaji following my usual recipe. I made some changes to the chutney. Since I didn’t have dalia on hand, I replaced it with some roasted channa dal, added some tamarind for sourness and also added some cilantro for color. This recipe is a keeper and I'm definitely going to make these dosas very often.
1 cup urad dal
2 cups dosa rice/ boiled rice (You can also use regular rice)
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup maida
1 tbsp methi/ fenugreek seeds
1/4 cup cooked rice (optional)
1/8th tea spn baking soda
1. Soak urad dal and rice separately overnight. Also soak the methi seeds either with the urad dal/ rice.
2. Grind urad dal to a very smooth paste in your blender or wet grinder.
3. Then grind soaked rice to a smooth paste along with some cooked rice.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the rice and urad dal paste.
5. Now add rice flour, maida, water, salt to it and mix well. Do not make the batter too thin.
6. Let it ferment for few hours.
7. Add soda to it and mix well.
8. While making dosas: Heat your dosa pan/ griddle and grease it with some oil when hot.
9. Take some water in a bowl and add 1 tsp of salt to it. Sprinkle this water on the hot pan to get nice golden brown crisp dosa. Repeat the oil and salt water procedure every time you make a dosa.
10. After the water quickly dries out, pour the dosa batter on the pan with the help of your ladle and spread it in circular motion to form a dosa. Again apply some oil on and around the edges of the dosa and cook the dosa till golden brown.
11. Spread some potato bhaji/ palya and butter over the dosa and fold it.
NOTE - Depending on where you live, fermentation of the batter can take anywhere from 6 hrs to coupe of days. I usually leave the batter in my oven and it takes a day for the batter to ferment and rise well. Always let the batter ferment in a relatively large cooking pot or bowl to prevent it from overflowing the pot after fermentation (Has happened to me few times …it wasn’t really fun to clean the oven with the fermented mess :-))
POTATO BHAJI / PALYA
3 medium sized boiled potatoes (chop/ lightly mash the potatoes while they are still warm)
2 medium sized onions sliced vertically
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds/ jeera
1 tsp split urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
2 dried red chillies broken into pieces
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts (optional)
3-4 green chilies slit in the middle and chopped into pieces
10-12 curry leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp hing
2 -3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp lime/ lemon juice
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
2. When the mustard seeds splutter add chana dal and let it roast for sometime. Then add urad dal.
3. When urad dal is lightly fried, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, hing and turmeric
4. Add cashewnuts and fry till golden brown
5. Add, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies, mix well and fry for sometime
6. Add chopped onions and fry for sometime. Don’t cook the onions too much.
7. Now add salt , sugar and boiled potatoes and mix well. Mash the potatoes some more if needed.
8. Add few tbsps of water and cook the bhaji covered for sometime.
9. Then add lemon/ lime juice and butter and cook for few seconds.
10. Garnish liberally with finely chopped cilantro
COCONUT CHUTNEY -
1/2 cup dalia (Since I didn’t have Dalia, I used 2 tbsp of chana dal. I roasted the chana dal in 1 tsp of oil on slow flame)
1 cup fresh or frozen coconut
1 tbsp chopped ginger
4-5 green chilies
3-4 sprigs of cilantro
Tamarind to taste
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste. Add a little water to bring it to required consistency.