Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Experimental Indian night

Last week, we had my old roommate over for an evening of culinary experimentation and playing a card game called Rook. We would like to make "Cook and Rook" a regular occurrence. Jon made peppers stuffed with Indian-spiced lentils and rice, and I tried dosas for the first time. Dosas are thin Indian pancakes made with a batter that uses soaked (instead of cooked) rice and urid dal (split black lentils). You let it ferment for a while and then spread it as thinly as possible and cook it like a crepe. I used Mark Bittman's recipe, but I think I'm going to browse around and look for other ones. I had trouble getting it thin enough, even after adding a lot more water than Bittman suggested. But it was fun to try a new, very different food, especially since it is fermented. I like fermenting things. The filling for the dosas was amazing: potatoes, onions, and spinach spiced with garlic, ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander. The smoked paprika isn't particularly Indian, but it added a lot to the dish.
I enjoyed our experimental night. Usually I am opposed to cooking a new dish for company, let alone something as different (for me) as dosas, but since it was billed as experimental, I wasn't worried about it falling flat. I will probably try dosas again in the not too distant future, and if they work out better, I'll put the recipe up here.

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