There are many variations to thosai – masala thosai, muttai (egg) thosai, seeni (sugar) thosai, ghee thosai. We eat thosai mainly for breakfast with chutneys, sambars or sambols.
Masala used to be my favourite until I got hooked onto muttai thosai. The masala recipe will be for another time.
If you visit Tamil Naada order a paper thosai. They rock!
1 cup long grain rice*
1 tblsp cooked rice
1 cup black gram (urad dal), split and skinned. (purchased from the spice shop)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp salt
10 curry leaves
pepper to taste
gingelly (sesame) oil
* Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils says to use ½ cup parboiled rice (white) and ½ cup long grain rice (pg 9).
1. Put the black gram, uncooked rice and fenugreek seeds together and soak in water for at least 4 hours.
2. Place the above mixture, the curry leaves and the cooked rice in a grinder.
3. Add water till it covers the mixture and has about 1 inch of water sitting on the top and grind till fine.
4. Allow to ferment overnight. My partner who is a baker, says the fermentation process is the same as that for sourdough.
5. Add salt. Stir thoroughly. Add water as required to make consistency right for frying on a skillet.
6. Grease a skillet or non stick pan with the gingelly oil or ghee. You can do this using kitchen towels. My mother sticks ½ an onion onto a fork, dips it into the oil and greases the pan with it.
7. Use a ladle to pour mixture onto the heated skillet or pan and spread with the ladle to form a circular pancake.
8. When bubbles form, flip it on to the other side and cook the thosai evenly.
If you are making ghee thosai at this point add 1/2 tsp ghee to one side and flip it back and forth till the thosai is crispy. Remove and serve.
If you are making seeni thosai at this point add 1/2 tsp of ghee on one side and flip it. Add 2 tsp sugar to the non ghee side. When the thosai starts to get crispy, fold the thosai in 1/2. Remove and serve.
9. Crack an egg onto the thosai and cover it with a lid so that it cooks – runny or firm. I like the yolk runny and the white bits firm and am pretty fussy about it. Eek.
10. Remove and serve hot with chutney, sambar or sambol.
11. Grease the pan lightly again before making next thosai.