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Dosas: Pungent Pancakes
Dosas are thin pancakes of fermented dough. They won’t be served with syrup, but follow along with Groupon’s exploration to learn what to expect.
Because of a quirk of immigration patterns, the big, savory pancakes known as dosas can be hard to find: much of the food and culture that has made its way from India to North America comes from the northern part of the country, whereas dosas are from the south. (Even in New York, the dearth of dosas is apparently such that in 2012 a group of music-world pals, including members of Vampire Weekend and Neon Indian, made the film Dosa Hunt to document their search.) Making them is a bit more complicated than whipping up a batch of flapjacks or crepes, too: they start with a batter of ground lentils, rice flour, or a mixture of both, which is left out for several hours to ferment and enjoy its brief sojourn as a liquid. Once it has acquired its signature tang, the cook spreads a thin circle of batter across a disk-shaped griddle—known as a tava—and cooks it until the edges are slightly crisp.
Like any pancake, dosas are meant to be served fresh and hot. Once pulled off the griddle, they can be used to dip into chutneys, clarified butter, or other sauces; in India, they are a popular breakfast dish. Another common preparation is the masala dosa, a sort of open-ended burrito. The mixture inside typically starts with a potato and onion curry, but it comfortably can accommodate most any kind of savory filling—various vegetables and paneer cheese are also popular.