Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kids' Cooking: Fermenting Dosas

We have been doing a lot of cooking lately, and have been enjoying recipes where the work is front-loaded (i.e. we can do it in the morning when my energy level is higher).

This project was a 2-day project, and we used the Dosa recipe from Wild Fermentation.  Fermentation in general allows you to add nutrition to the food you eat by allowing its tough exterior to break down and for healthy bacteria to be added.  Health benefits of eating fermented foods include improved digestion, improved immune system health, and higher energy levels.

To make these, take 2 cups of rice and 1 cup of lentils and soak them in enough water to cover for 8 hours or overnight.  Then grind them (we used a blender but will use a food processor next time).  Place in ceramic or glass bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel (we use a flatfold diaper and a ribbon to hold it up but cheesecloth would also work).  Let sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Mixture will get bubbly.

To cook, thin with tepid water until batter resembles very thin pancake batter.  Add a bunch of chopped parsley or cilantro, and about an inch of ginger, shredded.  Next time we will add a bunch of chopped scallions, too.  My husband said they needed salt (but I tend to under-salt and he likes salt). 

Heat oil or ghee (we used toasted sesame oil but will try grapeseed oil next time~ just to use a high smoke point oil without the flavor of the toasted sesame oil).  Ladle in the batter, and smooth it with back of ladle to make it large and flat (we also experimented with small ones and liked them because we were able to get more surface area fried).  Let bubbles rise.  Flip.  Let other side cook.  Add more oil for each Dosa.  Serve hot.

We liked these quite a bit.  They are pink because we used pink lentils.  Next time, I will make sure the batter is very thin before cooking, since the first few didn't turn out right.  I will also serve with Dal instead of plain, or maybe with some steamed green beans or asparagus or maybe broccoli.  They could also be rolled like a wrap (and we know how much my 2.5 year old loves "tacos" from around the world).

For more ideas on nutrient-dense foods, Wild Fermentation is helpful, as is the Joy of Pickling.  But the Bible is Nourishing Traditions.  You also can't go wrong with the Weston Price Foundation for theory.
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