Kerala full moon cooking lesson.

The obsession started at the Jaipur branch of the Indian Coffee House, Abbu my rickshaw driver introduced me to the concept of lunch for two for 79 rupees here.  Most excellent.

Bring on the marsala dosa’s! The golden crisp edged rice flour crepes filled with spiced potato, chopped coriander and a large dollop of freshly grated coconut chutney on the side. Soooo goooood.

I lucked out big time due to my friend Mak’s recommendation to stay with Padma Nair to do a course of yoga taught by her at yogashala in Kerala.  Not only is she the most wonderfully warm teacher of tortuous arsanas (I’ve been doing 3 hours a day  – making up for lost time!) her cooking is yum too.  Last night sitting on the terrace, chatting about life in general over a delicious dahl and rice I mentioned my lurve for marsala dosa’s so Padma kindly treated me to a cooking demo in her kitchen.

If any of you live anywhere near a Southern Indian restaurant, I suggest you get down there asap and stuff your face with marsala dosa’s, they’re worth it! Or if you’re feeling in the mood for a Southern Indian cooking experiment at home to combat the oncoming winter, here’s Padma’s recipe:

Masala Dosa and Coconut Chutney for 4

Coconut Chutney:

Add to blender:

½ – 1 green chilli chopped,  ½ medium freshly grated coconut,  a little ginger chopped.

In a pan:

Heat 1 ½ teaspoons of coconut oil,  add ¼ teaspoon of black mustard seeds.  Once the mustard seeds have burst and released their flavour  add 2 stalks of curry leaves. Next pour in the blended coconut mix – add a little water (water optional if you want more of a paste texture), small Shallot chopped (optional) and salt to taste.

Heat all the above on a low flame for 10 minutes, remove from heat and keep covered.

Sorry not crystal clear pictures – lens got a bit misty..

Dosa spiced potato filling:

In a pan heat a dribble of coconut oil, add ¼ teaspoon of black mustard seeds, wait until they burst to release their flavour.  Add 2 dried chillis, 1 chopped green chilli – seeds removed (to taste depending how hot you like it), a little chopped fresh ginger, I small red onion chopped.

When  the above are soft add 1 grated carrot, a few curry leaves, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, remove from the heat and add a generous handful of chopped coriander plus a boiled potato chopped into rough chunks and chopped tomato (optional).

Mix well keep covered.

Dosa Crepe

3 measures Rice flour and 1 measure black gram flour  (soak for minimum 4 hours)

Leave 7 hours

Water – add a little at a time so it’s runny enough like pancake batter BUT not too liquid, it needs to be able to pour keeping it’s form without being watery. Be sure to lift your ladle up while stirring/folding the mixture to aerate it as much as possible.

Oil up a hot pan, ladle on the mixture in the centre and spread it around with your ladle starting from the middle working your way to the outside keeping it as thin as you can get it approx. 30 cms diameter  (Padma poured a little oil around the edges so it would be easy to lift the dosa at the end). Wait a couple of minutes then test to see if it’s looking  golden underneath.  Don’t worry if your first one doesn’t work – it’s much the same with pancakes in general. Feed it to the dog and start again..

When you do get the perfect golden crispy underside, keeping the dosa in the pan remove from the heat and spoon some of the potato mixture on top of the centre of the dosa, spread the mixture so it’s an even fat stripe in the middle of the dosa then fold over one edge and then the other side over that so you have a golden stuffed crepe. Lift the dosa on to a plate and add a large spoonful of the coconut chutney to the side.

I’d personally be opening a cold beer by now too.

(I did the washing up).

Thank you.

This entry was published on November 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm. It’s filed under Hibiscus, holiday wear, India, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “Kerala full moon cooking lesson.

  1. Olly Daniaud on said:


    Another briiliant instalment which induced excessive salivation. Life sounds wonderful out there. Are you ever coming back?

    OL XXX

    • O, I remember going to the Diwana Belpoori with you in Bayswater so you are the original masala dosa instigator!

      Not sure of the long term plan yet but it doesn’t involve living in London for a while.

      Sending you much love, ask Armand what he wants for Xmas


  2. Sounds yummy & fancy having a go in lil ol Acton – but just a little confused by this bit:
    “3 measures Rice flour and 1 measure black gram flour (soak for minimum 4 hours)
    Leave 7 hours”

    Soak the flour how? And must it really be left for 7 hours & if so why? Once I know that I’ll try my hand…

    So glad the sensory adventure continues xx

    • Sorry… you have to soak the black gram (lentils) for 4 hours before leaving the rice and black gram for 7 hours (overnight the best).

      So glad you feel inspired to cook, I’ve had messages and emails from drooling folks!

      ps, I loved your night flower photographs.


  3. Masala Dosa’s are my absolute favourite, but I had no idea how to make them…. now I do! As soon as I get back to London, I’ll be making a mess & trying out the recipe. Absolutely loving your blog, I’m doing a similar thing – I design yoga / beach trousers, which I get made in India. It’s so inspiring to read what you’re up to & I’m looking forward to the next blog post. Keep up the good work & I can’t wait to see all your lovely treasures when the website goes live. Maree x

    • Hi Maree. What a lovely message to get, thank you, you’ve made my day! I love writing this blog, it really has been an amazing year and I feel there’s loads more twists and turns to come.. do you have a website? Send me the link if you do I’d love to see your products. Sarah X

      • Ah, I’m glad. The blog is absolutely fantastic & I can’t wait to see the website.
        I’m at the same stage as you…. still designing my site, but my blog & holding page are: & there’s a link to some of my trousers on there.
        Please let me know when your site goes live & maybe we can do a link & I can tell my customers about your stuff as I’m sure they’d love it & it’s always so lovely to keep in touch with people who are doing similar things.
        Take care & good luck with it all.
        Maree x

        PS- I think we might have a mutual friend…. do you know Niki, who designs bikinis & lives in Patnem, Goa? x

      • It’s a small world isn’t it?? Yes I will be selling some of Niki’s bikini’s on the website. I’ll be staying in Patnem next winter so maybe see you there. Just had a look at your page – looking good… lets talk later. Also a good idea is to have a button where people can sign up for your page ahead of when it opens. Thanks again X

      • Will probably see you in Patnem then! Love the idea of a sign up button – I’ll get onto that straight away – thank you.
        See you soon x

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