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What Is Rava Dosa?

Cumin seeds, which are often added to rava dosa.
Curry leaves are found in many variations of rava dosa.
Rava dosa is often served with coconut chutney.
Ghee, which is used in making rava dosa.
Peppercorns are often added to rava dosa.
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  • Written By: Angie Bates
  • Edited By: John Allen
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  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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Rava dosa is a traditional Indian, flour-based breakfast pancake. It is usually topped with vegetables and spices. Dosas are thin Indian pancakes normally make from slightly fermented batter. What differentiates rava dosas from other dosas is that they are made from a type of flour called rava and do not need to be allowed to ferment before cooking.

Popularly used to make pasta, rava flour is always used in combination with another type of flour when making rava dosas. Rice flour or semolina flour are the most common choices. All-purpose flour might also be combined with the other two flours as well.

A rava dosa is often made with ghee, a type of unsalted butter which is frequently homemade. Ghee is made by skimming the cream from boiling milk. The cream is then churned and melted before it is strained.

When making rava dosa batter, the flours are usually mixed with baking soda and salt. Water is added until the batter is thin but not watery. Once prepared, it is poured on a tawa, a type of griddle, or into a greased frying pan. Batter is usually poured first in a circular pattern so that it creates an "O" shape. Then, it is poured a second time to fill in the open space, with attention to even distribution so no exceptionally thick or thin places appear.

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Small holes between the "O" shaped circle and the filling will remain, however. The ghee is placed over these holes and around the edges of the pancake. It also may be brushed over the top of the pancake. If ghee is not available, oil may be used.

Cumin seeds, curry leaves, or peppercorns are often added to rava dosa. Onions and green or red chilies are common ingredients as well. Nuts, particularly cashews, are also frequent additions. Occasionally, coconut may be included.

Although the spices are sometimes added once the rava dosa starts cooking, often they may be added directly to the batter. Seeds are usually toasted before they are included, and the chili and curry leaves may be fried with the seeds. Once the spice mixture is combined with the batter, the completed mixture is usually allowed to sit for up to an hour before cooking in order to allow the flavors to combine.

Rava dosas are often flipped half-way through cooking. This ensures an even golden coloring and crisp texture throughout. They may also be cooked on just one side until crisp. Sometimes during cooking, the rava dosas are folded into a triangular shape. They are often served with coconut, peanut, or ginger chutney.

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