The past few days saw me debating on the kind of recipe I could introduce to celebrate the Indian Independence Day, which is today, the 15th of August. Something that would represent the colours of our Indian flag and also something that was easy to prepare, that didn't have too many ingredients and of course something that the kids would enjoy. Introducing colours in food has its limitations though, unless you are willing to use commercially available artificial food colours. Since my priority is to serve healthy & safe food to my kids at least when it is prepared at home, I had to pick between foods that are famously known for imparting the required colours to food. Carrots & spinach. You guessed it right.
While I toyed with the idea of preparing either cupcakes or idlis with these colours I wondered how neer dosa would be like. However, my chain of thoughts was broken and I totally forgot about this. To my amazement I saw these lovely coloured dosas prepared by Mrs. Nayana Shetty on one of the food groups on Facebook and I simply borrowed her recipe which was so perfect and gave the desired results. The green colour in her recipe is contributed by coriander leaves - an idea I thought was simply fabulous. The addition of coconut was wonderful too as it made the neer dosas ultra soft & delicious. I didn't add the palak/spinach leaves that she recommended as I didn't have any, but nevertheless the taste was outstanding.
Knowing that the kids at home would love it, I set off to prepare them. I did take a little time though as there are two extra colours involved here, but the thought of having to see happy smiling faces early in the morning was a true motivator! My brother's two kids, my son & my 9 month old baby - all of them enjoyed these colourful & healthy neer dosa. The basic recipe for Neer Dosa is here
To those who are new here, 'neer' means 'water' in the local languages (Kannada & Tulu) of Mangalore. In Konkani it is known as 'Panpole or Panpolay' where 'pan or paan' stands for 'leaf' denoting that these dosa/pancakes are as thin & delicate as leaves. Neer dosa got its name primarily because the batter is made very watery to resemble the consistency of slightly diluted milk.
Tri Coloured Neer Dosa/Panpolay (Rice Crepes)
Recipe Credit: Mrs. Nayana Shetty
Prep time: 20mins + soaking time 2-3 hours | Cook time: 15 mins | Yield: 20-22 neer dosa
For the saffron colour:
- 2 cups raw rice (Kolam or Basmati)
- 1 cup grated coconut
- salt to taste
- oil for greasing the skillet
For the green colour:
- 1 medium sized carrot finely grated (yield approx 3/4th cup)
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves/cilantro (you can add a couple of spinach/palak leaves)
1. Wash the rice a couple of times till the water runs clear and soak for 2-3 hours or overnight. Drain the water completely and grind it along with the grated coconut to a very fine paste. Use water sparingly as it will help you achieve a fine & thick batter (that has a fine texture like toothpaste).
2. Divide the batter equally in 3 bowls and then transfer one portion back into the mixer grinder and add the grated carrots and blend again. Remove into the bowl. This is your saffron coloured batter.
3. Transfer another portion of white batter into the grinder, add the coriander and/or palak leaves and blend to a smooth batter. Transfer back into its bowl. This is your green coloured batter.
4. Make about 1/2 cup additions of water into all the 3 bowls to achieve a milk like consistency of the batters. If its too watery, the dosa wont lift easily off the skillet, too thick and you will change the character of the dosa! Add salt to taste. Use a separate ladle to each of the bowls so that the colours don't mix.
5. Heat a neer dosa skillet or a very flat non stick frying pan without tall sides, grease it with oil (you can use a halved onion poked with a fork to help smear the oil evenly) and pour a ladleful of batter into the skillet and quickly swirl it to ensure that the batter has spread evenly across the surface. Cover the skillet with a lid & allow to cook for 30-45 seconds (it cooks fast)
6. Remove carefully using a wide spatula or flip the neer dosa on a steel plate. Continue the process till all the batter (all 3 colours) is used up.
7. Fold the neer dosa and serve with chutney, sambar or any veg or non veg accompaniment of your choice.
(Above Pic: Traditional Mangalorean Cast Iron Skillet for Neer Dosa)
1. The batter with the carrot mixture maybe a little thick and will make it tricky to remove the dosa from the pan - so please use your judgement here
If you liked this post, you can check the recipe for 3 coloured rice that I had posted on this day 2 years ago