Summer times, water melons in the grocery stores remind me of the 2.5 hours journey from Bangalore to Mysore by road. The road side would be strewn with water melons of all sizes and shapes and the market streets would be covered with carts showing off pink water melon slices. Easy, simple and healthy snacks we grew up with.
If you are a first timer buying a whole water melon, just make sure you pick up the fruit and weigh it in your hands. You want the heaviest fruit in that size category as this will have most meat (Err fruit:-)). The other thing to pay attention to is that a naturally wine ripened fruit typically has a yellow spot on the surface where it would have rested on the ground. As it grows, the weight pushes it down and since the contact increases with the ground, the spot becomes pale in contrast to the remaining flashy green.
Watermelon rind dose (the famous dosa is called dose in Kannada) has a very delicate flavor to it without being overbearing and goes well with a myriad of chutneys and powders. This dose can be made savory or sweet. The version I have below is a savory version, variation talks about the sweet version if you have a sweet tooth.
Makes about 20 doses
6 stuffed cups of bite size pieces of water melon rind (See notes)
2 cups rice (I used brown rice which makes the dose tastier)
1/2 cup toor dal/togari bele
1 Tblsp coriander seeds
1 Tsp cumin seeds
4-5 dry red chilies (adjust to your spice tolerance)
2 Tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
1 Tblsp salt
1-2 Tsp of cooking oil to make dose
sequence of getting to the water melon rind :-), the white pieces at the far right is what I have used in the batter.
- Soak rice, toor dal, coriander seeds, cumin and red chilies in sufficient amount of water for 4-6 hours. If you are using brown rice, soak them over night.
- First make a pulp of water melon rind in your mixer/grinder, keep this aside.
- Drain water from the soaked ingredients and wash it once.
- Grind the soaked mixture and coconut using water melon rind pulp in place of water into a smooth batter.
- Mix salt into the batter.
- Heat a flat griddle or dose pan, take a ladle full of the batter and spread it quickly in a circular motion, this dose can be spread really thin or thick based on your preference.
- Sprinkle a couple drops of cooking oil around the dose, let it cook for 2-3 minutes until you see the dose becoming brown on the under side.
- Gently work the edges and flip the dose over and let cook for a minute.
- Serve it hot off the griddle with any spicy chutney or powder of your choice.
- 6 cups of water melon rind is the suggested proportion, since you are using this in place of water, more the merrier as long as you can stay at the dose batter consistency.
- This batter is slightly thicker than the normal dose batter, if you turn your ladle, the batter should drop and not flow.
- The batter does not need to be fermented, the fresh batter has the rich flavor of the rind.
- Feel free to add a couple slices of fruit also for the color and faint sweet taste.
- This is a soft dose, do not expect it to be paper crisp.
- For crisp doses, do not cover it while cooking and spread it thin. If you favor the thicker dose, cover and cook only one side until done.
- To make the sweet version of the above dose: Skip coriander seeds and red chilies, use 3 Tblsp of grated jaggery/brown sugar while grinding the batter. Make this dose slightly thicker, cover and cook it on only one side. Relish with a dollop of ghee on top.