Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Heerekaayi dose - nudge your unwilling child towards a delicious vegetable

We all have our preferences when it comes to eating habits, don't you agree? BH & I for most part are non fussy eaters, he is the more daring one, trying out new dishes, while I tend to tread a little more cautiously and slowly. When it comes to vegetables, I can't point out to anything that I don't relish. Cooked in a way that appeals to my taste buds, all vegetables sing happy tunes in my tummy. DD is mostly taken on this streak from her parents but she clams up when it comes to a few vegetables. With a family full of brinjal/eggplant lovers, she is the odd one out, bitter gourd finds its way to her plate only when the stuffing is good and so on.. But being the relentless mom that I am, I try to morph and dress up vegetables (there is no hiding, she is past that age and can fish up a truly collapsed cooked tomato between her nails and flap it infront of my face :-)) so either the shape, color, taste or something else appeals to her visually and she tries it once. Why do I go to all this trouble and not let her eat what she loves? Simply because I believe it gives her a wider choice when she is on her own and also because she gets to eat the goodness of all good things in life.

Well, is there is a point to all the rambling? You bet there is, heerekayi (as it is called in Kannada) or ridge gourd is one of the vegetables that was not palatable to her a few years back. This, like most gourds is a watery vegetable and doesn't have a pronounced taste and usually finds its way in dal (tovve in Kannada), chutneys etc where the taste is enhanced with other ingredients. This dose or dosa was something I ate in one of my friend's house, thought it was a very good alternative to deep fried heerekayi bajjis (which I love by the way) and made it at home. The little girl sat at the kitchen table, smeared a drop of ghee on top and chomped away at the dose and asked for seconds :-). I couldn't have asked for more. This is a regular at home and I use the same batter but replace it with thin cut slices of sweet potatoes or onion roundels. Tastes delicious, give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

My Mangalorean friend calls this as 'Uppu Huli dose(Uppu~salt, huli~sour as in tamarind)' with ridge gourd and makes regular dosa with the batter. I like the flavors that surround the tender ridge gourd and always make it with ridge gourd.
The batter does not need any fermentation and can be made right away. All you need is to plan for the soaking time.

What do you need to make Heerekayi Dose? 
1 medium sized ridge gourd/heerekayi
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 Tblsp shredded coconut
Small piece of tamarind
To soak:
1.5 cups rice (I use long grain or sona masoori)
2 Tblsp Toor dal
3-4 dry red chilies (adjust to taste)
1 Tblsp coriander seeds
3/4 Tsp cumin seeds
1-2 Tsp oil for cooking
How do you make Heerekayi Dose? 
  • Wash and soak all ingredients listed under 'To soak' in 4 cups of water for 4-5 hours. 
  • Drain the water, blend it into a rava consistency paste along with shredded coconut, tamarind and salt. Use about 2 cups of water for grinding.  
  • The batter should have a consistency of a thick dip so it coats the heerekayi slices well but not too thick to form clumps, adjust water if needed. 
  • Wash, remove the ends, scrape the ridges off the heerekayi and remove a thin layer of the outer dark green skin to expose the fleshy, white inside of the gourd. Reserve the green peels to make a yummy chutney. 
  • Slice the heerekayi into thin discs (1mm) like you do for the deep fried bajjis.
  • Dip the disc in the batter, lay it on the center of a hot griddle or dosa pan. Use 10-12 discs to fill in and grow the dose in size, keeping the batter dipped discs next to each other, slightly touching each other. Try to keep the circular shape. 
  • Drizzle a couple of drops of oil around the finished dose, cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat. 
  • Open the lid, ease the dose gently and flip it over to cook uncovered for 2 minutes on the other side. 
  • Serve hot with a dab of ghee and any chutney of choice. 
  • Since you are using raw heerekayi, you need to be patient while cooking it, covering and cooking it on low heat ensures there is no rawness left behind. Open cooking on the second side renders it crunchy and slightly crispy (just like bajjis)
  • It is your choice to make this dose as big as you want, make sure heat reaches evenly across the pan for uniform cooking. The shape belongs to you too, make it hexagonal, square, triangle (you get the idea) as you please, just make sure you can grab all of it at one go and flip it over.
  • Mix finely chopped onion, cilantro to any remaining batter and pour like regular dose on a hot griddle, let it cook both sides on medium heat and enjoy with a spicy chutney.
  • I replace heerekayi with washed, scrubbed sweet potato slices for a sweeter version of the dose. 
  • Add a small piece of jaggery to the batter while grinding for a slightly sweeter version. 


kitchen queen said...

delicious and awesome.

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

ohh... its super interesting one...

LG said...

Wow Nagashree! This is a very innovative recipe.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

now this is something really new to me...Love the way the ridgegourd slices are arranged to form a dosa..

NamsVeni Pothas said...

this is some thing I love very much. little bit of sweetness of heerekayi with crispy cover wow wonderful dish.

Priya Suresh said...

Wow,thats an incredible way to eat ridgegourd, when i sawthe nameof the dish, i thought u would have grind the ridgegourd with the batter.

Anonymous said...

Will try with zucchini