“Just put a bit of onions, green chillies, coriander, and rava. That way the dosa will not be sour.”
“Oh!” I said, wondering how I get myself into these situations where I have to seek the help of my mother to save the day. I had completely forgotten about the dosa batter lying in the fridge. I also remembered faintly, that some of our ancestors, had come up with this ingenious idea of putting onions and coriander nonsense to save the leftover batter.
“And, you need to fry the onions in oil with a bit of mustard seeds.”
“I see. That’s why I don’t like this saving business. It takes more effort, time, patience, drama, and resources. I can as well throw it and make something else that would be fresh.”
“And insult the intelligence of the previous generations?”
What’s the big deal? I insult mine all the time. I had a quick chat with my husband who, thank God, had no problem with the rava dosa idea. But he wanted aloogadde palya ( potato side dish) with it. He also gave a subtle warning.
“Don’t burn the lentils ( that is urad and channa dal). You know they have to be crunchy. That’s where the taste is.”
Not so subtle probably. Men should never know how to cook, for this very reason. And he remembers the curry leaves story but not the 99 good things I prepared. Okay, 9 good things I prepared till now. Men!
This is like making shavige bath ( kind of a desi noodles with an onion tempering) and dosa, I thought to myself as I cut the onions pretty finely, for the palya as well as the dosa. These days, I have gotten into the habit of getting all the ingredients on the counter to make life easier. So,like always, I had this brilliant idea of doing the tempering and the palya together.
I put oil in both the pans followed with mustard seeds. As they splattered, I put the lentils in one pan and onions in another. As I was carefully watching the lentils, so that they don’t burn, I realized two things.
- Where is the damn boiled and mashed potato for the aloo playa?
- Where is the damn rava for the rava dosa?
I was so preoccupied with getting the dals “crunchy”, I forgot about the two main things that made my two dishes. On the bright side, I had all the other ingredients on the counter. While, I was cursing my brain’s inability to think ahead and fast, the lentils changed color, like in an instant. I panicked and added the chopped onions.
“Turn the heat down, silly girl” said my husband who predicted that I would burn the lentils and also predicted at what time I will do it. “Watch and learn” I told my brain.
I quickly grabbed a few potatoes and halved them and put them in the pressure cooker. I turned down both the stoves and put the onion tempering to the dosa batter.
“Do you know where your mother keeps rava?”
After doing a quick scan, I had three varieties of rava in front of me. I shamelessly called my mother again.
“Which rava should I add in rava dosa.” I asked my mother while I mashed the potatoes.
“sann rave ma”
“sann rave heng irruthe?” ( how will the tiny rava be?)
“sannake” (like tiny)
“But all the rava are tiny here. I can’t differentiate between them.”
“ If there is no sann rava use medium.”
“Like medium sized.”
“What? But don’t put bansi rava.”
“Bansi? What in the name of lord is happening? And who came up with all these different types of rava?”
Time to play inky pinky ponky, I thought and picked what I thought was the tiniest of them all. I added a bit of water to the batter and the mashed potatoes to the palya and waited for the pan to get heated to start pouring the dosas. I knew this batter had to be watery and I had to just smear it on the pan. So that the dosa would be thin and crisp. My first attempt turned out to be a mutated rava dosa. It was thick and definitely not crispy.
The third time I used a technique where I poured the batter in random places on the pan. It was driven by fear that if I put the batter in one place, it might get thick. It looked like the space craft that the alien used to land on Earth.
Since none of my techniques were working, I decided to make the remaining like a normal dosa without worrying about getting it thin or crispy.
“Rava dosa is supposed to be crispy. And thank God I saved the palya.”
“Crispy Rava Dosa? That’s just a cliche, my dear.”
“According to your logic, everything is a cliche.
“Right. So, why don’t you cook?”
“That’s so cliche.”
You still don’t know the different types of rava.
You still can’t remember the 9 good things you prepared.
You still can’t figure out who won the cliche argument.
You still don’t know why you liked Bhajrangi Bhaijaan.
You still can’t cook.
But, hey, you can still write about it.