Years before Namakkal was into poultry farming, most of my father’s clients were into agriculture. Tapioca cultivation was one of the mainstream farming. Dad’s clients used to bring us bag loads of tapioca and other stuff that my mother could bring some deliciously cooked meals to the table. She and our then maid, Velamma Aaya, would team and work on the produce, cleaning, cooking mostly and distributing the excesses. We have watched them work together and cook up some stuff that we relished.
Once the tapioca has been taken out and the bag has been returned, Velamma will drop the tapioca in a big drum-like utensil filled with water. She would rub them hard that along with the sticking soil, some skin of the tapioca will peel off. Then, a discussion will follow as to how many recipes to make, portion the vegetable accordingly and send the rest to neighbours.
With tapioca, especially, they never tired to make crisps, dry curries and other stuff. One of those were dosais that needed tapioca to be grated and ground along with rice and dhal to make the batter. They would get to work together grating the tapioca and grind the soaked ingredients for dosai or adai. She will also make vadai occasionally as an evening snack. She could make dry vegetable roast kari, mashed podimas and some more.
I had mentioned to amma that I intended to buy tapioca and make dosai. She shared her recipe with me. During the course of the next week, she dropped a few reminders that I should try the dosai. Then I picked up about a kilogram of tapioca from a vendor the other day. The root was farm fresh and both the skins came off easily with thorough washing. I made three dishes, dosai, roast kari and vadai over the next few days. Dosai turned out soft as that is how we like. I am sharing the recipe for the same.
Makes 10 dosais
Cup measures are 200ml
1cup of idli rice
1cup of cleaned and grated tapioca
1/2 cup urad dhal
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Oil to drizzle over the dosais
Chutney of choice to serve with
How to go about:
Wash rice clean and soak for about 5 hours
Soak fenugreek seeds along with the rice.
Clean and soak the urad dhal for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the tapioca ready and grated.
Grind the soaked rice, dhal and tapioca to a smooth batter, add the salt and leave it overnight or 8 hours to ferment.
Place the dosai tawa on the stove and when it is hot , pour a ladle of batter and spread. Drizzle oil and cook. Flip over and cook well until both sides are well done.
Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Serve hot dosais with chutney of your choice or sambhar.