A majority of my ancestors were farmers, my maternal grandfather became the last agriculturist of our family due to several reasons. They mostly grew rice & lentil crops in their farmland. There were large amounts of nutrient-rich broken rice and broken lentils kept inside kudhil (a gigantic earthenware used to store foodgrains) in my grandfather’s house. Since those small uneven particles of rice & lentil (kurunai) could not be sold in the market, they were used by our grandmother for making upma, payasam, kanji, kurunai dosai, etc.
It is a traditional savory crepe prepared using the batter made of broken rice and broken black gram. Nowadays it is almost impossible to get those broken rice & broken lentils, so we are using regular rice & black gram lentils for making kurunai dosai. Black gram is beneficial to women’s health particularly to strengthen their hip bones, so it is often served to young girls & pregnant women along with the sweet (ulundhu kali) made of black gram & palm jaggery.
Since this dosai goes well with spicy chutney, it is usually served with hotter chutney made of red chillies & raw shallots (pacha vengaya chutney) mixed with copious amounts of cold-pressed sesame oil (chekku ennai).
Instead of adding sesame oil into the chutney, some like to take this chutney along with curd (yogurt).
Kurunai dosai is a specialty dosa prepared in every household in Tirunelveli & Kanyakumari districts. It is one of the most favored breakfast for our family due to its unique aroma and is more delicious & flavorful when served hot.
|Idli rice||4 cups (approx. 800 g)|
|Black gram (whole/split)||1 cup (200g)|
|Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam)||1 tbsp|
|For making dosa:|
|Sesame oil (nallennai)||as needed|
First we need to soak the rice for 4 hours, and lentils & fenugreek seeds for 1 hour. Then grind them separately in a wetgrinder, mix both the batter along with salt and allow it to ferment for 8 hours. You may refer here for some essential tips for preparing perfect batter for idli/dosa.
With this batter we can make both spongy dosa (uthappam/ pancake) and crispy dosa (crepe) as shown below. You can also refer the dosa making tips here.
Any spicy tangy chutney or kuzhambu goes well with kurunai dosai, so we can use kara chutney, pulikuzhambu, sambar, or idli powder as accompaniments. You can check out the recipes of commonly served accompaniments for kurunai dosai like spicy shallot chutney & flavorful garlic-chilli powder in the next page.