Instant South Indian Platter (no pre packaged ready to use mixes) : Quick Sambar, Instant Rawa Idlis, Quick Dosas, Penaut Sesame Tamarind Chutney and Baked Wadas, which were the only "not so quick" dish.

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This post was not on my mind at all. Had made this for dinner yesterday and when I posted it on my Facebook group, people wanted to know how. So will be documenting recipes today for my readers without any blabber.

Warning : A Long and Useful Post with some good Recipes. Will put them in Printable Version.

Disclaimer : I claim no authenticity to the dishes. This is my take on the recipes for the instant gratification of some good South Indian home made food.

Instant Dosa :

A South Indian Crepe, made crispy as well as soft in many varieties.

Instant Dosa

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kitchen Equipments Required : bowl, whisk, griddle/pan or electric griddle, flat spatula, a bowl of water with a wet kitchen towel/paper, plate, a soup ladle to pour the batter.

Ingredients :
Rice Flour : 1 cup. I used brown rice flour. You may use white or brown.
Urad Dal Flour : 1/4 cup.
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder : 1/8 tsp
Baking powder : a pinch
Water : 2&1/2 cups plus more

Method :

1. Take a bowl and add both the flours, baking powder and spices to it. Whisk them. Now add water to it slowly, while whisking and mixing. Add water as desired. It should be pouring consistency, not too thick. Set it aside covered for 1 hour.

2. When you are ready to make the dosas, stir them first and make sure that the batter is still runny consistency. If not, add a bit more water and adjust accordingly.

3. Heat the pan or griddle to high. The trick is high heat for good crispy dosas and avoid it to stick to the pan. So make sure that the grill is really high.

4. Take a ladle full of batter, almost 1/3 cup. Pour it in the center of hot griddle/pan and with speed start spreading in circular motions. Make sure that you spread with light hand without applying pressure or else, it will not spread well. Spray some oil or apply with a spoon around the edges. Cook on one side till they crisp up. The clue is that the Crepes will start leaving the pan from the sides on its own. That’s the time when you flip them after you notice nice golden circles at the bottom. Cook from the other side for 1 minute or so. Serve them immediately for a crispy treat. If you want to make soft dosas then no need to crisp them. Just cook on both the sides for 2 minutes. Take it off. Fold and store in a covered box, wrapped in kitchen towel.

Posting a video from my Mung Crepes to give you an idea.

Sambar :

It is a tangy and spicy curry from the beautiful southern India, made with tomatoes, any kind of vegetables available (single or multi), curry leaves and sambar powder. Sambar powder is readily available in Indian grocery stores. I will soon update the home made recipe. I recommend #MTR brand.

For the recipe, click here. In the attached recipe, I used eggplants. In yesterday’s recipe, I used zucchini and another small gourd. So you see, the possibilities are endless. The white disc peeking from the sambar is baked wadas.

Instant Rawa Idlis :

Idlis are fermented rice cakes, super soft and super delish and easy on stomach. They are very light. They are originally made with a fermented batter of rice and urad dal, which are first soaked and then ground and then set for fermentation. Mine are instant since I didn’t do any hubla. Let’s see, how?

Instant Rawa Idlis

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kitchen Equipments Required : Idli mould and steamer, bowl, whisk, ladle, knife

Ingredients :

Idli rawa (coarse ground idli rice) : 1 cup
Yogurt : 3/4 cup
Water : 1/4 cup plus more
Salt and red chili powder to taste
Eno fruit salt : 1 tsp.
Oil to coat.

Method :

1. Fill the steamer with little water so that it covers only the feet of the idli moulds. Put it on the stove and bring to boiling. Grease the idli moulds lightly with oil.

2. Meanwhile the water is heating up, get to idli batter. Take the idli rawa in a bowl. Add salt and red chili powder.
Add yogurt and water and make a pancake consistency batter. Not runny and not too thick. At this point, you may add some chopped cashews and a tempering of oil, hing and mustard seeds along with urad dal to the batter, once it cools down.

3. When the water in the steamer comes to the boil, adjust the water in the idli batter since rawa drinks up water. Add 1 tsp of Eno to the batter. Whisk with light hand. Immediately fill the moulds of idli and steam on high for 12 minutes.

4. Switch off the gas after 12 minutes. Once the pressure is released, open the steamer and take out the mould. Set out without touching for 2 minutes.

5. Now run a knife around the edges of the idlis to loosen them up. Carefully slide them out either with hand or a flat spoon. Enjoy with hot sambar.

Note : These days a lot of Idli varieties are prevalent. People are making them with oats, ragi/millet and so on. Will definitely share more recipes on varieties. A perfect gmfood for summers which is so light on digestive system. My American friends might have noticed these cuties in Indian restaurants during buffet.

Some pictures of idli steamer and idli mould from Google images :
Most commonly used in house holds!

A more modern approach!


Baked Urad Dal Wadas , Courtesy : Anju Chhabra.

Anju is the creator of this recipe.
She is super talented reader of mine who follows my blog closely and always leaves her feedback and positive suggestions. I appreciate your contribution Anju. You inspire me in so any ways :). Not to forget you share my mom’s name :).

Baked Urad Dal Wadas

  • Difficulty: easy
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Kitchen Equipments Required : bowl, grinder/blender, oven, baking sheet, chopper/chopping board and knife, parchment/butter paper

Ingredients :

Urad dal, dhuli ( dehusked and split) : 1cup
Ginger : 1/2-1″ piece
Green chillies : 2
Cumin seeds : 1/2tsp
salt to taste
Baking soda : 1/8th tsp

Method :

1. Soak the dal for at least 4-5 hrs. Drain n put it in grinder. Grind the dal along with ginger and green chilies to a smooth paste with very less water. If the blender gets stuck while grinding, then stop, stir the bater with spoon and loosening up for the air tones scape.

2. Add cumin seeds, salt n baking soda and whisk it until light n fluffy. Keep aside for half an hour.

3. In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 200*C or 400*F. Line the baking sheet with butter paper.

4. Whisk the batter once again and take small portion in your wet hands, shape them flat and put on the lined baking sheet. You can make a whole in d center of the vadas with your finger. I couldn’t do it so mine look like savory cookies.

5. Bake the wadas for 15 -20 minutes or until brown. Take out n keep aside to cool. Now gently remove the vadas. Add them to the hot sambar and enjoy the guilt free treat.

Note : These are good for Dahi Wadas too. Just take them off and soak them in warm water for some time. Squeeze them out and add whisked yogurt and all the works of jitneys and masalas. Will update on that soon too.

Peanut Sesame Tamarind Chutney :

This is my experimental chutney. Just went with the flavors I was craving for.

Peanut sesame tamarind chutney

  • Servings: 1/4 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kitchen Equipments Required : heavy bottom pan, coffee grinder or dry spices grinder

Ingredients :

Peanuts : 1/4 cup
Sesame : 1 tsp
Red chili dry : 1-2
Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
Brown sugar : 1/2 tsp

Method :

1. Take the pan and dry roast the peanuts till slightly golden. Bring them to room temperature.

2. Take the grinder and add roasted peanuts, sesame and dried red chilies. Grind them fine. Since the peanuts are roasted, they will come together as lump omitting some oil while grinding but that’s okay. Stop the grinder, loosen the mixture from the sides and process. It’s a good peanut butter too :).

3. Once ground, take out in a bowl. Add tamarind paste, brown sugar or jaggery and salt to taste. The chutney is ready.

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  1. I don’t know if I ever mentioned but my little one eats a lot of dosa! The reason partly being that he wont eat sandwiches or any simple foods, so I make dosa and I dont always have the opportunity to make batter…this is a useful post!

  2. Wonderful Sonal! I so want to try some Indian food! Would you believe I never had? Please send me over some of yours! πŸ™‚

  3. πŸ™‚ very weird, nope it makes me smile and feel all mysterious, totally undeservedly, one of these days I might come out and tell you πŸ™‚ -I can disclose that it isn’t Rumpelstiltskin or I would be spinning gold and blogging more πŸ™‚ instead of working all the time..
    ok I will dust the steamer – real dosas yum, remember the first ones I ever had for breakfast, the overhead fan was clicking, mahogany chairs and polished tables, the cushions comfortable and soft, the room beautiful, all old colonial style, it was in Mysore the mint chutney with coconut was divine (I managed not to buy a coconut scraper to make my own coconut chutney with fresh coconuts, I managed to keep a grip on reality for a change) – remember the potatoes with sharp mustard seeds and green chilis, oh it was divine….

  4. oh wow Sonal – can I have some sent over ???I have an idli steamer in my basement, I brought it back from Kerala, I have never used it., because I also have the urad dal and I know that I need to soak overnight and grind and ferment, and well, I never got round to it. I love dosas and have bought the flour for that and fermented overnight and made coconut and mint chutney to go with it and filled with potatoes, but INSTANT indian is something I would never think of, i must look this through and excavate that steamer, the photos are beautfiul too. my steamer is aluminum though and not sure I trust it fully…

    1. Okay first thing first !
      I have always always wondered about your real name ;). Is it weird? Lol.

      Your aluminum steamer is just fine. Go ahead and remove the con webs off it.

      These dosas are more of crepe texture than the real dosa but tasty as hell. I will be posting the real dosa recipe soon too. :). Coconut and mint chutney is absolutely yum with it. Also will post about the cousin of dear dosa, called uthapam. Instant as well as traditional.

      Have fun :).

  5. These are all very appealing recipes – some even new to me. And beautiful pictures. I have been reading dosa recipes for ages (my days of packaged ones are over) but will try yours first.

  6. Thanx a ton sonal….feeling much honoured. Really no words to thanku. This is only u who inspired me for baking. Initially I wanted to bake but was having lil bit hasitation.. After seeing ur blog only I could do all dis. I baked koftas, kachoris, falafal , potaoes, karelas , cookies n vadas and baking mania going on :-)… Credit goes to u only :- moreover ur recipes r so health friendly. I just love to read ur r such a hard working I can’t even think so. U r just amazing. Feel honoured n warmth of luv when u remember me by ur mom’s name… πŸ™‚ will be always there with u . Stay blessed always. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. You are super awesome Amanda :). I would totally recommend trying it out. Dosas, sambar and wadas and chutneys are till doable at home for the first timers. But idlis do need a steamer and some kind of mold. I would recommend a bamboo steamer in that case or a pan with tight lid. In that case pour the idli batter in a steam proof container and steam for 12-15 minutes till tooth pick comes out clean!
      Or check it out at an Indian restaurant first and see if you like it :).

  7. Oh my goodness, Sonal…this looks fantastic! No wonder your FB group wanted more info. πŸ™‚
    You are simply amazing…what a delicious meal you created. <3