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Beverages, Chutneys & Pickles, Snacks, South Indian Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes

Dosa, Chutney and Filter Coffee-The South Indian Life Line

Today the main artery of Bangalore. M.G.Road is  teeming with vehicles and pedestrians. We seldom go there now, since there are  malls and shops dotting each locality.

In the eighties, M.G.Road was where we used to go for eating out or shopping or just chilling out with friends  in the evenings. I am nostalgic about the drive-in restaurants in the Cantonment, of which only one remains today. In Udyavan  on M.G.Road  we were served,  delicious crisp, huge dosas, with spicy chutney, hot sambar and strong steaming filter coffee on a tray fixed to the open window of the car. A small lovable playground – for the children, their dreamy Disneyland – was fenced in from the main area, where they could joyfully play on the mini slide, go for a whirl on the cute merry-go-round and sway back and forth with whoops on the small wooden  swing.  It was practically a ritual for us to have  dinner here at least once when my  parents come to Bangalore. The memories remain fresh and pleasant

Both idli and Dosa are synonymous with South Indian breakfast. On weekdays, I usually make  idly with chutney or sambar and the favorite Dosa  gets pushed to weekends or holidays. These lentil and rice pancakes can be made soft & fluffy or paper-thin & crisp; or again, it can be soaked in ghee or stuffed with seasoned mashed potatoes where the flavours just explode in the mouth…..the possibilities are endless. I have a strong attachment to my iron dosa kallu (tawa) which used to be my mother’s. There are non-stick tawas that serve the purpose as well.

Filter Coffee was added at the express request of my sister-in-law; I contacted my coffee-happy friends for advice – thank you so much,everybody.

Please feel free to give any suggestions or ideas for improvement.



  1. Idli Rice – 3 cups
  2. Urud dal (Black gram dal) – 1 cup
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Salt – to taste
  5. Oil – as required


  • Clean and soak rice in water; keep it overnight or for eight hours. Drain
  • Clean and soak urud dal & fenugreek in water overnight or for eight hours. Drain
  • Grind urud dal till it is fluffy and frothy. Grind rice separately to a smooth batter. A little water is allowed when grinding. Mix both together well. Allow to rest for 8 hours or until the batter ferments. Make sure there is room in the vessel for the batter to rise. Add salt to the batter.
  • Heat tawa. On medium heat, pour a ladleful of batter on the hot tawa; spread it quickly & softly in concentric circles (see picture above). Do not be alarmed if you do not succeed at the first go, it can only be perfected with practice. Add a teaspoonful or two of oil to the sides of the dosa. I use til oil or ghee. When it turns a beautiful golden colour – softly, using the chattukam and without hurting the sides (a special flat stirrer cum ladle), turn it around (to cook the other side). The complete process takes about 4 minutes. Serve hot.

Fresh Coconut Chutney

Main Ingredients

  1. Grated coconut – 1 cup
  2. Green Chillies – 2 or dry red chilly – 2
  3. Small onions – 2(optional)
  4. Ginger – a small piece(optional)
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Tamarind – a small piece ( optional )

To Season

  1. Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
  2. Dry red chilly – 1,cut in half
  3. Curry leaves – 1/2 sprig


  • Grind the main ingredients to a very fine paste. Dilute it with a little boiled, cooled water. Mix well.
  • Heat oil, season with mustard, dry red chilly and curry leaves. Serve with Dosa or Idly.

Filter Coffee

  • Add 6 teaspoons of coffee into the upper part of the filter coffee vessel.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of boiling hot water inside. Close the lid.
  • About half an hour later,  extract would have collected in the lower vessel.
  • Boil milk and pour into cup. Add required extract – enough to acquire the desired strength. Add sugar & mix well. Your coffee is ready to drink!

Quick Tip: To peel tomatoes , first put them into hot water for a minute and then into cold water.The skin comes off easily.

Quick Snack: Soak potato strips in salted water with a pinch of turmeric, dry them with a clean towel before frying to get really crisp potato chips.


About Paddy

When I married and came to Bangalore, it was a real ‘Pensioners’ Paradise.’ The climate was as today’s generation would say – ‘Awesome’. It was cool and pleasant throughout the year. My parents cautioned me to keep warm and have given me the loveliest Kashmir shawls, which I treasure to this day. Since I could not distinguish between rice and dal, cooking was an uphill task. I had a cook from Kerala, but the cold weather did not suit her and in a month’s time, she went back. Looking back, I have come a long way now… Cooking for me has metamorphosed from a daily routine of making edible and nutritious food for my family to an exciting journey of creativity by experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. To me, food is not only for nourishment and sustenance. Its taste and flavors take us back to our good times too. Food is nostalgia and comfort. It brings home our culture. Food is a treat and nourishment for the soul too. I dedicate this blog to my parents, who instilled in me a strong sense of ethics and discipline, and whose affection, love and support gives me strength in this journey of life. I feel the need of today’s generation, who come away from their homes and crave for home cooked food. To you too, I dedicate this blog, where I will share the recipes that I have learnt and grown to love over the years.


2 thoughts on “Dosa, Chutney and Filter Coffee-The South Indian Life Line

  1. Tasty, Mouth is watering

    Posted by Valli | May 18, 2012, 8:19 AM
  2. Thank you,Valli.I appreciate your support.Any suggestions are welcome.

    Posted by Paddy | May 19, 2012, 11:31 AM

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