Thosai 10 Ways: Get Delicious Colour With Beetroot, Kale And Turmeric

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Thosai 10 Ways: Get Delicious Colour With Beetroot, Kale And Turmeric

STORY: Vasunthara Ramasamy
15 November 2021
Photo: Vasunthara Ramasamy

"Thosai 10 Ways" is a Wonderwall.sg series helmed by MasterChef Singapore Season 2 contestant Vasunthara Ramasamy aka Vasun, an amateur baker and cook, and the blogger behind Monsoon Table.

In the lands of Southern India where rice reigns supreme, hundreds of variations exist for any rice-based dish - and thosai (or dosa as it is also known in some parts of South India) is no different.

Regional thosai varieties, like Neer Dosa (a delicate, thin thosai type from coastal Karnataka), use a specific rice variety while others like the turmeric spongy thosai, are made for special occasions like Deepavali.

While travelling in any South Indian state, you’ll come across several eateries along major arterial roads, which would usually serve thosai, idli chutneys, sambhars and set rice meals.

Some eateries even offer colourful variations of the traditional thosai to stand apart from their competitors, and so it isn’t uncommon to see beetroot, spinach and turmeric thosais filled with newfangled stuffings such as paneer masala, Indo-Chinese noodles and the works.

Inspired by the countless variations I’ve encountered during my travels, I’ve come up with some easy, colourful variations using my No Grind Thosai recipe - these pair well with the Green Goddess Coconut Chutney.

Photo: Vasunthara Ramasamy

Beetroot Thosai

Makes about 10 pieces of 10- to 15-inch thosai

This is the most vibrant, naturally coloured thosai you’ll ever make. The  beetroot red does turn to a blush pink when cooked and the nutritionally dense root vegetable lends a very earthy, mineral flavour to the thosai. I like to pair beetroot with a touch of cumin to enhance its natural flavour but it can be left out.

Ingredients

  • 150 to 170 grams beetroot – uncooked, skinned and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups/500ml undiluted No Grind Thosai batter

Method

1. In a blender jar, add all ingredients except the thosai batter and blend until smooth.

2. Add 2 cups of thosai batter and pulse until the batter is smooth and evenly mixed.

3. The batter needs to be a pourable consistency.

4. Make thosai as per normal.

Photo: Vasunthara Ramasamy

Coriander-Kale Thosai

Makes about 10 pieces of 10- to 15-inch thosai

So I got a little caught up with the kale kraziness because I had a bunch of it in the fridge and thought to myself, “Why not add it to thosai?”. Turns out, kale can be blended till smooth and be a delicious addition to thosai even though it loses some of its verdant hue when cooked.

I think this Coriander-Kale Thosai would be a great wrap for whatever you may put into a spring roll or burrito as it has a mild vegetal and savoury flavour.

Don’t just take my word for it. Try it and message me on Instagram with your green thosai creations and make me green with envy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup, loosely packed fresh coriander leaves and stems
  • 1 cup, loosely packed kale or baby spinach
  • 2-3 green chillies of about 4-5 inches length
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups/ 500ml undiluted No Grind Thosai batter

Method

1. In a blender jar, add all ingredients except the thosai batter and blend until smooth.

2. Add 2 cups of thosai batter and pulse until the batter is smooth and evenly mixed.

3. The batter needs to be a pourable consistency.

4. Make thosai as per normal.

Photo: Vasunthara Ramasamy

Golden Turmeric Thosai

Makes about 10 pieces of 10- to 15-inch thosai

In Ayurveda, pairing turmeric with black pepper is recommended as the piperine in black peppercorns, an alkaloid responsible for the peppercorns’ pungency, helps in the absorption of curcumin in turmeric.

Ghee is a fat and is a good carrier of flavour. Warming it and adding it to turmeric helps release its natural aromas. In many Indian households as advised by Ayurveda, a mixture of ghee, black pepper and turmeric is given to children to boost their immunity.

Hence, inspired by this Ayurvedic “tonic”, I’ve added these ingredients to the No Grind Thosai batter. The turmeric gives a golden hue to the cooked thosai. Blooming and mixing the turmeric in ghee also helps it to mix evenly in the batter without clumping.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½  - ¾  teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups/ 500ml undiluted No Grind Thosai batter

Method

1. In a mortar and pestle or using one end of a rolling pin, coarsely crush the black peppercorns and cumin seeds.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add turmeric powder.

3. In a small pan over low heat , add ghee until warm. Add coarsely pounded black pepper and cumin. Swirl spices in the pan until warm through and fragrant. Immediately add infused ghee on top of turmeric. Whisk until combined.

4. Into the same mixing bowl, add salt, water and No Grind Thosai batter. Using the same whisk, mix until the batter is evenly combined and smooth.

5. The batter needs to be a pourable consistency.

6. Make thosai as per normal.


Photos: Vasunthara Ramasamy

Vasun's thosai masterclass

Want to learn more? Vasun teaches the art of making thosai from scratch at her home. She's inspired by the nostalgia of her grandma's kitchen and the exacting science of thosai fermentation.

Thosai masterclass partipants will learn the basic science of thosai, how to soak and grind the batter from scratch, master the art of swirling and cooking thosais.

At the end of the 4-hour $180 class, they also get to enjoy a tiffin meal with two chutneys and gunpowder podi, bring home all the food and successfully ferment their first batch of thosai.

For now, the thosai masterclass is for a maximum of two partipants, and held every Wednesday and Sunday.

For enquiries or to book a class with Vasun, email monsoontable@gmail.com or drop her a DM via Instagram @vasunthara.r

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TAGS: Thosai 10 Ways , Recipe , Local talent
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