Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Savory Semolina Crepe (Rava Thosai)

There are many types of savory crepes or thosais in Indian cuisine. Most of it is made from fermented rice and dahl flour but there are other variations made with wheat and semolina flour. While I love a crispy thosai made from rice flour, my hubby has experiences stomach discomfort when he indulges in the fermented version. Instead he enjoys the gritty semolina thosai which is equally delicious and nutritious.

To be honest, I don't have my mother's knowledge or skills in making traditional Indian food from scratch. For semolina thosai, I usually rely on the pre-mix versions and in particular I like the 'baba' brand. I find their products reliable and of good quality. All my masala mixes and spices are from that particular brand. Anyway, at $2 a packet, it makes enough to feed three hungry people generously (Tip: You can buy it much cheaper in Malaysia!). Also, the ingredients are vegan, so that in itself is a huge selling point for me! 

However, one thing to note is that semolina thosai takes a much longer time to cook then normal thosai. This is because semolina itself takes a longer time to cook and the batter is thick as compared to its to the fermented thosai which is partly made with cooked rice and the batter is light, fluffy and bubbly because of the fermentation. So cook it over low heat or you might just end up with a gummy thosai. The premix has curry leaves and dried red chilli added to the batter but I jazzed it up with more curry leaves and spices. It's entirely optional. 

Instant Semolina Crepe (Rava Thosai)

1 packet baba brand semolina crepe pre mix
2 sprig curry leaves (optional)
2 green chilli, sliced thinly (optional)
40g onion, sliced thinly (optional)
Some gingelly oil


1) Prepare the semolina batter according to package instructions.
2) Add the curry leaves, chilli, onion to the batter and mix well.
3) Heat a pan (preferably non-stick) and apply some gingelly oil. 
4) Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan and spread it out as quickly as possible without tearing the batter (takes practice!)
5) Sprinkle some gingelly oil and flip the batter over once the underside starts to brown.
6) Once both sides are crisp and brown, remove and serve with sambar or other side dishes.

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