As someone who has prided herself for making even the most laborious dishes from scratch, I was hesitant to buy dosa batter. I’d made it at least three times in the old apartment, old and wretched with who knows what growths there, and my dosa batter, since the first try, always fermented properly and yielded delicious, sour, crispy dosas. But Chris’s aunt, who took us to an Indian grocery store near her house in December, insisted that every Indian family buys their dosa and idli batter now. “Everyone does it,” she said to me. “Don’t feel bad. We don’t have time to make all this from scratch anymore! We’re too busy!” I looked at a container she pointed at, which she said she bought. I scanned the ingredients list to see what it was made of and was pleasantly surprised to see that no artificial ingredients or preservatives were listed. The only ingredients that should be in dosa/idli batter, which were the only ones listed were these, in this order: water, rice, urad dal, salt, fenugreek seeds.
I thought about it then, and I decided that at some point, when we returned to New York, I’d check Patel Brothers to see if they sold a similarly pure dosa batter and try it out. So the time came, and we added it to our Mirchi Market order this week. It was delivered yesterday, along with a number of other goodies, including my happy mangoes. I left it on the kitchen counter and photographed it for my social media, then left it there while eating dinner. Then, when Chris got up to get something from the kitchen, he returned to the couch to see splatters of white batter everywhere — all over the counter, the back of the couch, and even on the couch cushions! I realized that the batter had come from the dosa batter container. The dosa batter was so bubbly and fermented to the point of developing so much pressure that it popped the container lid off!
Well, I guess that means this batter won’t be a failure after all, and maybe this small trial was worth it.