What are Idli Sambar and Masala Dosa

Idlis and dosas from Indian cuisine

Idlis is a very common dish in South India and Sri Lanka. And so they are extremely proud that the World Health Organization has declared this traditional Indian food to be one of the healthiest in the world.

An idli is a kind of small round cake. It is made from a dough made from fermented black lentils (locally also from beans) and rice. It is dampened in an Idli damper. It looks like a kind of baking sheet with round recesses that are between 5 and 7 cm in size.

Preparing the idlis takes time and a little planning. Rice and lentils are soaked for several hours and then pureed with water. In this way, they stay as warm as possible overnight. Lactic acid bacteria become active and ensure a slightly sour but mild taste.
That is why a sambhar, a deliciously seasoned sauce, coriander chutney and often coconut chutney is served with it - and for many Indians a healthy breakfast with lots of protein and B vitamins is ready. Incidentally, this wonderful meal is ideal for people who cannot tolerate grain and need a little variety. And it's vegetarian too.
The same goes for dosas; also a dish of the South Indian cuisine. They are very thin, crispy pancakes that are best cooked on a cast iron platter. The dough is made from rice and a certain type of bean or lentil, just as it is for the Idlis, only a little thinner. Dosas are also usually available in India for breakfast, but also as a snack in between with sambhar and at least one chutney made from coconut or coriander.
By the way, you can prepare the dough and store it well for a few days. Since we usually don't have a cast-iron plate, a coated pan is also possible, which you have to make very hot beforehand. The dough (not too much, it should be a very thin pancake) is then poured in with a sweeping motion. In addition to the simple "plain" form, there are countless variants. One of the best known is masala dosa, which is eaten with a spicy potato filling.
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