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I believe that salt is to food, what food is to life. In right proportions, it can heighten the taste of what you eat..and in the wrong - destroy! Even the most delicious sweets come added with some salt...to taste!

As for me, I've never enjoyed cooking. And as contrary to my owning a food-blog as it may sound, I always think about daily, routine cooking as a chore. But my tryst with the pots and pans began when I got a kitchen all to myself...I began experimenting and exploring new worlds in my own home. Some outcomes were excellent and some plain disasters. Then sprouted the need to keep track of all those good ones...and hence this blog!

Here, I share those experiments that pleased more than one palate!

March 19, 2010

Neer Dose and Vegetable Saagu

Making dosas was once a very skillful task for me. Soaking various dals and rice in the right proportions. Then, grinding it to a fine mixture and then allowing the concoction to ferment to the right level. And as the grand finale, pouring the perfect dosa on the griddle - All seemed like a humongous task. Not that I am an expert now, but I have learnt the simple tricks of the trade to end up with some lip-smacking ones. In fact, it has been only about two years now since I have started making idli and dosa batter at home. Among the umpteen number of dosa recipes I have seen/eaten I think my personal favourite is the Neer Dosa, which if I am not wrong is an authentic Mangalorean dish. Back in India, I had a friend from Mangalore who lived in the same apartment building as us, where I used to eat this dosa very often. It pairs amazingly well with non-vegetarian and vegetarian gravies alike. I had almost forgotten this childhood favourite of mine...but Madhuri posted a different version of the same on her blog, which refreshed my memory. In this post, I've whipped up vegetable saagu that is normally served along with puris in South Indian hotels as the famous Puri-Saagu combo. The crispy yet soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture of the Neer Dosa beautifully compliments the entire experience of eating this side dish.

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Ingredients for Neer Doses
1 Cup Rice, soaked for one hour (I have used Soona Masoori. You can even use Basmati)
2 tbsp. grated coconut
A pinch of baking soda
And, of course, some salt to taste!

- Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste in the blender/mixer
- Add about 2 glasses (16oz) more water to the ground paste to make the batter watery
- On a hot griddle/tawa, first sprinkle water to cool off temporarily
- Once the water evaoprated, on a high flame, spread oil and pour the batter in a sprinkling action to form a complete circle
- Turn the flame to medium, hold on to your patience and wait for the dosa to cook. It will slowly form the net a net-like texture and come off from the sides indicating that it has cooked on the lower side
- Flip and fry the other side
- For every subsequent dosa, repeat by cooling off the griddle/tawa by sprinkling water and then spreading oil before you pour (sprinkle) the dosas
- Serve hot with vegetable saagu or any spicy gravy/chutney

Now that we've mastered the Neer Dose, let's discover the Vegetable Saagu recipe.

Ingredients for Vegetable Saagu
For the Masala
1/2 Cup Coconut (I used frozen coconut slices)
1/2 Cup Channa Dalia (Phutane)
2 Green chillies
2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste (You can substitute for fresh grated ginger and garlic)
3/4 Cup Coriander/Parsley
1 tsp Jeera

For the Gravy
2 Cups choice of vegetables - Boiled (I have used potatoes, carrots, green beans and peas)
1 Cup Tomato - Finely chopped
1 Cup Onion - Finely chopped
2 tsp Tamarind pulp
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida/Hing
6-8 Curry leaves
And, of course, some salt to taste!

- Grind all the Masala ingredients to a smooth paste
- In a deep saucepan, heat oil
- Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
- Toss in the asafoetida and the curry leaves and stir a few seconds
- Add the onions and fry until translucent
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir until done
- Pour the ground masala and stir well
- Cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally
- Add the chopped vegetables (along with the water in which you boiled it to retain the goodness) and salt and cook another 3 minutes (keep an eye and stir, as it may boil and fly all over your stove)
- Pour the tamarind pulp and simmer for about a minute
- Stir again and if needed, add water to adjust the consistency of the saagu if it is to thick (It should not be too runny, too)
- Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs and serve hot

SERVES 4 (Makes a good 15-20 dosas. You can comfortably tuck in about 4 dosas for breakfast!)


  1. Yummy! Its been ages since I made Neer dose. Seeing this makes me want to do this today!

  2. thnks for the recipe ,,,tried this today,..;-)

  3. Neer dosa and Sagu? What a way to start my day with!!! Would love it! I make Neer dosa often, sometimes, even instant with rice powder ;) Sagu recipe looks good to me. I haven't tried this for long now. Should give a try. :)

  4. hey deepti..long time since i checked out ur site...this recipe is good!!!..ghay in her website has listed out a recipe called carrot dosa...probably i'll combine tht with this..and make a combo..out of it..:)..as pranav likes dosa..adding carrot wud make it healthy too..;)..good recipes to tackle fussy eaters..:)..make him eat veggies tht way..:D..ill try tht..and any doubts..will come to u..:D..

  5. Mallika, do try the Saagu recipe. I am a big fan of it myself...esp. with puris. It goes great even with Rava Idlis and chapathis.

  6. Archana, yes that sure sounds like an interesting and tasty combination. Ghay, even has beetroot puris I think. That too, will taste great with this saagu. Do try it and let me know how Pranav likes it.

  7. Suma...yes, I too keep forgetting about it. But in the recent past, Ive been making it often because its just so delicious and easy!

  8. Lovely neer doses Deepti! This is the authentic one. The one I've tried is more like fatafat...mix, pour on griddle, cook, eat! Im dying to trying the authetic version ever since Anupama left me the comment on mine. Must try soon.
    Great going! Keep them coming :)

  9. Yup Madhuri, you should try this version. It takes a while to cook, but its worth every minute of the wait!

  10. Oh yes, the instant ones took time too! Will try this soon. Btw, how could I forget to mention this in my previous comment...this click is terrific! I loved the wooden tray and background as well. I love! :)

  11. Thanks again Madhuri! The wooden tray is my favourite too. I even have bowls that go with it.. you can see it in the pic of the 'Raisin N Nut Cookies' post.(http://somesalttotaste.blogspot.com/2010/02/raisin-n-nut-cookies.html)

  12. Hey Deepti, will try the neer dosa.This is easy enough even for me!I will probably substitute with chicken gravy. This sagu is a lot of work for me:))

  13. Vijaya, the saagu not as tough as it seems. Its pretty much like making a coriander chutney and then adding it to the onion-tomato masala along with the boiled veggies. You should give it a shot when you make puris... Especially, when you have the mood for a hearty meal with guests.

  14. hey Deepti, I finally made it today...didn't have coriander leaves and tamarind but it has still turned out delicious. I used mango powder instead of tamarind. loving it :) thanks.

  15. @ Neha - Awesomeness!! You should try it with coriander leaves and tamarind another time. It changes the whole flavour scenario! Did you also make the Neer Dosas?

  16. Thanks for the recipe...i love neer dose. Here in Mumbai they serve it with a vegetable gravy which i think has copra in it..But i usually make sagu the way u have suggested.Thanks for Neer dose recipe :)
    Sowmya Rao