Among the trinity of south Indian delicacies — idli, upma, dosai — ‘idli' has been pronounced to be not an indigenous item in your Science and Technology supplement some time ago, much to the lasting regret of South Indian ‘mamis'. Upma has won accolades in a world competition in the U.S. after a chef rustled up an incredibly edible concoction with upma ingredients and walked away with the first prize amounting to thousands of dollars.

But it is the dosa which has entered the Guinness Book of Records due to its enormous length. Regarding the majesticity of the item, there are eateries that have come up with umpteen varieties of dosa.

What an ordinary citizen other than a South Indian does not know is the magical and multitude ways one can handle the dosa batter as it gets better and better after a few days of storage in or out of the refrigerator when it gets more and more fermented and collects more probiotics. On day one of grinding, one has a bland dosa. Come the second day, it attains its royal splendour and can be experimented as wafer-thin dosai (paper dosai).It can be ‘murugal' (pyrolised). It is masala dosai, when stuffed with different curries and presented on a plate in a standing and outstanding conical shape.

On the third day with the yeast working wonders, it assumes the form of ‘oothappam' (in Tamil), a fat cousin of dosa.

Next day, it is converted as ‘Guliyappa' (Kannada) ‘pongadalu'(Telugu) ‘kulipanniyaram'(Tamil). A special contraption is used to make these fried delicacies. Lastly, the dosas leftover are torn into bits and called ‘pitchu dosai'. Bread pieces dipped in the batter are steamed and called ‘bread dosai.'

The dosa thus manifests itself into different forms as the days roll by. I believe no other item is preserved this long and caters to the family breakfast. It is really “dosa”-avatharam!

(The writer's email id is ramachandrar@hotmail.com)

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