We have switched from using white Basmati rice to short grain brown rice for its obvious health reasons. Last week, I made batter with brown rice. The dosas came out perfect, and you can't even taste the difference. I don't have pictures of any plain dosas but you can see the pictures of spring dosa (here) made with the brown rice dosa batter.
A few notes for getting the batter to ferment. Living here in Pacific Northwest, I have had many problems with getting the batter to ferment. I have tried many ways, and the method given below works the best for me.
1. Do NOT over wash the daal and rice, especially the daal. You just want to wash them twice maximum. Washing over and over gets rid of the beneficial bacteria which help in fermentation.
2. When grinding the daal and rice for batter , grind the separately. Grind them both to a very fine paste if you want to use the batter for dosas. For idly, grind the rice just a little coarse. You can still use the dosa batter for idly, but the coarse (but fine) batter gives the idly its unique texture and fluffiness.
3. If grinding with a regular mixer grinder (even an Indian grinder), always let the batter "rest". Grind for 10-15 seconds, then stop for a few seconds to let the batter cool down. Grinding constantly will create heat which will kill the bacteria.
4. Add baking soda to the batter during winter. This was a tip my mom's neighbor gave her. Baking soda aids in fermentation. Also, putting the batter in the oven and leaving the light on all night helps in fermentation during the cold winter time.
5. After grinding, mix both batters in a deep container. This allows for the batter to rise up for fermentation.
Ingredients: (will make about 20 dosas)
1 Cup Brown Rice,
1/3 Cup Urad daal,
1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds,
1 Tablespoon Flattened Rice (Thick Poha)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Salt to taste
Wash and soak the rice and poha in enough water for for 6-8 hours. Just about 2 hours before grinding the batter, wash and soak the daal along with the fenugreek seeds.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees F. Once it reaches the temperature turn it off. Grind the rice and daal separately per the note mentioned above. Again always let the batter "rest" and cool down.
Mix both batters in a container. Now add the poha, salt and baking soda. Mix well with your hand. Do not stir or beat it. Just mix it gently. Cover the container with a lid and keep it in the warm oven. Turn on the light in the oven, which will provide constant heat for fermentation. Leave it untouched for 12 hours (during summer) or 15-18 hours (during winter).
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