"Paan" means leaf in Konkani and "Polo" means dosa/crepe. So " Paan Polo" literally means "leaf dosa" in Konkani. This nomenclature of this dosa/crepe is due to its leaf like thinness. It is also known as "Neer dose"in Tulu which is one of the local dialects of South Canara and Kundapur districts of Karnataka/India. "Neer" means water and "dose" means dosa/crepe in Tulu language which essentially refers to the water-like consistency of the batter. This batter is very thin , simple and easy to make. It contains just rice, a little bit of freshly grated coconut and water. In olden days it must have been extremely economical for the labor-class people to make this dish. Rice is something all households have and most people have coconut tree in their yard. Urad dal was expensive and fewer people could afford it. Paan Polo is very versatile as it can be eaten for breakfast with jaggery syrup, or for lunch/dinner with nice spicy chicken/ fish curry. This is one of the few dosa batters that does not require to be fermented. Dosa can be made instantly! My mother makes the best Paan polo. She does not even add grated coconut to the batter, yet the dosa comes out soft and tasty! The trick to this dosa is that the griddle has to be hot, well-oiled, the flame medium-high,the batter thin, spread from out to in and removed quickly. If left for too long the dosa develops cracks!
You don't want this to happen!
So, lets check this easy recipe out!
Raw rice: 3 cups
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Salt: to taste
Soak rice in water for 4-5 hours ( or overnight). Grind it in a blender to a fine paste with 1 cup water,coconut and salt. Now dilute this paste using water as needed to a free flowing liquid consistency.
Heat the griddle/tawa until hot. Smear coconut oil using a basting brush. Pour one ladle of batter starting from the outside in. Now shake the tawa in such a manner that the batter is spread all around the skillet.
As soon as the batter appears cooked fold it into a triangle and remove it off the griddle (the dosa cooks really fast).
Keep it in a closed container or hotbox until ready to serve.
Serve hot with Godda Ravo( sweet syrup made from jaggery) or with chutney of your choice/ stew/ spicy chicken curry/mutton curry/egg curry.The dosa in the steel plate has been served with cilantro chutney and dry peanut chutney. In the picture above it has been served with ridge gourd peel chutney , dry lasun/garlic chutney and godda ravo( jaggery syrup).
Cooking made easy:
Neer dose or paan pole is one of those few dosas that can be made on the spur of the moment and the batter does not require overnight fermentation.
If you do not have time even to soak the rice, then you can quicken the rice soaking process by soaking it in hot water for an hour and then making the batter as you usually would.
Another super-easy way of making this dosa batter is by mixing rice flour with coconut milk into a fine paste and then dilute it to the required consistency.
Tip for healthy living:
The best way to take care of cast iron pans is to avoid using soap on it.To clean cast iron pans, just scrub it gently with a gentle brush and rinse it with water.Dry immediately, apply a thin coating of oil and store until next use.
Food for thought:
Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do. David Wilkerson