A commonly talked dish amongst food lovers is the South Indian crispy and thin pancake named Dosa. Often paired with chutney or sambar, the dosa has a mouth-watering taste that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
Along with the delicious taste comes the hardships of making dosa; the process requires perfection, patience, and a good quality iron dosa pan that is seasoned. If you are curious about knowing the proper way to season your iron dosa pan, then this blog is for you; we will also be including some tips afterward, so stick around to find out!
How To Season A Cast Iron Dosa Pan/Tawa:
Step 1: Cleaning Part One
Using a dishwashing liquid and metal wired scrubber, clean your iron Tawa; be generous with the dishwashing liquid. This ensures that the spices and oils that you use during seasoning are the only ingredients coming in contact with your dosa.
Step 2: Oiling
Now, pour 1tsp of oil (vegetable oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil are suitable options) and 1tsp of salt on the pan, and using your hand, rub it evenly all over your iron dosa pan. The amount of oil and salt might be altered to make sure you can evenly spread oil all over your tawa; just make sure equal teaspoons of both are used.
Step 3: Resting and cleaning
Once you are done spreading the oil and salt all over your cast iron dosa pan, let it rest for a day so the oil can be absorbed properly. Again, scrub the cast iron pan clean of off rust and dirt using a metal scrubber; this time, do not use any soap.
Step 4: Washing
For washing your cast iron dosa pan, you will now need starch water. Starch water, in easy words, is the water used to wash rice; it has a thick consistency. You need to keep your cast iron dosa pan submerged in this rice water for about 2 days after which, you need to take it out and let it air dry. Wash it again afterward.
Step 5: Seasoning
½ tsp of mustard seeds followed by ¼ tsp of urad daal should be added to your cast iron dosa pan while it is being heated. Spread the mixture properly using a spatula and continue heating till they start spitting. Afterward, add 2tbsp of chopped onions and keep on spreading and mixing until the white pieces gain a golden appearance. Make sure the sauteed mixture is spread all over your entire cast iron dosa.
Step 6: Wiping
Using a clean and dry piece of cloth or tissue, wipe off the mixture. This is the last step, so once you are done, your iron dosa pan is ready for use.
Tips On Maintaining The Seasoned Iron Dosa Tawa
- Avoid cleaning the iron dosa tawa using water after every use; try wiping it off with cloth or tissue after every usage instead. When you do clean it with water, do not scrub or use soap. However, before using it, clean it with water to remove any dust particles.
- Apply cooking oil from time to time to prevent the iron dosa pan from rusting.
- Avoid allowing the iron dosa pan to heat up to the point where it starts smoking; instead, make the dosa on low flame.
- Use a sharp-tipped spatula for turning over your dosa. Wooden spatulas are not suitable for making dosa on a seasoned iron dosa Tawa.
- If your dosa starts sticking to the pan, before usage cut an onion in half and rub it onto the pan while heating it; this should be done with some oil on the dosa pan.
- Take a few red chilies, tear them into pieces, and spread them over the dosa pan. Sautee them and then wipe off any remains using a dry piece of cloth. This will also prevent your dosa from sticking onto the surface of your iron pan.
- Heat vegetable oil or coconut oil on the iron dosa pan to keep the pan seasoned. Do this around twice a month routinely. This also prevents rusting.
- When your dosa starts sticking to your iron pan too often, mix an egg per 3 cups of batter. Use this recipe for a few weeks and then, once you continue making dosa without any eggs, you will notice that the iron dosa pan is perfectly seasoned.
- Refrain from using your iron dosa pan for making or frying other things.
Do you need to season your dosa pan after every use?
If your iron dosa pan has been soaked in water for a long time, the thin polymerized oil layer created after seasoning is likely to be washed off meaning it needs to be seasoned once again. Otherwise, even after washing with dishwashing liquid, you do not need to season your iron dosa pan.
Why Is Seasoning An Iron Dosa Pan Important?
A cast-iron dosa pan is not naturally non-stick; to give it the non-stick properties so that you can make your dosa properly without having the batter stick all over, you need to season it. If you do not season an iron pan, then you will not be able to make dosa on it without creating a big mess.
If seasoning seems too much of a hassle for you, then you can switch to non-stick pans although they do not perform as well as a cast-iron dosa Tawa.
Which Pan Is Best For Dosa?
Pans made of cast iron are the best possible options for making dosa. They spread heat evenly, are durable, and do not heat up too quickly meaning there are fewer chances of burning your dosa. Pans made of thick aluminum are also suitable however, due to low density they heat up too quickly. Non-stick pans and frying pans are also suitable options although they do not perform as well as cast iron ones.
With (hopefully) all questions answered, we hope you can now make and devour a dosa by yourself!