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Dibba Rotti and Coconut Chutney: Revisiting the first recipe from ‘What’s Cooking?’ columnist Lakshmi Rao

We’re thrilled to celebrate NRI Pulse’s 20th anniversary this month! As we reflect on two decades of news, stories, community, and culture, let’s take a delicious trip down memory lane. Join us as we revisit the very first recipe from our beloved What’s Cooking? columnist, P.S. LAKSHMI RAO*. It all started 20 years ago, and her culinary magic has been delighting our taste buds ever since.

Dibba Rotti and Coconut Chutney

This particular type of dosa is called “dibba rotti” because of its thickness and heaviness and is very popular in some parts of Andhra Pradesh. It does not take much preparation time except for soaking the urad dal. The batter need not be fermented.

1 Cup urad dal (soak for two to four hours or overnight and blend with 1 1/2 cups of water)
2 Cups cream of rice or idli ravva (wash and remove all the water)
1 Tablespoon cumin Seed
1 Teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 Tablespoon oil for each rotti
1 teaspoon ghee (optional)
Mix blended urad dal batter and next three ingredients together.
Heat an 8-inch non-stick pan or iron pan on high heat. Spread and heat oil and ghee in the pan and pour two cups of batter in to hot oil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Keep it for eight to ten minutes or until it is golden brown in the bottom and the top looks little dry. Put few drops of oil on top and turn it over. Cover and let it get brown on the other side of rotti in medium low heat for 6 to 8 minutes.

Cut it like pizza wedges and serve hot. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Leftover batter can be fermented and used for idlis.

Eat with coconut yogurt chutney, any pickle, or pancake syrup.

Coconut Yogurt Chutney

2 Cups plain homemade or store bought yogurt
1 Cup grated fresh coconut
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 pinches turmeric
Mix all the above four ingredients and set aside.

Prepare popu with the following ingredients

1 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon red mustard seed
1 teaspoon urad dal
1 or 2 red dry chilies broken into pieces
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 pinch asafetida (optional)
1 long green pepper chopped
1 stem of curry leaves

Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seed. When mustard seeds start to pop, add urad dal, red chilies, cumin seed, and asafetida. Fry until urad dal becomes light brown. Add curry leaves and green chili pieces and fry them for a few more seconds.
Add popu to the yogurt and coconut mixture and mix well. Taste and see if you have to add any salt. Keep it covered. Note: The red chilies can be increased or decreased as desired.

*P.S. Lakshmi Rao, a retired banker, has a passion for cooking. Her friends and family enjoy her culinary delights. Lakshmi is a long-time Atlanta resident.

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