- Black Gram – 1/2Cup (120gms)
- Rice Ravva – 1Cup (200gms)
- Salt – To Taste (1tsp)
- Water – For Grinding (150ml + 40ml)
- Green Chilies – 3 (Hot Variety)
- Ginger – Small Piece
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4tsp
- Oil – For Frying (3Tbsps + 4Tbsps)
Take dal into a bowl and add water. Wash the dal well and drain out water. Add fresh water and soak the dal. Take rice ravva into a bowl and add water. Wash the rice ravva well and drain out water. Add fresh water to the washed ravva and soak it. Soak the dal and rice ravva in water separately for 6 hours. After 6 hours of soaking, grind the dal.
Take a wet grinder and fix the stones in it. Add some water and switch on the machine. When the stones are rotating, add soaked dal in small quantities. After adding the entire soaked dal, observe that the mixture starts thickening. Then slowly add water and grind. Add water in small quantities to maintain the thickness of the batter which should be like that of “Idli Batter”. In between scrape the sides of the wet grinder bowl with a flat spatula and add the scattered batter into the bowl. While the dal is grinding, prepare the ravva.
Drain out water from the soaked ravva. Keep a mixing bowl nearby. Take a fistful of soaked rice ravva and press it & remove excess water. Add this ravva into the mixing bowl. Similarly remove all excess water from the soaked rice ravva by pressing between fingers and add to the mixing bowl. Watch the dal which we are grinding in wet grinder. If required add some water and grind the dal to a smooth batter. In between scrape the sides of the wet grinder bowl with a flat spatula and add the scattered batter into the bowl. While the dal is grinding, prepare the ravva. Add sufficient salt and grind. When the dal is ground to a smooth texture transfer the batter to the mixing bowl in which we have added soaked and pressed rice ravva. Mix the mixture well to make a uniform batter. Take a deep bowl and transfer the prepared batter into it. Place a plate beneath this deep bowl so that after fermentation if the batter spills it would fall into the plate. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to ferment overnight. Next day morning observe that the batter has raised after fermentation and is ready to make dibba rotis.
Take green chilies and break them into pieces. Take a mixie jar and add the chili pieces, ginger and 1/4tsp cumin seeds and grind coarsely. Transfer the coarsely ground chili mixture into a plate and keep it aside.
Take a ladle and mix the batter well to deflate. If required add sufficient water to bring it to “Idli Batter” consistency---here I have added 40ml water. Mix the batter well.
Dibba Rotis are fried on very low flame. Use the smallest size burner in the gas stove and place a frame (as shown in the movie) to increase the height from the flame. Place a non-stick pan on the frame and heat it on low flame. As the height of the pan increases from the flame due to the frame, it gets reduced heat. Add 3Tbsps of oil and heat it. When oil is hot add 1 1/2cups of prepared batter into the pan and spread evenly. Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully lift the roti with a flat ladle and observe that the underside is crisp and golden in color. Flip the roti in the pan and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or till the other side is also fried to a crisp and golden color. When the roti is fried to golden color and is crisp it is ready. Transfer the dibba roti into a serving plate and serve hot. The roti is crisp and thick and hence the name Dibba Roti—Dibba means thick. As we have used the rice ravva it gets fried and the outer surface is crisp. As we have covered and cooked the roti the inner side of the roti would be soft.
In olden days people used to grind the dal using a stone grinder manually. As there were no refrigerators in those days, first day they used to make rotis plainly as mentioned above. On the second day the batter would have become sour on further fermentation. So they used to mix cumin, ginger and green chili mixture to balance the sourness and make a spicy variation of dibba rotis—even they taste excellent.
To the leftover batter (2 Cups) add the ground chili mixture and mix well. In olden days as non-stick pans were not there, people used to make dibba rotis using Iron pans or brass pans. Let us see how the roti is made using an iron pan.
Place an iron pan on the small burner over the frame as did earlier to get reduced heat. Heat the pan on low flame. Add 4Tbsps oil to the pan and heat it. When oil is hot add the prepared batter and spread evenly. Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bottom side is crisp and golden in color. Unless the bottom side is fried till crisp it would not leave the pan easily. Once done, flip over the roti to fry on the other side too. This time fry the rotiuncovered till the other side is crisp. When the roti is fried to crispy texture, transfer to a serving plate and serve hot. Observe that the roti made in an iron pan has got a portion burnt in the middle. Even though we have used the frame to reduce the heat of the flame, the roti gets slightly burnt. Unless and until the entireroti is crisp, it would not leave the pan easily. By the time the entire surface is crisp the middle portion of the roti is over fried and burns slightly. Even this slightly burnt roti also tastes good. However if the roti burns to a deep black color, then remove that much portion and eat as it would be carcinogenic.
For a nice presentation, cut the dibba roti using a pizza cutter to get neat pieces. Serve dibba roti hot with some chutney or chutney powder.
Points To Observe:
While grinding the dal use water carefully otherwise the batter may become thin and it would not be possible to make dibba rotis. Use sufficient water to grind thedal to a smooth texture. There is always a scope to add extra water before making the rotis.
For making dibba rotis we need more oil. the more the oil is the crisper the outer surface would be. However in olden days they used to put less oil and hence it would get cooked texture than cooked and fried texture.
Use fine variety of rice ravva. Preferably make your own rice ravva at home than use the store bought one as that latter would be thicker in texture. Soaking the rice ravva softens it.
Always fry the dibba rotis on very low flame. Covering the pan and cooking the roti softens the inner side. Slow cooking with more oil makes the outer side crisp.
Observe that after flipping the roti we have not added any oil to fry the other side. The soaked oil in the roti would be sufficient to make it crisper the other side too.
Eat the dibba roti while it is hot only. The hot roti would be crisp and tasty.
Rotis made using a non-stick pan has an advantage of lifting and checking the colour and texture while frying whereas the ones made using an iron pan do not have that advantage as the roti would not leave the pan unless and until it is fried properly.
Even though the frame is used to reduce the heat of the flame, the roti gets slightly burnt when made using an iron pan. Unless and until the entire roti is crisp, it would not leave the pan easily. By the time the entire surface is crisp the middle portion of the roti is over fried and burns slightly. Even this slightly burnt roti also tastes good. However if the roti burns to a deep black color, then remove that much portion and eat as it would be carcinogenic.