Dosa batter is poured into the tava. Shhhhhh. Smoke. Batter is spread across the tava in circular motion by the artisan. The circle could resemble a jogging track. As it bakes one can see small holes in the middle sprouting like a small bud. It is time for a somersault and it is turned upside down. When this being made what could be the perfect accompaniment to the dosa? The choices are Milagai podi, coconut chutney, pudhina chutney, onion thozku, curd, kurma, rasam, butter milk and last but not the least -the sambar. For an ideal combination the piping hot dosa must have hot sambhar as a side dish. There are various variants of sambhar. One popular version in the culinary circles is Rathna café sambhar. May be the origin of this dish could be the most famous Rathna café. Immaterial of its origin, the dish is an exotic accompaniment to the dosa.
As one dips the dosai in rathna café sambhar and makes a small circle, one can feel the sambhar. You should be careful enough so that the entire piece of dosa is not soaked into the sambhar for a long time. Excess sambhar could deprive the taste of the dosa. The tongue should taste both sambhar and the dosa at the same time. When the tongue tastes the combination, it goes into ecstasy. It takes some time to get back to the normal sense. By that time the next piece is ready. Piece after piece you are in an exotic world. Ensure that you feel the sour, hot & sweet tastes of the Sambhar. You should ensure that quantity of sambhar dipped is appropriate to the size of the dosa. If any one portion is not in proportion, it leads to a shortage. Small serving of kesari(with cashews) and coffee would not harm the tongue.
Recipe For the masala Roast kadala paruppu(Bengal gram), dhanya(Coriander seeds), vendhiyam(Fengucreek), curry leaves and four to five red chillies. People with a hot taste bud can add two more. If the colour of the mixture is golden brown then the roasting is sufficient Add ½ teaspoon of oil. Powder the mixture along with small sambhar onion. Heat oil in pan, add mustard. When it flutters add curry leaves and cumin seeds. Add tomatoes. Fry for two minutes. Add tamarind juice, let it boil for two minutes. Add salt and the powdered masala. Add boiled and mashed Thuvaram paruppu(toor dhall). Add little jaggery. Let it boil for ten minutes. Serve hot