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“Dibba rotte. Say it”.
“Dibba rotte – see how easy it is.”
I give up in disgust. I’ve been trying to teach husband the name of this unusual Telugu dish he’s fallen in love with and the recalcitrant Palghati refuses to learn… thereby following the Tamil convention of renaming everything particularly road names – that can be renamed and to a composition in praise of the said dish.
“Oobie dooby doo,
Where are you?
I want to be eating you
(sung to the tune of Scooby Dooby Doo)
May never win a Grammy but perfectly representative of hubby’s (and rest of the family’s) feelings towards this crisp and golden brown on the outside, light and fluffy as ‘mallepoo’ (jasmine flower) inside – breakfast dish served with ginger pickle (allam pachadi).
Husband being from Palghat and me a mixture of Andhra and Maharashtra settled in Hyderabad via Bangalore made for an interesting set of new foods we learnt from each other, or in this case, from mother-in-law as husband’s ability to cook in the early days extended to making a mean cup of tea!
I learnt this dish from my mother who learnt it from her mother. Dibba rotte is a traditional Andhra recipe and is usually cooked in a heavy kadai set on dying embers after the morning’s main meal has been cooked. Usually eaten in the evening it however makes for a great breakfast dish.
Urad Dal – 1 cup
Raw rice, soaked for about 4 – 6 hours – 2 1/2 cups (or raw rice rava – semolina – available in some supermarkets)
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Pepper – 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli – 1
Salt – 1 tsp
Gingelly oil – 1/2 cup
Grind the soaked urad dal and the soaked raw rice separately. Grind separately to idli batter consistency in a blender along with cumin seeds, pepper, asafoetida, red chilli and salt. Mix batters together. If using the raw rice rava, just add it to the ground urad batter.
Whip the batter and let it rest, covered, for about an hour. This batter makes about four medium-sized dibba rottes. The batter should not ferment.
Heat a thick bottomed kadai, add 3 tbsp of oil and pour about a quarter of the batter into it. Cover and cook on a very low flame (about 15-20 min) till the bottom develops a thick golden crust.
Turn over using a large spatula. Cook the other side, uncovered, this should take about seven-10 minutes. Slide carefully on to a plate, cut into wedges and serve hot with ginger pickle or avakkai. Enjoy – and battle the re-naming brigade!