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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Neer Dosa | Pani Cheela & Khatta Mirchi

Neer Dosa is a coastal delicacy of Karnataka. 'Neer' means water, and 'dosa' means crepe. It is a kind of crepe prepared with soaked rice and coconut and has a watery consistency. This kind of dosa does not need any kind of fermentation, hence it can be prepared instantly.

And the place where I belong to - 'Mangalore', Neer dosa is called  'Pani Cheela'. And this 'Pani cheela' with the combination of 'Khatta Mirchi' happens to be any Mangalorean's comfort food. The moment they hear this word, and they start drooling over it.

Khatta Mirchi is a red color fish curry made by using lot red chilies and tamarind. That is how it gets its name as 'khatta- sour' and 'mirchi-chilies'

Ingredients for Neer Dosa:

  • 1 cup of dosa rice (or any short grain rice)
  • 3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
  • Salt
  • 1 cup water for grinding.

  1. Soak the rice for 2 hours and grind to a smooth paste along with coconut and salt.
  2. While grinding add 1 cup water little by little and try to get a very smooth fine texture of the batter. You should not feel any grains of rice. Add more water if needed while grinding.
  3. Remove the batter in a bowl and add 2 more cups of water. Try to make a runny batter that it should not coat the back side of the ladle.
  4. Heat a nonstick flat pan. Pour a ladle full of batter into the pan and swirl the pan around so that the batter spreads evenly. 
  5. Cover and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the lid and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Either fold the dosa into three folds or leave it open.
  7. Do not stack the hot dosa over another dosa, let each dosa cool completely before stacking (as they might stick to each other while they are still hot)
  8. These dosas should be served warm and not hot. So it can be prepared in advance. Keep them warm in a hot box. 

For Chutney


  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 small piece of ginger grated
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped (1-if it is too hot; 2 if mild)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin whole
  • 1 tsp full tamarind pulp (or 1/4 cup tamarind soaked juice)
  • 3 tbsp roasted chana dal (also known as phutana)
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped (1 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 curry leaves.


Grind all the above ingredients with a half cup of water to a smooth paste. Before taking out from the grinding jar, taste and check the seasoning and adjust the salt, chili, and tamarind accordingly. Add water if needed according to the consistency of your choice. Add more water if you want it thin and less water to keep the chutney dry.

If you want to temper it: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a small pan, when medium hot add 1 tsp urad dal and 1 tsp mustard grains. When it starts crackling, add 2 dry red chilies and 4 to 5 curry leaves. Keep for few seconds and pour on the chutney.

Fish Khatta Mirchi

  • 500 gms of any fish of ur choice./mackeral/hammour/king fish
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger & garlic each
  • 1 tbsp chopped green chili
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 big tomato chopped
  • 2 tbsp red chili paste* (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup tamarind soaked water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped green coriander
  • salt to taste

For *Red Chili Paste: (grind together to a smooth dry paste)

  • 10-15 dry red chilies (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin
  • Less than 1/4 tsp roasted methi seeds (fenugreek)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup or little more of water
(Note: This paste can be made in a large batch and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months)


  1. Heat cooking oil in a saucepan and fry 1 medium onion chopped, 1 tbsp grated ginger & garlic, 1 tbsp chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
  2. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry till it softens.
  3. Add the 2 or 3 tbsp of red chili paste and fry for 2 minutes. Followed by tamarind water, salt and 1 cup of water. 
  4. When the gravy starts boiling add fish pieces, chopped coriander leaves and 3 tbsp of coconut oil.
  5. Cook on medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  6. Let it remain covered for 1 hour before serving.
  7. Can also be served with steamed rice and dal.  


  1. thank u so much for the accurate measurements of neer dosa, I stopped making them cox they never used to come out good, but today alhamdullillah from first to last all came out perfect, I was happily making them,, even the khatta mirchi came out good...

  2. perfect pani cheela and khattamirchi thank you