I come from a community known as Bhanaps or Saraswat Brahmin from the Chitrapur Math. We use a lot of fresh coconut- either freshly grated or as coconut milk, in our curries, dals, dosas, chutneys and for garnishing salads and vegetable dishes. For tempering our food we use coconut oil. I am tickled pink to note that the entire food community has jumped onto the coconut oil and coconut milk band wagon, whereas the Bhanaps have been using coconut products forever! The Bhanaps also use the rind of watermelons to make a thick pancake type Dosa called Doddak. They are delicious, served with freshly churned white butter, which in my community’s part of the woods is called ‘Loni’! This is definitely a breakfast food!
1 1/2 cups rice rava(coarsely ground rice) or medium fine semolina(called rava or suji) 1 tbsp beaten rice (poha) 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut 1 to 2 cups of grated watermelon rind 1 inch piece of fresh ginger 4 green chillies – more or less according to heat level 1/2 a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves(cilantro) 1 sprig of fresh or frozen curry leaves. Salt and Jaggery to taste.
Soak the rice rava for 2 to 4 hours or if using semolina there is no need to soak in water. Crush the ginger and green chillies with salt till almost a coarse paste. Finely chop the fresh coriander and the curry leaves. Mix these with green chilli ginger paste.
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and mash it well using your fingers. Adjust the seasoning and jaggery. Do not add water as the watermelon has enough water in it. The dough should be thick. Heat a griddle or tava till it is medium hot. Take a ladle of dough and spread it on the griddle/tava till it is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread oil all around the Doddak and then cover with a lid, for about 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame. Flip the Doddak and let it cook on the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes or till it is brown.
Serve with butter and chutney or Indian pickle.
In place of watermelon, one can also use a ripe grated cucumber.