Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cucumber Tellavu and Carrot Chutney

It wouldn't be a surprise if I say that while growing up, my family consumed a whole lot of rice in the form of different kinds of bhaaths (spicy rice preparations), idlis and dosas.
My mother made delicious dosas and idlis. Whether crisp masala dosas with spicy potato filling or soft fluffy urad- rice dosas, enjoyed with a savoury chutney, she had a variety of recipes at hand and could whip up something when her hungry kids demanded appeasement !
One type of dosas that she would make were the tellavus. This name is uniquely Havyak. I do not know if other dosa experts use this terminology, but this was a common preparation at my house and at my relatives'. Probably Neer dosa would be the nearest cousin to the tellavus. These dosas are very thin dosas and are almost lace-like in texture. They can be paired up with any kind of chutney. TH likes to have his tellavus sometimes with a little maple syrup and ghee and it tastes delicious :) Little P also likes to munch on pieces of tellavu.
This is a great breakfast or evening snack item. The batter does not need to be fermented, so its quicker to prepare than standard dosas using urad dal.
The batter stays quite well in the fridge for up to a week.
I prepare this frequently and the last time I paired it up with carrot chutney.

Cucumber Tellavu :
Servings: Makes about 10 medium tellavus

2 C rice
2 C chopped cucumber
1/2 C fresh or frozen coconut
1 tsp salt

1. Soak the rice for 3-4 hours.
2. Grind the rice along with coconut and cucumber until very fine.
You might need to do this in batches.
3. The consistency of the batter should be almost like buttermilk.
You should be able to pour it out of a ladle very easily.
4. Add the salt and mix well.
5. Heat a non stick griddle until sizzling and grease it with a cooking spray.
6. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the griddle.
7. You will not be able to spread the batter around. If you need to make a bigger tellavu,
just pour the batter slowly in concentric circles.
8. Cover the tellavu with a lid and let one side cook until golden brown.
(I discovered that the tellavu cooks better when covered.)
9. Flip the tellavu onto its other side and cook for about another 2 minutes.
If the griddle is well greased, you should have no problems in flipping the tellavus.
Another tip that I read that you rub a cut onion onto the griddle before pouring the batter. This technique works well too.

Continue making tellavus in this way and then enjoy them with your favourite chutney.

Carrot Chutney:
Source: Tarla Dalal
Servings: 4 -5

I adapted this recipe from a Tarla Dalal recipe that I had read a few years back.
This chutney tastes really good with chapaties, dosas and idlis. The fact that you are eating healthy carrots is an added benefit too :)


1 C shredded carrots
4 tbsp peanuts
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5 curry leaves
2-3 red chillies (or according to taste)
2 tsp salt ( or to taste )
pinch of asafoetida.
1 tsp canola oil ( or any oil of your choice)
small piece of tamarind soaked in water.

1. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds and coriander seeds. When the mustard starts sputtering, add the asafoetida and the curry leaves.
2. Add the peanuts and fry until the peanuts are golden brown.
3. Add the red chillies.
4. Add the shredded carrots and mix well and stir fry, stirring occassionally, until the carrots lose their raw smell.
5. Remove from heat and cool.
6. Blend the carrot mixture along with the tamarind water and salt until desired consistency is reached. Add a little water if chutney is too thick.

The tellavus have a subtle taste of the cucumber and go very well with any kind of savoury side dish, be it chutney or sambhar. The carrot chutney on the other hand can be made as spicy as you like it, it has a hint of a sweetness from the carrots and a little tang from the tamarind. It is a perfect companion to the tellavu. Needless to say these items have become a hit at my kitchen and hopefully will find a permanent place in yours too !


  1. Anonymous6:56 PM CDT

    Hi Chhaya,

    I've never heard about cucumber dosa so far. It looks soft. I should give it a try. What language is "tellavu"

  2. me too has never heard of this before. i should send this to T.. hes the dosa maker in our family!


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