Sunday, September 13, 2009

Daring Cooks #5 Indian Dosas

Indian Dosas

This month's gorgeous Daring Cook hostess is Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen! She decided on Indian Dosas from the refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal.

I was very busy this month with two interstate weddings and I'm writing an e-book on making macarons so I could only do one batch of dosas. The requirements were to make a vegan (animal product free) meal which caused a little stir in the forums. I have to admit I don't know any vegan recipes so I went into the challenge with some interest because I want to know how to do some vegan dishes. I think these are great and an easy meal to make at the last moment. Also dosa meals are very cheap. It is good to do meals that are entirely different to the normal ones that I have done again and again. This was a very interesting challenge and a tasty one.

Requirements: Must be free of animal products, this will be a challenge for you “regular” cooks out there, but its worth it. So that means, no cows milk, butter, meat, poultry, fish, chicken/beef broth, etc. This dish is also 99% oil free, using only what you need to keep the dosas from sticking (I used a quick spritz of cooking spray on the first dosa only), which isn't too bad with a non-stick pan. You can use a different filling/sauce if you like, but it must be free of animal products.

For the fried dosa I used besan (chickpea) flour, cornflour, tarmarind (to add sourness), chilli powder and a teaspoon of grated lime and ginger to make the batter I didn't add any baking powder I forgot it and it didn't seem to matter to the final result. I just added half water/coconut cream to form a very thin batter it takes no time at all to mix the batter and no waiting time like normal gluten batter. Notice in the dosas the spiral pattern this is due to the the swirling the batter around the pan with a spatula after you have placed a small ladel of batter on the pan. From the pictures on the internet this seemed to be a constant feature in them. I was a little surprised how easy these were to make look so well formed I thought they would be very difficult to get right maybe it was beginners luck the internet said they could be temperamental and be hard to form a nice round crepe. I like them medium thick and slightly soft. The dosas are very tasty with a slightly sour taste with a lime/ginger tang and you could taste the chickpea and corn in them also. Very nice.


The filling - Since I used chickpea flour to make the dosas I used a filling of curried potatoes, Brussels sprouts, red capsicum (red bell pepper), sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, coconut cream, lime/mango chutney (yummy), curry leaves (remove them before serving) and very hot curry powder.


The meal of dosas, notice the spiral patterns in the dosas shell especially the second and third shells going from left to right.


Topped with tomatoes


The Verdict Overall a delightful challenge and an eye opener for me. It was very very tasty surprisingly so in my opinion. The dosa batter is very much like crepe batter expect the first dosa to be thrown out but the rest worked out beautifully. You can make them thin and crispy OR thick and soft by controlling the consistency of the batter or how much batter you spread over the pan. I used about 2 tablespoons to make each very big dosa. A tip I found on the internet was after spraying the pan with oil rub the pan with a cut onion this forms a 'non-stick' layer and makes removing the dosas much easier.

Cost Three (3) dosas (each 12" or 30 cm in length and 2" or 5cm in width, more than enough for a main meal) cost only 50 cents my verdict a very quick, extremely cheap, highly nutritious and totally delicious meal. That is the whole meal for four people (12 dosas) cost $2.00 wow!!!

I used a strong flavoured curry powder with a selection of veggies. Thank you Debyi for the wonderful experience of making this popular vegan dish and it tasted much better than the one from the local take-away.

I got some beautiful Macarena Ord River 11mm large-tabuli type chickpea the most highly regarded chickpea in Australia. They will be used tomorrow. They are so large and creamy yum yum.


I made some very thin crisp rice/lentil dosas using the traditional recipe found here that you have to let ferment overnight. The traditional recipe can produce very thin crisp dosas from a batter that is almost like thick water but it is much harder to cook (spreading the batter is extremely difficult and it takes a long time to cook and you have to cool the pan, using a moist towel, after each crepe is completed) as compared to the challenge recipe. Also it is a lot of hard effort to grind the rice/lentil mix to a fine batter. The challenge recipe is a very easy version of a dosa as compared to the traditional recipe I used.
Though I have to admit these are tastier than the other dosas I made earlier but for the effort and time needed I would use the challenge recipe everytime.

Indian Dosas Recipe
This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting (I forgot & didn't start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

Serves 4

Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skillet
ladle (or large spoon)
vegetable peeler &/or knife
large saucepan
food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo (Chickpea) Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don't be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.
Happy eating!


Rose said...

Nicely done Audax! I thought it was a great challenge as well. Great point about the first dosa, I definitely threw that one away. I think like any type of crepe, the first batch is trash. I really enjoyed the flavors and textures of the meal as well! Great photographs as always!

Basht said...

They look like they tasted great! congrats on sticking to the vegan aspect, it's nice having a real challenge and being completely out of one's element sometimes :)

Von said...

Your posts always make me hungry....=] These look so good!

Sylwia said...

Your dosas look incrdible Audax! Great job!

Simon said...

Nice work with the dosas. They look like really hearty portions. An interesting combination of fillings, especially including the brussel sprouts.

Eat4Fun said...

Audax... delicious looking dosas. I missed the variations that you usually make, but you are a very busy person.

chriesi said...

Mmm they look delicious!

chef_d said...

Your filling looks delicious!!

Jenny said...

Your dosas looks like they came out perfect! We weren't so lucky; we managed to make maybe two decent looking ones... Nice flavor additions to the dosa batter, and the filling sounds intriguing as well!

Nicely done as always!

PS. the macaron e-book sounds very interesting - could you give us any details on that? Best of luck with the book project!

Anna said...

Your Dosas looks great! So thin - bet they were very crispy. BTW I didn't have to threw away my first pancake ;) As always great job! Cheers from SUNNY and HOT Ireland :D

Luna said...

I guess we must have had beginners luck too. Your flavor combos sounded quite yummy. Almost makes me want to try again, almost

Maria Beatrix said...

Nice job as always! Your dosas look great. You filling, very interesting. Congrats!

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a great job you did with this challenge. Your photos are terrific. Kudos.

Valérie said...

I love how you experimented with the batter! Your pictures really show what different results one can obtain that way. Terrific job!

pigpigscorner said...

I threw my first dosa away too. Your other dosas look great!

Charli said...

I really enjoyed this challenge as well. It sounds like making the actual dosas was good experience.

That's exciting about the ebook! I just made my first macarons yesterday!

Lauren said...

Beautiful job!! I love the mix of flavours - they all sound divine =D.

alana said...

beautiful job. I love your cost analysis too- very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Aud, I actually threw the first two away, and almost threw the whole quart or so of chickpea filling away! I love that you made the dosas the traditional away along with the spelt flour way. I definitely prefer the dosa thin and crispy, and fortunately, was able to get some like that using the spelt. That said, everything looks amazing as always, creative flours, fillings (the potato red pepper et killing me, as I wish I had tried something like that instead) etc. My muse and 'Drano'..the 'unblocker' ;D

abby said...

they look great audax. i used chickpea flour too but didn't get your swirl-effect. i'll have to try again!

Unknown said...

Your dosas look great Audax! Your efforts make me realise how good it is for us, with dosas stands literally at every corner.
The one with the chickpea flour is another version of the dosa that we eat here in India, though less often than the traditional one.

Your efforts with the traditional dosa look great, I'm sure that you'll be able to make perfect looking ones in no time!

isa said...

Your dosas sounds delicious and I love your flavor combos! Great job on this challenge!

Olive said...

Hello Audax :)

your dosas look delicious, mine was on the pale side. This is the second time I've read about rubbing a sliced onion on the pan, I'd like to try that next time.

Good Luck on the e-book, and Have a nice day! :)

Amy I. said...

Audax, as always you are an inspiration and wealth of information. Great job on the challenge, I really enjoyed it too!

Madeline said...

Great job! I didn't know what to expect either given that I've never cooked strictly Vegan before but I agree with you, a nice surprising eye opener. I like the tomatoes on top, I'll try that next time.

Simones Kitchen said...

Great job on these dosas Audax! Love your choice of filling too. I - unfortunately - wasn't able to finish this challenge since I wasn't in the country, but might still make them anyway

Rosemary & Garlic said...

I think that the batter would have benefited from an overnight fermentation. If I made the again, I would try the chickpea flour. Thanks for all the detail in your post.

Anne Marie

Anonymous said...

Very nice! This was my first vegan dish and I too was pleasantly surprised. Great photos (as always).

Deeba PAB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nirupama Sriram said...

Read with interest your article on Dosa. I have put the recipes of many dosa's on my site. If this of interest to you then here are the links

Jackfruit Dosa -

Masala Dosa (extremely popular in India) -

Open Masala Dosa (popular in Bangalore, India) -

Sugarcane Dosa -

If you need any help on Indian dishes please do let me know.


Nirupama Sriram

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twistzz said...

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Whatnever you want,you can look for you favor which is ragnar rdta.