September 14, 2009

Indian Dosas - Daring Cooks

This month's challenge was hosted by Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen and she picked a recipe for Indian Dosas by Ruth Tal. The only requirement was that the dish must be free of animal products and it is 99% oil free. Luckily, we were allowed to use a filling of our choice. As I dislike chickpea I prepared a simple artichoke filling flavoured with fresh basil and some lemon drops. This recipe is definitely a keeper, both for the dosas and the curry sauce.

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120g) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ g) salt
½ tsp (2½ g) baking powder

½ tsp (2½ g) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Pancakes
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed. 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.

Coconut Curry Sauce
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp cumin, ground
¾ tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP curry powder
3 TBSP spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth

2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

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


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

very well done! That dish sure looks delicious!



Anonymous said...

They look wonderful! Dosas for everyone! :)

Sheba said...

I'm sorry but those don't look like Dosas at all. None of the ingredients needed for an authentic Dosa is present in your recipe.I am an Indian (South Indian) and have had Dosas all my life...
If you would like an authentic recipe for Dosas, I could give you my mom's tried and tested one :-)


chriesi said...

Hi Sheba

I am happy to get an authentic recipe for Dosas from you!

Sheba Sanjay said...

Hi Chriesi,

Apologies...replying late. Here's my mother's recipe for dosas. Hope you like it :)


2 ½ cups raw rice (risotto rice will do)
¼ cup of cooked rice
¼ cup of washed rice flakes/ beaten rice (optional)
¾ cup skinless split black lentils
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)


1.Mix the raw rice, rice flakes (if using), lentils and fenugreek seeds and wash 2-3 times.
2.Soak in water for 2 hours.
3.Add the cooked rice and grind along with enough water to get a pancake-batter like consistency. The batter should be ground fine.
4.Let the batter ferment overnight or for 8 – 9 hours.
5.Add salt and mix well.
6.Heat a non-stick or cast-iron flat gridle/ skillet over medium heat and brush with a very thin layer of oil.
7.Spread a ladleful of the batter in a circular motion on the skillet till it forms a thin dosa
8.When the surface looks spongy and dry, and the underside is golden, your dosa is done.

Coconut chutney - I:

1 ½ cups grated coconut
2 garlic cloves
1 dried red chilly, broken into pieces or ¼ tspn red chilly powder
½ cup water
Salt to taste

Coconut chutney – II

1 ½ cups grated coconut
2 garlic cloves
1 green chilly, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup coriander leaves
½ cup water
Salt to taste

Tempering for either of the chutneys:

½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs of curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
¼ tbsp coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)


1.Grind ingredients for either of the chutneys to a paste
2.Heat oil over high heat and add the mustard seeds.
3.When they start spluttering, reduce heat and add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
4.Take off the heat and add the asafoetida (if using) and pour into the coconut paste.
5.Serve chutney with the dosas.

1.Rice flakes/ beaten rice adds softness to the dosa. Try Indian stores or specialty stores in your locality for rice flakes.
2.Some people like their dosas flipped over to crisp it up on both sides. My mother never flips the dosa so it remains crisp on the underside and soft and spongy on top. Best of both worlds!
3.Coconut oil is an acquired taste and might take some time getting used to. So using any other vegetable oil as a substitute is a forgivable crime 
4.If you live in cooler climes, the batter might need more time to ferment. Resist the temptation to add baking powder, because the natural fermentation of an unmolested batter yields a texture that baking powder just can’t match.
5.Before the arrival of non-stick cookware, dosas (or ‘dosai’ in its native land – Tamil Nadu, a south Indian state) were cooked on hot stones or cast iron gridles. To render the stone or gridle non-sticky, an onion cut in half was rubbed on it. Apparently, the juices of the onion sealed the surface of the gridle and also gave a wonderful aroma to the dosa!

chriesi said...

Thank you very much! :) I'll make them and let you know how they turned out!

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