Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Indian Dosas

So this month’s challenge from The Daring Kitchen was hosted by Debyi from www.healthyvegankitchen.com and yes, that means it was completely free of animal products…which is definitely a challenge for this omnivorous house!  But it was full of flavor and seemed a lot like enchiladas – so that was a big plus! (The recipe comes from the reFresh Cookbook by Ruth Tal.)

"Hmmm, kind of like Indian enchiladas," my husband said.
"Hmmm, kind of like Indian enchiladas," my husband said.

We love experiments in our household.  And we both love curry, so this was a safe bet.  This recipe has three parts: dosas, filling and sauce.  And while it sounded like a lot of work, it was surprisingly simple.

We spent the weekend at my in-laws’ house and I was able to cart the necessary groceries there in just one bag and didn’t need to take any special equipment – I can’t always say that about the culinary experiments usually happening there!

Dosa Pancakes and Curried Garbanzo Filling
Dosa Pancake and Curried Garbanzo Filling

The pancakes were very simple – they are essentially made just like crepes.  There is a little baking powder in the batter which makes them a tad fluffier than a traditional crepe…and there is also curry powder in the batter which adds some color and interesting flavor.  In keeping with the no-animal-product theme of this recipe, no butter was used to cook them (just a touch of vegetable oil) and the batter was mixed with almond milk and water (no cow’s milk or eggs.)  And to tell you the truth, while I missed the butter just a little, otherwise, I couldn’t tell the difference.

Assembling the dosas with curried filling
Assembling the dosas with curried filling

The filling was probably the part I liked the least.  (In all fairness, the chick peas/garbanzo beans were supposed to be pureed in a food processor or mashed by hand…there was no food processor available and mashing by hand proved to take longer than I was willing to stick with – let’s all remember the six-week-old who has me on a very tight schedule!  So, the filling wasn’t nearly as smooth as it was supposed to be, and that may have been why neither of us was particularly impressed with it.)  The filling is very simple: pan-softened veggies, tons of spices and pureed chick peas and tomato paste.  The flavor was good, but the texture could be improved upon.  I had read on the Daring Kitchen forums that other cooks found it a little dry, so I did add vegetable broth as it cooked to keep it moist.

Coconut Curry Sauce
Coconut Curry Sauce

This was my favorite part of the recipe and I will be making it again, for sure.  Super yummy.  As we were eating I was imagining it with shrimp and chicken or scallops…I know, I know very un-vegan of me.  Anyway, the sauce was certainly a keeper.

The variations possible here are virtually endless.
The variations possible here are virtually endless.

I think if I made these again I would do the following:  make the dosas as written (ok, well, maybe with a little butter) and then fill with a curried shrimp and vegetable filling…possibly some avocados…and I would leave the coconut sauce just as it is.

I can also imagine making the coconut sauce and adding chicken right into it and then serving over rice…or maybe filling dosas with grilled scallops and then topping with a cilantro coconut chutney…or how about filling with fish and julienned carrots and cucumbers…you get the idea.

Indian Dosas

All in all I was really pleased to make this dish – mostly because it is something I wouldn’t have chosen to make on my own and yet, I will be adding it to my more regular repertoire.  (I can hear my husband laughing right now and saying, “Regular repertoire?  What’s that??”)

Thanks to Debyi for helping us omnivore’s venture into vegan-land if only for one night.  For the full recipe and tons of other variations, visit The Daring Kitchen.

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27 thoughts on “Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Indian Dosas

  1. It’s interesting to see how yours turned out and your impression of it as I had the opposite experience when I had made mine i.e. the filling was the best aspect and the coconut curry sauce the worst.

    I like the look of how the final shot plated out.

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Thank you Simon – that’s what I love about The Daring Kitchen – there are so many outcomes and opinions and ideas. I just wish I had more time to experiment with it all!

  2. You’ve actually made me want to do this again (but like you, maybe with butter 🙂 ) and try out your idea with a curried shrimp and vegetable filling, cause that sounds delish! Great job on this challenge!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Thanks…hard to do without the butter! I’m looking forward to trying them again with variations. Thanks for the compliments.

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      I had that thought, too! In fact, I was glad I saved the leftovers for a snack and then breakfast…
      Loved your versions, too!

  3. Yum… I am liking your ideas about filling these with shrimp and chicken. Congratulations on your baby! I definitely did not feel like cooking yet at six weeks so kudos to you! It looks like your dosas turned out fantastic!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Thank you – I had lots of help! And having a three-year-old pretty much means there’s no rest anyway, so I love the distraction of cooking. Can’t wait to check out your post. Thank you for the compliments!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      We did enjoy them and enjoyed thinking up variations for the future – such a versatile recipe. I’ve loved seeing what everyone else did with them. Thanks for the compliments!

  4. Not only do your dosas look great, but I’m so glad you liked them. I didn’t flip over the filling either, and the sauce was good flavor wise, but a little too watery. Regardless, great job on the challenge!

  5. For the chickpeas, I used canned, and boiled them in water for about 30 minutes before putting them in with the rest of the vegetables- that way I was able to sort of mash them in the pan. I liked the texture I got from this method. I added a little chickpea cooking water to loosen the mixture as well.

    I made my first batch vegan to comply with the challenge, but I couldn’t resist adding some ghee to the second batch 🙂

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      That sounds like a great solution to the filling issues. I did add vegetable broth to help thin it a bit, too. And yeah for ghee!!! 🙂

  6. It’s funny how most people seemed to love the sauce the best. I am with you on that one! While I did really enjoy everything else, I would have taken this challenge for the sauce recipe alone 🙂 Your photos are beautiful, great job.

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