Vegan masala dosa

Ingredients

DOSA BATTER (must make 48 hrs in advance)

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  • 300 g / 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 100 g / heaped ½ cup urid dal (split husked black lentils), I used unhusked
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp salt

FILLING

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 2 small green chillies, diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced finely
  • 2.5 cm / 1″ ginger root, diced finely
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • chilli flakes or powder, to taste
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts, pan-roasted
  • fresh coriander, to serve
  • sambal oelek, to serve

COCONUT CHUTNEY

  • 100 g / 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1-2 tsp finely grated ginger root
  • 1 small green chilli, deseeded
  • salt, to taste
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 dried curry leaves

Method

DOSA BATTER

  1. Place rinsed basmati rice in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, place dal and fenugreek seeds. Fill both bowls with water so that the dry ingredients are well covered and set aside for 8 hours (or overnight) to soak.
  2. The next day, place drained (don’t throw away the soaking water just yet as it will come in handy) rice, dal and fenugreek seeds in a blender. Add 75 ml / 5 tbsp of soaking liquid and salt and blend until super smooth. Place the batter in a large bowl, cover with a piece of cling film (glad wrap) and set aside in a warm place so that the batter ferments.
  3. If you are ready to fry the dosa pancakes, check the batter’s consistency. It should be somewhere between pancake and crepe batter. Heat up a medium frying pan on a low-medium oil, brush it with a generous amount of vegetable oil and ladle about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the pan. Use the back of the ladle to spread the batter by making a large spiral on the surface of the batter from the middle of the pan outwards.
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, then gently flip over to the other side and fry for another 2-4 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Place cooked dosa on a plate, pile spicy potato filling in the middle, sprinkle with roasted cashews and chopped coriander and fold in half. Serve with a spicy sauce like sambal oelek and coconut chutney.

FILLING

  1. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.
  2. Heat up the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or pot. Once hot, add mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes until the mustard seeds make a popping sound.
  3. Add chopped onion and green chillies. Fry (stirring now and then) for a few minutes, until softened. Add in garlic and ginger and fry off gently until they both become fragrant and the garlic softens.
  4. Mix in turmeric and a fat pinch of chilli powder or flakes into the aromatics.
  5. Add mashed potatoes, frozen peas and salt. Keep it on the heat until the peas defrost and the excess water cooks out. Keep warm until needed.

COCONUT CHUTNEY

  1. Place desiccated coconut in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate and soften (about 15 minutes).
  2. Put softened coconut (reserve soaking water), grated ginger and green chilli in a blender or spice grinder. Blend until smooth, add a touch of soaking water to loosen up if needed. Season with salt and lime juice.
  3. Heat up oil in a small frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and fry gently until the seeds start to pop.
  4. Next, add in cumin seeds and crushed curry leaves and sautée them in the oil for a few seconds.
  5. Add tempered spices (including leftover oil) into the chutney and mix well.