Light crepes made from a fermented batter of lentils and rice, dosas are gluten free crepe-like pancakes. One of the most popular and most recognisable components of South Indian cuisine, they are often served up with a spicy potato mix and a lentil-based dipping sauce (sambhar). The batter is easy to prepare, using up pantry ingredients to make an economical but vibrant meal.
Southern Indian cuisine offers seriously good options for vegetarians. Bold flavours that make the best of tropical produce such as coconut, tamarind and mango. The mix of spices are distinct from those in the North. Hot and spicy of course, but instead of Garam Masala, you will find less well known mixes such as those used in the Sambhar soup that often accompanies the bread, rices and dumplings characteristic of South indian cuisine.
The beaches of Goa vary from deserted, peaceful beaches from where you can watch dolphins playing in the waves, to hippie resorts full of fascinating craft markets and a vibrant club and music scene.
When I visited, we hired a car and driver for the week and took advantage of both aspects of Goa.
You will find THE best seafood you have ever tasted in the shack-style restaurants right on the beach, with freshly caught fish cooked into spicy grills and curries, mopped up with flatbreads, rice and of course dosas.
It is so many years since I travelled there, that any pictures I have are in hard copy (yes it is that long ago). So I called upon my brother in law for some imagery. Jeremy Van Kampen (aka Laughing Buddha) happens to be one of the most well known musicians in the Psychedelic trance arena. He plays huge concerts and gigs around the world but Goa is the spiritual home of this music sub genre, and a place Jeremy is often found playing music to his legions of fans.
Check out some of his music- the guy is a creative genius. Admittedly I am biased, but even if this style of music is not your thing you will appreciate the layers of sound he puts into his compositions.
The batter for the crepes is completely gluten free – we make it up from ground lentils (Urad dal) and rice, both of which are soaked for several hours then ground up and fermented overnight. You will need a high speed blender or food processor. We adapted this dosa recipe as a base for our own.
For the masala filling, we added spring onions, spinach, carrots and some chopped cashew nuts.
Pierre always laughs at how Indian’s seem to love carbs with carbs but I remind him this is perfect feel-good food!!
- 190g (2 cups) white rice
- 110g (half cup) urad dal (black lentils)
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- half teaspoon ground cumin
- quarter teaspoon turmeric powder (or half teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric)
- half inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 scallion (spring onion)
- 1 small green chilli
- 2 large white potatoes - boiled, peeled and mashed
- 1 carrot - boiled, peeled and mashed
- 2 tablespoons cooked and drained spinach
- teaspoon lime juice
- coriander (cilantro) and a tablespoon of chopped cashew nuts for garnish
- To make the dosa batter, rinse the rice and soak it in a bowl with 4 cups (1litre) of cold water. In a separate bowl, soak the urad dal and fenugreek with cover with cold water. Leave for 6 hours.
- Drain the grains. First empty the rice into a high speed blender of food processor. Add a cup (250ml) of water and grind to a smooth paste. Do the same with the urad dal. Mix the two pastes and place in a container. You may need to add a little extra water - you want a batter that has a dropping consistency (see picture above). Cover this loosely and leave the mixture to ferment overnight in a warm place. You will see small bubbles as a sign the mixture is fermenting.
- The next day you can make the vegetable masala. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop, tip in the cumin, scallions, turmeric, ginger, garlic and chilli. Cook for a minute to allow the spices to release their flavour.
- Stir in the cooked potato and carrot so that they are coated in the spice mix, then add the spinach and combine this into the masala mixture.
- Season with a little salt and lemon juice
- To cook the dosas - use a medium to large frying pan and cook on medium heat. Use a paper towel or brush to spread 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into the pan. Use a ladle to pour about 1/4 cup batter into the centre of the pan and spread it outwards using the bottom of the ladle. When the dosa looks to be cooking through and the edges look dry, use a spatula to loosen the dosa from the pan. Spoon 1/2 cup potato filling onto the uncooked top of the dosa, Use the spatula to fold the dosa around the filling. Garnish with cilantro and chopped cashews.
- Warm the soup in a microwave and serve alongside the masala dosas.
Disclosure: We were commissioned to do a recipe to complement Goan Tomato and Lentil soup by Glorious Foods. This recipe post was commissioned by Glorious as part of their #GloriousAdventures competition campaign.