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Dosas (Savoury Indian Pancakes)


    This is a favourite recipe, and I have fond memories of making this for the first time with my father-in-law. It is a multilayered recipe with several steps—you need to start preparing it two days before you intend to serve it. It is well worth it, as taking shortcuts diminishes not only its flavour but also its nourishing qualities.



    2 cups (500 mL) brown rice
    1 cup (250 mL) red lentils
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
    1 tsp (5 mL) unrefined salt
    1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) unsalted butter, ghee (clarified butter), or virgin coconut oil

    Put brown rice in bowl and cover with 4 cups (1 L) filtered warm water. In second bowl cover lentils with 2 cups (500 mL) water. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice to each bowl. Let both bowls sit overnight (8 to 12 hours) at room temperature, covered with tea towel.

    Drain water from both bowls. Blend rice and lentils separately in food processor or high-powered blender with fresh filtered water (approximately 2 cups/500 mL water for rice and 1 cup/250 mL water for lentils) until smooth and creamy.

    Mix both purées together with salt, adding more warm water if needed, to make batter the consistency of cream. Cover and leave another 24 hours in a warm place, such as on top of the fridge.

    When fermentation is complete, batter is ready for frying. Heat cast iron pan until it’s very hot to avoid sticking. Fry like pancakes, using butter, ghee, or coconut oil to coat pan.

    Note: you can add more water to make a thinner crepe-like pancake, if desired. If the batter is too sticky, add additional oil (approximately 3 Tbsp/45 mL) to batter before frying.

    Makes about 20 thin pancakes. Serves 8. 

    Each serving contains: 81 calories; 2 g protein; 2 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 292 mg sodium

    Dosa Filling

    5 to 7 small to medium new potatoes, halved
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, ghee (clarified butter), or virgin coconut oil
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) mustard seeds
    Dried red chilies to taste (optional)
    1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    1 cup (250 mL) green peas (optional)
    Unrefined salt, to taste

    Boil potatoes until very soft. Cut into small slices and set aside.

    Add butter, ghee, or oil to pan over medium heat and add mustard seeds. Cook until they pop. Add chilies (if using), then turmeric and onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add potatoes and green peas (if using) and salt to taste. Sauté until soft.

    Serve dosas with dosa filling either on top or inside.

    Serves 8.

    Each serving contains: 156 calories; 4 g protein; 4 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 28 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 35 mg sodium

    source: "Culinary Spices for Life", alive #354, April 2012


    Dosas (Savoury Indian Pancakes)




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