Dosas are a South Indian staple consisting of a rice and lentil crepe accompanied by sides, usually a couple of types of chutney. Masala dosa is a popular breakfast option in India, and it’s not hard to see why. The flavourful potato filling is just the thing to put a spring in your step first thing in the morning.
- Asafetida is a gum from a varietal of giant fennel that has been dried and ground into a powder. When raw, it has an unpleasantly strong flavour and smell, yet when cooked it mellows and gives a garlicky essence to dishes.
- Chana dal is the split kernel of a variety of chickpea known as desi or bengal gram. Ground up in the chutney, it lends a slightly earthy flavour while absorbing some of the water to ensure the chutney is not too soupy. It can be found already roasted at some grocery stores and Indian food markets.
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh coconut meat
1/2 cup (125 mL) lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 serrano chili, trimmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 in (1.25 cm) piece of peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp (15 mL) roasted chana dal (optional; see Tip)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coconut sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafetida (see Tip next page)
4 small curry leaves
Quick chickpea dosa
1 cup (250 mL) chickpea flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) rice flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground fenugreek or ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1 3/4 cups (435 mL) water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ghee (clarified butter), melted
Curry potato filling
4 medium yellow potatoes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ghee, melted
1 tsp (5 mL) black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin seeds
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) minced garlic
12 small curry leaves
1 or 2 serrano chilies, trimmed, seeded, and chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground turmeric
Pinch of asafetida (see Tip next page)
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen green peas
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Start by making coconut chutney. In blender, combine coconut, cilantro, chili, ginger, chana dal (if using), salt, sugar, and water until a textured paste forms. Transfer to serving bowl.
In small frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, taking care as they will crackle and pop. After about 5 seconds, remove pan from heat and stir in asafetida and curry leaves. Pour over chutney and stir well to incorporate. If not using right away, chutney may be refrigerated until ready to serve.
To make chickpea dosa, place flours, fenugreek or cumin, baking soda, water, and ghee in large bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
Heat large, well-seasoned cast iron pan over high heat. Brush hot pan with a little ghee and pour in 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter, swirling to evenly coat bottom of pan with batter. Cook until lightly golden brown and crisp on bottom side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer dosa to plate and repeat with remaining batter. Set 4 dosas aside to use for this recipe and reserve the rest to enjoy another time.
To prepare curry potato filling, start by steaming potatoes. Set steamer basket in medium saucepan filled with about 2 in (5 cm) water. Set potatoes in steamer basket, cover saucepan with lid, and place over medium-high heat. Once water comes to a boil, steam potatoes until paring knife can go through a potato with only a little resistance, about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on water level in saucepan, and top it up as needed to ensure it doesn’t boil dry. Transfer potatoes to plate and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces.
In large frying pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, taking care as they will crackle and pop. After 10 seconds, stir in shallots and sauté until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, curry leaves, chilies, turmeric, and asafetida. Stir together mixture for 30 seconds before folding in chopped potatoes. Add water and peas and continue to cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated. Gently fold in chopped cilantro and remove frying pan from heat.
To serve, place dosa on serving plates. Divide curry potato filling on half of each plated dosa. Fold or roll dosas over filling. Serve with coconut chutney on the side.