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DOSAS (Indian Savoury Pancakes) with a spiced potato filling, known as Aloo Masala and homemade coconut chutney.

 

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Dosas are Indian savoury pancakes made with lentils and rice. Naturally gluten-free, they are typically eaten at breakfast or any time of the day as a snack.

Showing the inside of a cooked gluten-free banger
HOW TO EAT DOSAS

It is typical to eat dosa using your hands by tearing off parts of the dosa to dip into various curries, sauces and/or chutneys that are dished up on a large plate or platter. Alternatively, a savoury filling is added to a folded-over dosa and eaten like a wrap.

Dosas were one of my favourite snacks to feast on when I visited Little India in Singapore. For a few dollars, I had an enormous dosa practically falling off my plate, with generous sides of spicy sauces and chutneys to dip into.

Living in Austria now, I often crave a good dosa, so here is a recipe pretty close to the real thing, albeit slightly smaller!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH DOSAS

The most popular side and filling is Aloo Masala, a spiced potato dish similar to an Indian version of mashed potatoes with plenty of texture and spice. My favourite recipe for this is by Madhur Jaffrey, a household name in Indian cookery who has published countless cookbooks over the decades. Once the Aloo Masala has been added to the dosa, the dosa is called Dosa Masala

Aloo potato stuffing prepared to fill the dosas

Chutneys and pickles are also served, most notably, this easy homemade coconut chutney.

Both sides have been included in the recipe card below.

Dosas also go great with any of your favourite curries such as Butter Chicken, Chana Dal, Sambar (a vegetable-lentil tamarind curry), mango or tamarind chutneys, Indian-style pickles and/or fresh cucumber & tomato slices.

A table setting of butter chicken in a silver bowl with a platter of yellow basmati rice and a naan on the side

ABOUT SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS:
DOSA

Chana Dal – these are split lentils also known as baby chickpeas.

Toor Dal – known also as pigeon peas, toor dal is a yellow lentil. This lentil is a good substitute to use instead of the more traditional lentil, Urad Dal, used to make dosa.

Urad Dal – a black lentil typically used to make dosa. If you can find urad dal, look for the split urad dal where the black skin has been removed (or your dosa will look very dark in colour). It is also smoother in texture without the husk.

All the dals listed can be found at most Asian/Indian supermarkets and some health stores.

Long grain rice – use uncooked regular or basmati white rice.

Salt – either Himalayan pink salt or sea salt can be used. Add it before fermentation if the weather is cold or after fermentation if the weather is hot.

ALOO Potato Stuffing

When preparing Aloo Masala, it is a good idea to measure and prepare all the seasoning ingredients ahead of time. Everything comes together very quickly when frying the potatoes with the seasoning.

COCONUT CHUTNEY

Fresh coconut meat is my first choice for this chutney. Next, I would opt for frozen coconut meat that has been shredded. Both of these can be found at most Asian supermarkets. Using desiccated coconut is not ideal to use for the chutney.

STEPS TO PREPARE THE DOSA BATTER:

The difficult part about making dosas is being patient!

There are a few crucial steps of soaking, rinsing, draining, grinding, blending and resting for several hours or overnight to achieve the perfect batter. If you are keen to make a very authentic dosa, I would suggest resting the batter overnight for it to ferment slightly. The tangy batter will improve the flavour of the dosas.

Overall, this is worth the wait as dosas are a special treat to enjoy, so plan ahead if you love dosas or are curious to try it for the first time. You won’t be disappointed!

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FUN FACT

Depending on the region or dialect, there are so many ways to spell and pronounce the South-Indian dosa.

Dhosa, Dosai, Dosey, Dosha, Dhosai, Tosai, Thosai

The word, Dosa, has been anglicised from these Indian names.

Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.

If you like your dosa to be extra golden and crisp, fry the second side 1 ½ minutes longer.

Dosas (Indian Savoury Pancakes)

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Dosas are Indian savoury pancakes made with lentils and rice. Naturally gluten-free, they are typically eaten at breakfast or any time of the day as a snack.
It is usually served with plenty of sides to dip the dosa in or wrap up with a filling. The most popular sides are Aloo Masala, a spiced potato dish similar to an Indian version of mashed potatoes with plenty of texture and spice. My favourite recipe for this is by Madhur Jeffrey, a household name in Indian cuisine.
Chutneys and pickles are also served, most notably, this easy homemade coconut chutney.
Both of these sides are also included in this recipe card.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 persons

Ingredients
  

Dosas (Indian Savoury Pancakes)

  • 400 g white long-grain rice
  • 200 g toor dal (split pigeon pea), or
  • spit urad dal
  • 3 tbsp chana dal
  • 250 ml rice soaking water, at room temperature
  • Extra water, to correct the consistency of the batter
  • tsp Himalayan or sea salt
  • 50 ml room temperature water
  • Sunflower oil, melted coconut oil or ghee

ALOO (Spiced Potatoes) Recipe by Madhur Jaffery

  • 500 g waxy potatoes
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 2 tsp whole black mustard seeds
  • 12 whole fresh curry leaves
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh green chillis, seeds removed
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Homemade Coconut Chutney

  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 150 g frozen or fresh coconut meat, shredded
  • 1 fresh green chillis, chopped
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
  • ½ lime, squeezed

Extras

  • cucumber, sliced to garnish
  • tomatoes, sliced to garnish
  • Store-bought mango or tamarind chutney optional
  • Store-bought lime or vegetable pickles optional

Instructions
 

Dosas (Indian Savoury Pancakes)

    Soaking the rice and dals:

    • Weigh the rice and both dals, picking out any dark pieces.
      Weigh the rice and both dals, picking out any dark pieces.
    • In two separate medium-sized bowls, cover the rice and dals with water and stir the grains until the water becomes cloudy.
      Cover the rice and dals with water and stir the grains in the water until it becomes cloudy.
    • Rinse the rice with cold water at least 3 times.
    • Return the rice to the bowl and cover with fresh water 2.5 cm above the rice.
    • Rinse the toor dal and chana dal with cold water at least 3 times.
      Rinse the toor dal and chana dal with cold water at least 3 times.
    •  Return both dals to the bowl and cover with fresh water 2.5 cm above the rice.
    • Cover both bowls with a plate and rest for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 8 hours maximum at room temperature. Notice how clear the water is after rinsing thoroughly.
      Cover both bowls with a plate and rest for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 8 hours maximum.

    Preparing the dosa batter:

    • Drain and sieve the rice over a jug, reserving the soaking water.
      Drain and sieve the rice over a jug, reserving the soaking water.
    • Repeat this step with the dals but discard the water.
    • Add the rice and dals together to a food processor or Thermomix.
    • Pour the reserved rice water and blend until combined thoroughly for 2 to 3 mins.
      Pour the reserved rice water and blend until combined thoroughly for 2 to 3 mins.
    • Pause blending and check the batter. Add a few more tablespoons of water if necessary to get the batter to a thick pancake consistency.
      Pause blending and check the batter. Add a few more tablespoons of water if necessary to get the batter to a thick pancake consistency.
    • NOTE: If you are making dosa when the weather is cold, dissolve the salt in the water and whisk this into the batter. This speeds up fermentation.
    • Transfer the batter into a large jug or bowl and cover it with plastic film or a large plate.
      Transfer the batter into a large jug or bowl and cover it with plastic film or a large plate.
    • Place the batter in a warm spot to react for 2 to 4 hours. You can leave it for longer from 8 to 12 hours if you prefer the batter to be foamy and slightly “fermented”.
      Place the batter in a warm spot to react for 2 to 4 hours. You can leave it for longer from 8 to 12 hours if you prefer the batter to be foamy and slightly “fermented”.
    • NOTE: While the batter is resting, this is a good time to prepare the Aloo potato filling and any sides that you wish to accompany your dosas.
      Aloo potato stuffing prepared to fill the dosas

    Frying the dosas:

    • NOTE: If you are making dosa when the weather is warm, then dissolve the salt in the water and whisk this into the batter. The dosa batter is now complete to start frying.
      In a separate bowl, dissolve the salt with the water and whisk this into the batter. The dosa batter is now complete to start frying.
    • Heat a crêpe or iron cast pan to medium-high heat.
    • Lightly grease the pan with some ghee or oil using a silicon brush or a thick wad of paper towels.
    • Ladle 1 ¼ serving spoons of the batter and pour this at the centre of the pan.
      Ladle 1 ¼ serving spoons of the batter and pour this at the centre of the pan.
    • Spread the batter in a circular motion thinly using the bottom of the ladle and quickly switch to a crêpe spreader or spatula to spread out even further in the pan. Don’t worry if the dosa isn’t a perfect round shape.
      Spread the batter in a circular motion thinly using the bottom of the ladle and quickly switch to a crêpe spreader or spatula to spread out even further in the pan.
    • Using a pastry silicon brush, brush or sprinkle some oil or melted ghee over the dosa surface. This will crisp up the dosa while it is frying.
    • As soon as the sides of the dosa start to crisp up and the bottom of the dosa has turned lightly golden brown, flip the dosa over to cook the other side. This should take approx. 2 ½ mins.
      As soon as the sides of the dosa start to crisp up and the bottom of the dosa has turned lightly golden brown, flip the dosa over to cook the other side. This should take approx. 2 ½ mins.
    • Cook for 2 ½ mins, checking the colour and adjusting the heat if necessary. If you like your dosas extra golden and crispy, cook for a further 1 or 1 ½ mins.
      Cook for 2 ½ mins, checking the colour and adjusting the heat if necessary. If you like your dosas extra golden and crispy, cook for a further 1 or 1 ½ mins.
    • Using two tongs, delicately roll the dosa into a large tube as shown in the photo.
      Using two tongs, delicately roll the dosa into a large tube as shown in the photo.
    • Complete the roll twisting at both ends with the tongs.
      Complete the roll twisting at both ends with the tongs.
    • Transfer to a plate. Note: They crisp up even further when they cool down slightly.
      Transfer to a plate. Note: They crisp up even further when they cool down slightly.
    • Alternatively, fold the dosa in half in the pan and transfer it to a plate. If filling the dosa with potato filling, then fill each half of the dosa.
      Alternatively, fold the dosa in half in the pan and transfer it to a plate. If filling the dosa with potato filling, then fill each half of the dosa.
    • Then fold it over. Keep them warm covered with foil while continuing with the remaining dosas.
      Then fold it over.
    • You can keep them warm in a low oven if you are making a large batch.
      Several assemble stuffed aloo potato dosas.

    ALOO MASALA (Spiced Potatoes) Recipe by Madhur Jaffery

    • Peel and cut the potatoes into small pieces.
      Peel and cut the potatoes into small pieces.
    • Cover the potatoes with water in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Cook the potatoes until soft for about 20 mins. Drain and set them aside to cool down.
    • Heat the oil in a medium frying pan set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chana dal, followed a few seconds later by the urad dal.
      Heat the oil in a medium frying pan set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chana dal, followed a few seconds later by the urad dal.
    • When the dals begin to change colour, add the black mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves. Stand back from the pan as they tend to splutter and spit when coming in contact with the oil.
      When the dals begin to change colour, add the black mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves.
    • Add the onion, ginger, and green chillies. Stir for 2 to 3 mins.
      Add the onion, ginger, and green chillies. Stir for 2 to 3 mins.
    • Pour in half the water and cover and cook until the onions are soft.
      Pour in half the water and cover and cook until the onions are soft.
    • Add the cooked potatoes and mash them coarsely in the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring continuously and adding the remaining water if needed, aiming for a loose, “floaty” consistency as Madhur Jaffery describes it.
      Add the cooked potatoes and mash them coarsely in the pan.
    • Add the ground turmeric and mix in well.
      Add the ground turmeric and mix in well.
    • Taste, and add salt if needed.
    • Garnish with coriander leaves. Cover and set aside to fill the dosas later as they come off the pan.
      Aloo potato stuffing prepared to fill the dosas

    Homemade Coconut Chutney

    • In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients together using a fork.
    • Taste, and adjust the seasoning if it needs more ginger, chillis or lime juice.
    • Transfer to a serving bowl or container if storing in the fridge for later.

    Notes

    Dosas
    • The batter keeps chilled for up to one week.
    • The cooked dosas keep chilled for 3-5 days covered.
    • Not suitable to freeze.
    Aloo Potatoes
    • Keeps chilled for up to 5 days.
    • Suitable to freeze.
    Homemade Coconut Chutney
    • Keeps chilled for up to 1 week.
    • Suitable to freeze.
     
    Serving Suggestions:
    Dosas go great with any of your favourite curries such as  Butter Chicken, Chana Dal, Sambar (a vegetable tamarind curry), mango or tamarind chutneys, Indian-style pickles and/or fresh cucumber & tomato slices.
    Keyword aloo potato stuffing, coconut chutney, dosas, naturally gluten-free
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Please mention @fun_without_gluten or tag #funwithoutgluten!

     

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