South Indian food has some of my favorite dishes.
My weakness are Dosas, roasted rice crepes served with chutneys made of tamarind, coconut, peanuts, dal, fenugreek seeds, and cilantro, and sometimes with a spicy filling as well.
Traditional dosas look like this:
They take forever to make, and require some pretty snazzy kitchen equipment.
They’re not the healthiest food in the world, but they are oh-so-good 🙂
For all of these reasons, I’ve never really attempted to make dosas at home. Whenever we want dosas, we go to Dosa in the Fillmore.
But, since the husband loves these paper thin crepes, I thought I’d try to make a healthified “dosa inspired” dinner – taking some of the classic flavors from South Indian cuisine, and incorporating it into my own Indian flatbread/”dosa” dish.
This recipe was inspired by one I found on The Healthy Green Kitchen, but I’ve made quite a few modifications which I’ve included below.
The Directions: Step by Step
1) Indian Dosa Pancakes
Note: A dosa recipe made from scratch is on The Healthy Green Kitchen. Instead of making the recipe from scratch, I used Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Flour Tortillas and Shakti Whole Wheat Tandoori Naan. I sprayed them lightly with cooking spray, lined them up on a baking sheet, and put them under the broiler at 350 degrees for about 3-5 min on both sides to make them a nice, crispy/soft base. They turned out great!
2) Curried Chickpea Filling
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced )
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp cumin, ground
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric
- 4 cups cooked or canned chick peas (about 2, 160z cans)
- ½ cup (4oz) tomato paste
Step 1: Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through. I left mine a little chunky so you could still see some whole chickpeas in the filling.
When it’s fully cooked through, it will look like this:
3) Coconut Curry Sauce
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped (I used a red onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp cumin, ground
- ¾ tsp sea salt (coarse)
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1.25 cups coconut milk
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
Step 1: Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for half an hour.
When it’s ready it will look like this:
4) Fresh Mint Chutney
- 2 cups packed fresh mint
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 shallot, peeled
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp organic sugar
- 1 pinch sea salt
Step 1: Blend all ingredients in a food processor until you have a course puree. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
To ASSEMBLE: Take one of your “dosas” and top it with the curried chickpea mixture. Add the coconut curry sauce (as much as you like on top), and top with 1-2 Tbsp of mint chutney (or more if you like).
You can wrap it like a dosa….
Or you can just pile it all on top of the naan flatbread and eat it like an Indian “pizza.”
The naan version was the husband’s version, mine was the tortilla “dosa” version.
Both were delicious!
This is a great recipe to try for anyone who wants a change from their normal dinner routine. The combination of the whole wheat “dosa” + chickpeas and veggies also make for a super healthful meal with tons of fiber and protein.