Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Red Lentil Dosas with Sweet Potato Curry

After soaking for a couple of hours, split red lentils are blended with water and seasonings to create the dosa batter.

As with any crepe or pancake, a non-stick skillet or griddle is almost essential. The process takes a little practice so don't get frustrated if your first batch falls apart here and there.

The traditional filling for dosa would be made with potatoes and is very similar to the stuffing used in vegetable samosas. Cafe Drake HRV prefers the novelty and flavor of sweet potatoes instead. You can of course fill the crepes with anything you fancy; sauteed greens or roasted peppers and onions are two delicious options.

An optional addition of cilantro and chopped scallions adds a bright note to the stuffed crepes. For those who like things hot, toss a few slivers of your favorite green chili in as well.


Rolled and ready to rock your mouth! The best accompaniment to the red lentil dosas is a cooling dollop of plain yogurt. Vegans can use any of the non-dairy yogurts available at all natural food stores and some supermarkets.


Dosas, the thin crepes synonymous with South Indian cuisine, are generally made from a slightly fermented batter of black lentils and rice, but the term can be used to describe any type of savory, thin crepe filled with some sort of spiced vegetable. Cafe Drake HRV's recipe below is adapted from Jahnavi Foster, the Healthy Eating Educator at Mother Earth's Storehouse, the Hudson Valley's local chain of natural food stores.

The first step is hands-off: rinse 1/2 cup red lentils and soak in water to cover for 2-4 hours. After soaking the lentils, rinse them once again, drain and place in a blender with 1/2 cup water, 1 t. good curry powder, 1/2 t. ground turmeric and 1/2 t. salt. Blend until smooth and transfer to a bowl for easier handling. At this point you can proceed with making the dosas or refrigerate the batter for several hours.

While the lentils are soaking, or at some point, any point really, you can make the spiced sweet potato filling. Peel 2 medium sweet potatoes and cut in to small cubes. You'll want around 4 cups of diced sweet potato. Now, in a large skillet, heat 2 T. coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 t. black mustard seeds and cover the skillet. Once the seeds have almost stopped "popping", uncover the skillet and quickly toss in 1/4 t. cumin seeds and a large pinch of asafoetida. Let the seeds sizzle for a few seconds and add 2-4 dried red chilies (whole or torn in to pieces). Cook another few seconds before adding 1 T. minced fresh ginger along with the diced sweet potatoes. Stir very well to ensure all of the potatoes are coated with the oil and spices. Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle in 1 t. ground cumin and 1 t. ground coriander. Season with 1 t. salt and black pepper to your taste. Cover the skillet and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Stir now and then and add a tablespoon of water if the veggies are sticking or burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

What we do now is generally transfer the sweet potatoes to a bowl, wipe the non-stick skillet clean and return it to the stove with 1 t. of coconut or vegetable oil. Keep the heat just above medium. When the oil is hot swirl it around the pan and then add 1/4 cup of the batter. Drop it in the center and then with the back of a spoon or measuring cup etc. spread the batter in to a thin circle, about 7 or 8 inches in diameter. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, carefully flip and cook on the other side for a minute longer. You'll want a nice golden brown color on the dosas. Remove from skillet and proceed in the same way until you've used all the batter. Keep dotting the skillet with oil as needed.

Finally, stuff the dosas with the sweet potato curry, roll up and serve with plain yogurt and a chutney of choice.

1 comment:

plasterers bristol said...

Yum. This looks really good. Thanks for sharing this recipe. :-)

Simon