Daring Cooks


Hiya! This is Debyi from http://www.healthyvegankitchen.com I am so excited to be your host for the September 2009 Daring Cooks challenge. It took almost a month to decide which recipe that I wanted to do. I wanted to choose something that could be easily adapted for our GF’ers and other Alternative Cooks, as well as still being tasty for everyone else. So, I finally decided on Indian Dosas from the refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal. I had a lot of fun with this challenge, it brought back some great memories, I hope you enjoy it. 


My hubby and I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting one of the Fresh Restaurants (www.freshrestaurants.ca) in Toronto, Canada during a business trip. We ate 3 out of our 5 meals there, it was that good. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it, they have 3 locations in Toronto. If not, their cookbooks are amazing, everything we have tried has been great.

Requirements: Must be free of animal products, this will be a challenge for you “regular” cooks out there, but its worth it. So that means, no cows milk, butter, meat, poultry, fish, chicken/beef broth, etc. This dish is also 99% oil free, using only what you need to keep the dosas from sticking (I used a quick spritz of cooking spray on the first dosa only), which isn’t too bad with a nonstick pan. You can use a different filling/sauce if you like, but it must be free of animal products. I was just looking at the new Fresh newsletter, and one of the new menu items is Avocado Dosas with a filling of avocados, grape tomatoes, cilantro & hemp seeds with a mango tamarind or cilantro coconut chutney. Might be an interesting way to go too.

Here is my adaptation of their recipe:

Indian Dosas

This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting (I forgot & didn’t start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

Serves 4

Equipment needed:

large bowl


griddle or skillet

ladle (or large spoon)


vegetable peeler &/or knife

large saucepan

food processor or bean masher


Dosa Pancakes

1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)

½ tsp (2½ gm) salt

½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder

½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder

½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)

¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water

cooking spray, if needed


Dosa Filling

1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated


Dosa Toppings

1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated

¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut

¼ cucumber, sliced


Dosa Pancakes

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.

  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.

  3. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.


Curried Garbanzo Filling

This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)

2 medium hot banana chilies, minced

2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground

1 TBSP (8gm) oregano

1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)

1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric

4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)

½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.

  2. Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.


Coconut Curry Sauce

This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though.

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground

¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)

3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder

3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)

3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth

2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk

3 large tomatoes, diced

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.

  2. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.

  3. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Let it simmer for half an hour.

Happy eating!

I served this with a side of coconut tempeh from refresh as well.  Very yummy!


27 thoughts on “Daring Cooks”

  1. Heya

    Great challenge. It was good to be challenged to do something I would never normally consider. I realised later I broke the Vegan aspect with the yogurt. It must be so challanging to stick to vegan cooking.

    I’m starting to eat a vegetarian (something I’ve done before) No Gluten No Dairy diet, so I’ll be dropping by your blog for some insperation.

    Cheers Lisa

  2. I was wondering what those little furry thing were. In the last photo, they looked to me like slices of bread.

    Though I may have my own views on the nature and implementation of this challenge, I am geniunely thankful that you’d brought about this challenge. There are a number of positive things that I can take away from this challenge, one of which was quite unexpected.

    I hope you enjoyed preparing the challenge and reading up on other people’s attempts.

  3. I really loved this challenge–restricting ingredients is one of the biggest challenges out there whatever the reason. Great choice! I found dosa-making quite fun. If ever I make it up to Toronto, I will definitely have to make the stop.

  4. Hey Debyi!

    Thanks for a great challenge 🙂 It was interesting to watch the forum explode in a variety of reactions!!!!!!!!! I think you succeeded in selecting something new, fresh & challenging for all of us. Sometimes the biggest challenges in the kitchen are not on the cutting board, but within the chef. Nicely done 😉

  5. Every Indian I know, myself included, would be shaking their heads at this post and challenge. And unfortunately, the tone of the blog and posts only reinforce every stereotype I have about vegans.

    Does Your Kitchen Bring Your Family Health or Sickness?

    Oh puh-leeze. Who died and made you the health police? Must be nice being way up there on your high horse looking down at the rest of us.

    I think I’m going to make some lamb paneer tonight. With ghee.

  6. The dosa is nuthing like a true authentic indian dosa…. dosa batter is made of either semolina or with rice and pulses soaked over night and fermented. the dosas as provided in ur blog are actully crepes. 🙂

    an authentic south indian dosa can be made as under :


    Dosa shell:
    1 1/2 cups rice
    1/2 cup urad dal
    salt to taste
    Masala Filling:
    2 large potatoes
    1 medium onion (chopped)
    1/2 teaspoon yellow split peas
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1-2 green chili
    1 tablespoon oil
    salt to taste

    Dosa shell

    * Separately soak rice and urad dal at least 6 hour or overnight in water.
    * Grind to paste.
    * Mix together, add salt with water to make batter.
    * Leave in room temperature overnight.
    * Mix onion and chilies to the thin batter.
    * Heat pan or griddle with little ghee or oil.
    * Spread the mix on pan in circular motion to make thin Dosa.
    * Cook on both the sides, if desired.

    Masala Filling (Spicy Filling):

    * Heat oil. Add mustard seed, peas, onions and spice.
    * Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat or/until onions are turned into golden brown
    * Add potatoes and mix and cook some more Serve
    * Add filling inside Dosa and roll. Serve hot with Chutney.


    To prepare crisp dosas you need:

    · 3 cups parboiled rice (washed and soaked overnight)

    · 1 cup urad dal (washed and soaked overnight)

    · 1/2 tsp. soda bicarbonate

    · Salt to taste

    Method of preparation:

    · Having soaked both rice and dal separately, wash well with plenty of water.

    · Grind dal to a very fine paste.

    · Grind rice till fine grains are left (like very fine semolina).

    · Mix both rice and dal together after grinding.

    · Add soda bi-carb and salt and beat well.

    · Add a little water if necessary.

    · The batter should be fairly thick.

    · Cover and keep aside for 7-8 hours, undisturbed. (preferably in a warm place)

    · Beat the curds well.

    · Add to the batter, add more water if required.

    · The consistency of the batter should be thick enough to thickly coat on a spoon when dipped.

    · Heat the iron griddle or non-stick tawa well.

    · Pour a spoonful of batter in the centre, spread with the back of the spoon to a thin round.

    · Pour a tsp. of ghee or oil over it.

    · Remove with spatula when crisp.

  7. Thank you Debyi for introducing something very fresh to the Daring cooks challenge. However, this post probably has taught a lot of fellow cooks a terribly wrong ‘dosa’ recipe. When you say dosa, most indians would expect a golden crepe and not a pancake. I hail from the southern part of India where this dish a staple breakfast item and I sure do know dosas very well. Thank you Akriti for bringing forward the correct meaning of a dosa.

    There however, is a mistake in Akriti’s recipe. Dosas are made with par boiled rice and not raw rice as the recipe calls for. Par boiled rice is available in any indian store.They are slightly fatter and brownish in color compared to the regular rice. You may also use idli rice also available in indian store. Additionally, soda bicarb is never used as well.

    Debyi’s recipe, though a very successful attempt at recreating something good and healthy, cannot be called a Dosa for obvious reasons. But, the recipe can be very well passed as a “Curried Pancake”, yummy. Bon apetit!

Leave a Reply