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Daring Cooks September 2009|Dosas!


Oh how I love the world wide internets. Even though I’m halfway around the world (and missing home terribly, I’m sure), here I am, posting my September Daring Cooks Challenge! Thank you WordPress and delayed posting feature! It’s August 29 as I write this (so ahead of time for once!) and I’m thrilled to tell you all about the dee-licious Challenge that Debyi at The Healthy Vegan Kitchen gave us for the month of September 2009. “But Kathlyn, isn’t vegan kind of…um, against your religion or something?” That’s a fair question – “untasty” definitely gets my hackles up, but there is a lot of great vegan food (so good you don’t have to tell finicky omnivores about the vegan part!) and that’s exactly what Debyi is doing over there at her blog. If you have food-related issues, or have people you love with food-related issues, be sure to check her stuff out!

For September Debyi chose Indian Dosas from the reFresh: Contemporary Vegan Recipes From the Award Winning Fresh Restaurants by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston. We love Indian food and eat it nearly every week, so this one went on the menu list the minute it was posted! That it has a garbanzo bean filling as the main element was right up our alley – we generally eat garbanzos at least once a week and cook them from dried, rather than using canned. This is a fussy step that I’ll highly recommend – it’s a lot cheaper (if you can imagine garbanzo beans being any cheaper) and they really do taste much better (if you can imagine garbanzo beans tasting any better!). I’ll include directions for cooking them after the recipe, in case you want to give it a shot.

We loved everything about this recipe – the flavors and spice combinations are wonderful. I have to say the only thing that really disappointed me were the dosas themselves – we went with the whole wheat flour (not GF, but still vegan!) and the crepe/pancakes I wound up with were not all that. If you’re familiar with Ethiopian food, you can see from my plating above that I was going for more of an injera-type thing instead of rolling the dosas like crepes. The dish was still wonderful, it’s just that the dosas were not what I expected (ah that devil expectation!). What was f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g amazing was this stuff


That is a boatload of sauce made with coconut milk, tomatoes and a spice combo that a person might sell their soul for. It’s delicious and the recipe isn’t lying when it says make extra and put it on rice. You won’t be disappointed. I want some right now.

Thanks to Debyi for another amazing Daring Cooks! I originally joined the DBs because I love to bake, but everyone around here loves Daring Cooks! It’s both challenging and has been a great way to get some new recipes (like this one) into the menu repertoire. Consider joining here. And check out the blogroll for some other takes on this beautiful challenge!

From Abu Dhabi – Cheers.

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!

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. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

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.

Make your own garbanzo beans!

This is much more worth the time than it might seem. And it’s very easy, it just takes a little planning. And it’s really cheap. About $.25 per can of garbanzos instead of the $1+ you have to pay at the grocery.

1/2 cup of dried garbanzos for every “can” of garbanzos you want for your recipe
pinch of baking soda

Wash the garbanzos and take out any rocks or other gifts from nature that got packaged in there. Put the garbanzos in a pretty big bowl (bigger if you’re making enough for a few cans) and cover them deeply with water. I think it’s about a quart of water for every half cup, but you could probably use a little less and be fine. Put in your pinch of baking soda, stir it up and let it sit overnight. This part is crucial – I’ve tried getting away with not letting it sit over night and it doesn’t work.

At least two hours before you need the garbanzos, drain and rinse them, then put them in a decent sized pot and cover them well with water (again, about a quart for every 1/2 cup of garbanzos that you started with – they are going to plump up considerably with the soaking!). Get them boiling, skim off that weird white foam and turn them down and then simmer them until…they are done. That could be an hour, but will probably be more like an hour and a half to two hours. During this time, if your water level gets low, add water. “Low” means there isn’t at least a couple of inches covering the garbanzos.

When you’re done cooking them, drain them, but save the liquid. It’s great for thinning out whatever you’re making, especially hummus. I’ve also stored the garbanzos for a couple of days in the fridge in that cooking water, you just want to let it cool down before you store them.

Yay! Garbanzo beans from scratch!

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