daring cooks: chickpea dosas with coconut curry sauce

i’m loving being part of the daring cooks! so far we have made spanish rice with allioli, fish with powders, crab potstickers and ricotta gnocchi which is, i think, an impressive range of dishes and techniques to try out.

this month’s challenge, courtesy of debyi from the healthy vegan kitchen, is vegan indian dosas, using a recipe adapted from the refresh cookbook by ruth tal.

debyi provided us with recipes for the dosas (an indian pancake), a curried chickpea filling and a coconut curry sauce. having eaten dosas at a number of restaurants i was keen to try making my own.

so, how did i get on?

dosas – i used chickpea flour for my first batch of pancakes and rice flour for a second batch. the chickpea batter was easy to work with and created flavoursome dosas but i had to be careful not to make them too thick. the rice flour batter was a complete disaster, don't try it!

curried chickpeas – i oomphed up the flavours in the curry, adding fresh ginger, extra spices and some tomatoes. i also made the curry a couple of days before we were going to eat the dosas so the flavours could really meld. the resulting curry was delicious (the fresh ginger was a particularly good addition) and i’ll make it again – the recipe below is my adapted version.

coconut curry – i wasn’t expecting much from this as the ingredients are very simple and tastings along the way weren’t very inspiring. however, it came together incredibly well and resulted in a gently spiced sauce which was packed with flavour.

the final verdict:

  • would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of the daring cooks challenge? yes – i like indian food and am always keen to try new recipes.
  • would i try this recipe again in the future? yes. the different components of the dish came together fantastically well and both david and i ate too much as we enjoyed it so much. i’m also pleased that the adaptations i made worked well and am interested to continue experimenting with different flours for the dosas.

indian dosas (serves 4, makes 8 dosa pancakes)

curried chickpea filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

1 large red chilli, finely diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon garam masala powder

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

500-800g cooked chick peas (i used 2 tins)

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon sea salt

coconut curry:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

½ a teaspoon of ground cumin

3 teaspoons of garam masala (2 tablespoons curry powder was originally suggested)

¾ of a teapsoon of sea salt

3 tablespoons of rice flour (spelt flour was originally suggested)

750ml vegetable broth

500ml coconut milk

3 large tomatoes, diced

dosa pancakes:

125g chickpea flour (spelt flour was originally suggested)

½ a teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of baking powder

½ a teaspoon of garam masala (curry powder was originally suggested)

125ml soy milk (almond or rice milk would also be fine)

175ml water

vegetable oil, if needed

dosa toppings:

cucumber, sliced

to make the chickpea curry, heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. add the carrot, pepper, chilli and spices and cook for another few minutes. add the chickpeas, tomatoes, salt and a glug of water. bring to a boil then simmer until the vegetables are cooked and the sauce thickened – you want quite a thick dry sauce.

to make the coconut curry, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften. add the spices and cook for another few minutes. add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute. gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring all the time to prevent lumps. once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes and let it simmer for half an hour.

to make the dosa pancakes, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly add the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth. heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, adding a thin layer of oil if needed. ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the centre of your pan in a circular motion until it creates 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 the remaining batter.

to assemble, fill your dosas with the curried chickpea mix, top with the coconut sauce and serve with cucumber slices on the side. you might want to serve this with rice as well – there will be enough coconut sauce to do so.