Anyways, you’ll hear about the Daring Bakers’ challenge in time, but today is all about the Daring Cooks. This month’s DC challenge was hosted by Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen , and she chose Vegan Indian Dosas as a recipe.
I admit I didn’t know what dosas were – turns out, they are a type of pancake, served with a savoury filling. However, I love Indian food: I make curry regularly, and I’ve tried my hand at making naan bread (a pathetic failure – the flatbreads came out looking more like pitas). Moreover, I recently went against a waiter’s warnings by ordering chicken vindaloo at an Indian restaurant. It was definitely one of the spiciest things I’ve ever eaten, although it didn’t quite beat whatever it was I had at that Thai restaurant in Vienna (of all places!). Anyways, I like it hot.
This month’s challenge, however, wasn’t particularly spicy, at least not necessarily. The one requirement (apart from actually making the dosas) was that the meal had to be entirely vegan. This was definitely a first for me, as I’ve always been an omnivore. Still, it’s not so rare for me to inadvertently cook vegetarian meals, so it didn’t feel like going vegan for a day would be too much of a stretch.
It wasn’t. The only “unusual” thing I had to buy was soy milk, to make the dosa batter. The recipe didn’t require that much milk, so I had to finish the rest some other way. I tried it for breakfast, with cereal, and honestly, I don’t think I’ll be buying it again unless I have to: it was too sweet for my taste.
I’ve made crepes before, so making the dosas themselves wasn’t too difficult, except that I never did manage to get them as crispy-thin as I would have liked – I think it’s because I forgot to properly sift the flour. I was on a miniature-kick at the time, so I made fairly small pancakes. For the filling, I stuck with the recipe we were given: sautéed chickpeas with a few other veggies and a heavy amount of spices (especially cumin, which is one of my favourite spices of all times). The filling was very good, but a little dry: a few crushed tomatoes would have added some nice moisture (or some yogurt, had this been a non-vegan challenge).
I made a second version, this time foregoing the vegan requirement: I used regular milk for the batter, and greased my skillet with butter, rather than oil. The dosas tasted about the same, but it was definitely easier to peel them off the pan.
For my second filling, I borrowed various ingredient combinations from different curry recipes. I used diced chicken thighs, zucchini, eggplant and bell pepper, seasoned with cumin, tumeric, coriander seeds, garam masala, fresh ginger, and garlic. I also added crushed tomatoes, and a garnish of fresh coriander and cashews. Unfortunately, I added too many tomatoes, which drowned out most of the spices I had incorporated, and as a result my filling tasted more like ratatouille than curry.
Truly, my favourite thing about this challenge was the coconut curry sauce we were given the recipe for. It was seriously delicious, and I used it both times, for drizzling and dipping. It froze well, too. It tasted wonderful with the dosas, but was also amazing on plain basmati rice.
I’d like to try making dosas again, to hopefully get them to come out crispy. This was a fun challenge, and a particularly delicious one. I’m also glad to have gotten a taste of what vegan cooking can be like, thanks to Debyi.
Check here for the full recipe, and here to see what the other Daring Cooks did this month.