Indian masala dosas with spiced coconut potatoes
- February 2015
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 30 min, frying time 30 min
This traditional Indian pancake recipe makes an interesting alternative to the usual Shrove Tuesday selection.
- 14.4g (6.1g saturated)
- 36.7g (2.9g sugars)
For 6 servings
For the spiced potatoes
- 4 baking potatoes (around 800g), cut into small chunks
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil, plus extra (if needed)
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Handful fresh or dried curry leaves
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 2 large handfuls desiccated coconut, soaked for 30 minutes in cold water, then drained
- Juice 1 lime
For the dosas
- 60g plain flour
- 60g chickpea (gram) flour
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Groundnut oil for frying
To serve (optional)
- Natural yogurt and fresh mint
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just firm when pierced with a sharp knife. Drain and steam dry in the pan.
- Heat a large frying pan with a generous glug of groundnut oil. Add the mustard, cumin and fennel seeds, then cook over a medium heat, swirling the pan every so often, until the spices smell fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric,cayenne and coriander, then fry until the spices smell rich and fragrant.
- Add the potatoes to the pan with the curry leaves, green chilli, drained coconut and a splash of water to bring everything together. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often and adding a little more water or oil if the mixture looks a bit dry. The potatoes should be almost completely broken down when ready. Squeeze over the lime juice, then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or foil and leave somewhere warm (or see Make Ahead).
- To make the dosa batter, put the flours in a bowl with the bicarb and a good pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in around 300ml cold water with a balloon whisk to make a very loose and liquid batter.
- Heat a 30cm frying pan over a medium heat, drizzle in a splash of oil and wipe it all around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. When the pan is quite hot, add around 50ml batter, immediately swirling it so it covers the base of the pan very thinly (don’t worry if you don’t get an exact circle – you should have seen what some of our first attempts looked like!). Cook over a medium-low heat for around 8 minutes or until the top is dried out and the bottom is a pale golden colour (see tip). The edges should be crisp and wafer thin, and there should be tiny air bubbles all over the pancake.
- Put a few spoonfuls of the potato mixture down the centre of the pancake, then roll up and slide onto a serving board or plate. Keep warm while you use up the remaining batter and potatoes, then serve with minted natural yogurt, if you like.
Traditional Indian dosas are a laborious affair. This is our cheat’s version. It’s very thin, which makes it easy to get the paper-like pancakes you want, but it will take time and patience to get them golden on the underside. Keep the heat medium-low – the pancakes are only cooked on one side and need to cook all the way through without the bottom burning.
Make the spiced potatoes, then cool, cover and chill overnight. Reheat in a microwave or on the hob to serve.
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