Monday, September 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks Make Vegan Indian Dosas

This month's Daring Cook's Challenge was hosted by Debyi from Healthy Vegan Kitchen. Debyi decided on Indian Dosas from the cookbook "Refresh" by Ruth Tal.

Being born and raised in Iowa definitely shaped me into a meat and potatoes girl. I was raised on corn fed slabs of beef, grilled to perfection on a charcoal grill, seasoned only with the perfect amount of salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Freshly shucked corn on the cob slathered in dripping melted butter was a staple. Venison steaks and creamy mashed potatoes was my favorite meal.

I guess that's why I just can't wrap my brain around the concept of being vegetarian or vegan. Oh, the reasons have been explained to me. I've seen the videos of animal abuse and I don't agree with it, either. But that won't stop me from eating that beautiful farm raised steak that God so thoughtfully placed on my plate. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and no one should have to force someone to eat something they don't feel comfortable with.

Unfortunately for him, my cousin-in-law's boyfriend Nik is vegan. I say unfortunately because I always feel like he gets left out at family gatherings. while we are stuffing down ribs and bratwursts and all manner of other amazing food, poor Nik has been shoved into the back corner eating his carrot sticks because everything not meat has been slathered with butter or cheese, or dripping with some other illicit animal produced yumminess.

I decided that this situation needed to be rectified and started sorting through recipes to find something worthy of a dinner date. I didn't want just any recipe. It needed to be something special - something that would say "Nik, I like you, and I think you deserve a good meal, too!". Luckily, the Daring Cooks came to my rescue, because honestly I was lost on my own.

While cooking this meal wasn't difficult, I was skeptical about how it was going to turn out during the cooking process. Nothing really went wrong - in fact, it all came together perfectly. I just wasn't sure if I was going to like it. But after that first bite hit my tongue and all the flavors burst forth, I was smitten. THIS STUFF IS GOOD!
Indian Dosas
Coconut Curry Sauce:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp course sea salt
3 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp spelt flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced
Saute the onions and garlic for five minutes, or until soft.
Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps.
Add the coconut milk and tomatoes.
Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Curried Garbanzo Filling:
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp course sea salt
1 tbsp tumeric 
4 cups canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
1/2 cup tomato paste
Heat a large skillet over medium to low heat.
Add garlic, veggies, spices and cook until veggies are soft, stirring occasionally.
Mash the chickpeas by hand or in a food processor.
Add the chickpeas and tomato paste  to the saucepan, stirring until heated through. 
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
3/4 cup water
cooking spray
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Slowly add the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. 
Spray pan with thin layer of cooking spray.
Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter directly 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 additional batter.
Fill the pancake with a small amount of the curried garbanzo filling. 
Top with a ladel full of the coconut curry sauce. 
Sprinkle shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!!


  1. I wasn't sure about it as I was cooking everything either. I'm glad we liked it, since the recipes made so much *L*

  2. What did Nik think? Probably just happy he wasn't in the corner eating carrots.

    Your first few paragraphs took me right back to growing up in Central Illinois. Man I wish I could get good sweetcorn in Alaska.

  3. Glad you liked this challenge, looks like you did a great job! And how sweet of you to make something special for your cousin-in-law's boyfriend! Hope he liked it too!

  4. I like the whole backstory in the post putting this challenge into context.

    Has Nik tried these dosa yet?

  5. That is so sweet of you to want to make him feel included. I too am an avid meat eater (and wheat eater) and I always have a hard time coming up with vegetarian or gluten free foods. It is especially hard when it is just one person out of a bunch.. but it is worth it to make them feel special. :) Great job on the challenge.

  6. How fun that you could share this challenge with someone! It looks like you did a great job and created a special meal.

  7. MMM, your dosas look so good Jenni! It's so great you were able to use the meal to make your friend feel welcome! This challenge really made me laugh because it's funny how we don't realize how many animal products we use everyday until we're asked to cook without them!

    Thanks for your comment!

  8. I hope you enjoyed the dosas and the challenge. Your photos are wonderful.

  9. Beautiful job!! Your dosas look amazing =D. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

  10. I served mine to my parents who are 'meat and potatoes' people, and they didn't like them at all. However, if they saw yours, they just might! They look so silky and luscious in your photo. Great job!

  11. That was my thought on this challenge too, that now I have a vegan recipe under my belt in case I'm making a meal for someone with that, um, diet.

  12. glad to see you enjoyed your vegan meal - it was a good way to start out as it was so delicious! maybe you'll be expanding your vegan repertoire further?!?

  13. Lovely dosas! Great job on the challenge...

  14. That's a cute story about your cousin's boyfriend. I think if I ever brought a vegan to a family meal, he'd be getting dirty looks from everyone (the cooks in my family tend to get offended if you don't eat their food). I'm not vegan myself, but I do agree this was a tasty challenge! Great job!

  15. I too am a meat and potatoes girl so I know what you mean. I really liked this challenge but I loaded up on major BBQ the day before and the day after so my body wouldn't go into shock ;) Great job on your dosas, your photos are beautiful.

  16. I'm gonna have to give this one a try! After 5 or so years of being an ex-vegetarian I still prefer many non-meat meals to their meaty counterparts (eggplant is not a good substitute for steak!). Plus awhile ago Dustin and I decided to cut back on our meat consumption - for environmental reasons - and we haven't been so successful because we can't find veggie meals we both like!


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