Dosa: South Indian Crepes from Indian for Everyone

I’ve been making these South Indian Crepes called dosa from a beautiful book by Anupy Singla called Indian for Everyone. Note: this is a fermented recipe, and therefore is not Migraine-Plan-friendly until you test it. However, they are super-easy to make and the batter can be frozen. There’s just 2 days (or so) of hands-off time while you let the batter sit out and ferment. You can swap out a variety of lentils, split peas, dal, and grains, so it’s super-adaptable for this period of time when people are shopping way less and staying home and cooking.

You soak a combination of grains and lentils in water overnight, then blend together with spices and small amount of pre-cooked grains. That’s the dosa batter. Then you let that ferment overnight in a slightly-preheated oven. The batter doubles in size and gets bubbly and flavorful. You cook them like crepes (or pancakes), using a great trick: the cut end of an onion to evenly coat the pan with oil. It keeps the dosa from sticking and adds lovely flavor. I usually make 4 dosa at a time, so I put the onion end in the fridge for the next day.

Let me know if you try it!

Dosa: South Indian Crepes from Indian for Everyone

How to make Dosa: South Indian Crepes from Indian for Everyone

Easy dosa crepes from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 2 d 13 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 crepes

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 cups brown rice (280g) white, basmati, jasmine OR quinoa or another GF grain
  • 0.5 cups lentils (105g) duhil urad dal OR any type of dal, split peas, or lentils
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal if you have it, or just add 1 tablespoon of the dal, peas, or lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds IF you have them, or another seed like mustard, coriander, or cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder onion powder, or granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 cup brown rice COOKED, or another cooked grain
  • 1 onions root end only, stuck on a fork, to oil the pan
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil light olive oil, or another light-tasting vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, rinse the uncooked rice, lentils/dal/peas, and fenugreek (or substitute) seeds together. Add enough fresh water to cover, leaving room for the ingredients to double in size. Set aside to soak on the counter for at least 6 hours or overnight.
    Rice and lentils in bowl to make dosa batter
  • Drain the mixture, discarding the water. Place the mixture in a blender with 1-1/2 cups room temperature water, salt, and spices. Blend until smooth, slowly adding in the cooked rice or grain.
    Rice and lentils in bowl after soaking overnight in water to make dosa batter
  • Pour back into the large mixing bowl and cover with a clean, damp dish towel. Heat the oven to 200F(90C) for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven, wait 10 minutes, then place covered bowl in the oven for at least 6 hours or overnight. (I skipped the oven step the first time I made these and the batter did NOT ferment properly.)
    After blending the dosa batter
  • Check in the morning, the batter should start to be getting bubbly. Remove the bowl and reheat the oven as in step 3, then replace bowl for a few more hours, until the mixture has doubled in size and is very bubbly.
    Dosa batter after at least 24 hours of fermenting
  • Heat a cast-iron frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Place 1-2 teaspoons of oil in the pan and swirl the oil with the cut end of the onion until the pan is evenly covered.
  • Measure 1-1/2 cups of the batter into a smaller bowl and add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the batter is like thin pancake batter. Stir well. This should give you the perfect consistency of batter, thin and easy to pour. If you add a little too much water, let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken up.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of batter in a circle into the center of the pan, using the back of the ladle or a big spoon to make a circle about 9" diameter. Or tilt the pan to spread the batter. This will take some practice. Mine still don't look anything like her photograph, and that's okay. Also, the batter may be a much darker color depending on what kind of grains and beans/lentils/peas you use.
  • Cook for 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned and pulling away from the edges of the pan, bubbles are holding open across the crepe, and the top is dry. Use the thinnest spatula you have (two if possible) to lift and flip the crepe over. Cook another 2 minutes, then remove to a plate.
  • Re-swirl the onion with additional oil before cooking each crepe. Store remaining batter in the fridge for 10 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Serve as a bread with any type of food. They are traditionally layered with spiced potatoes, and are excellent with any type of curry.

Notes

You may get 10 crepes from this amount of batter, depending on how thick it turns out and how much water you add to thin it. Recipe adapted (slightly) from Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla © 2014 by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint. Photograph by Gregg Lowe and Brave New Pictures. Used with permission.