DC #5 – A Venture in Indian Cuisine and Homemade Dosas

by Jenn on September 13, 2009

in Budget,Dairy Free,Daring Kitchen,Diabetic Friendly,Dips and Sauces,Gluten Free,Vegetarian


I LOVE Indian food, but have always been a bit intimidated to try it.  I’m not really sure why, because I don’t think it is necessarily very difficult.  Maybe it’s because I always thought Indian cuisine required these crazy exotic ingredients that I would never be able to find.  It turns out that is just not so!  In fact, I didn’t even have to go to the grocery store to complete this awesome challenge.  How incredible is that!

This month’s challenge was hosted by Debyi of Healthy Vegan Kitchen, and the theme this month was Indian dosas.  As is tradition with Daring Cook’s challenges, a lot of culinary freedom is allowed, however there were a couple of requirements to this dish:

1. Must make the dosas
2. Try using Indian flavors
3. Must be vegan.

Requirements 1 & 2 were easy enough, but #3 was the tricky one.  Because along with these requirements are the ones I have in my home every day-

1. Must be gluten free for my husband
2. Must be diabetic friendly for my mom (under 30 g total carb/meal, no grains of any kind)

And as such, I adapted or altered or did something entirely different for every single section of this recipe – the dosa batter, the curried chickpea filling, and the sauce on top.  So I am going to reproduce my adapted versions of the recipes below.


Challenge #1 – Dosas – This was the trickiest part to figure out.  How do I make what is essentially an Indian pancake without using any grains???  All I could think of was a nut flour, but I knew that would not come out to a pancake-like texture.  A lovely daring cook participant, over at The Peaceable Kingdom pointed me in the direction of buckwheat flour.  Because buckwheat is a seed and not an actual grain, it tends to be much lower in carbs.  And in fact, one cup of buckwheat flour has only about 30 g of carbs in it.  Spread that out over 8 dosas, and you have under 5 g of carbs per dosa.  Not bad!!  Buckwheat is also gluten free.  I also ignored the call for almond or rice milk, because I can’t stand them, and just used veggie broth instead.  They were very strongly buckwheat tasting, but with toppings this was ok.  Also, the dosas did not fold well (foiled by gluten free cooking once again!) – so instead we just topped the filling on top of the dosas.  That worked just fine.

Challenge #2 – Chickpea filling – It turns out my mom LOVES chickpeas, and 1/2 cup has 20 g of carbs.  So as long as she had a very small portion, she could eat it.  I decided to shy away from the tomato emphasis here, and used pumpkin puree instead.  It is lower in carbs, and well, September is starting to feel like Autumn already, so I had to throw some pumpkin in somewhere :)

Challenge #3 – Coconut curry sauce.  This sauce just did not happen.  Coconut is VERY high in carbs, so the coconut milk was definitely out.  Instead, I made my own sauce, out of fresh peaches, tomatoes, and onions.  It came out very well!  Because it was so flavorful, only a small amount was needed on top of the chickpeas, so my mom could still have enough to taste.


Ok, after all that I bet you are wondering how I could even say I made this recipe!  Well, I guess I didn’t.  I made my own.  But it fit all the requirements and kept within the spirit of the dish.  It went over very well with everyone, so I have to say it was a glowing success!

Also submitted to – Friday Foodie Fix


Gluten Free Buckwheat Indian Dosas

Ingredients (for 8 dosas):
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1.5 cups vegetable broth (this is more than with regular flour because the batter was too thick otherwise)
cooking spray

1. Mix dry ingredients together, and slowly whisk in the veggie broth until smooth.
2. Heat up a skillet until hot (say med-high heat) – spray with oil, and ladle about 2 tbs. of batter in a circular motion.  Once bubbles form, flip, and cook for a few more seconds.

Pumpkin Curried Chickpeas

1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas
2 tbs. ground cumin
1 tbs. oregano
fair amt. salt
1 tbs. ground curry spices
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1.  In a large saucepan, medium heat, cook garlic, onion and carrot until onions are softened.  Add in chickpeas and spices.
2.  Cook about 10 minutes on medium heat, then add in broth 1/3 cup at a time.  Stir occasionally, and once broth is soaked up/boiled away, add in the next 1/3 cup.
3.  Once broth is all absorbed (chickpeas will start to come together a bit now, add in parsley and pumpkin, and let cook about 5 – 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Savory Tomato Peach Sauce

1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 peaches, sliced
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 tbs. chili powder
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable broth
pepper to taste

1.  Saute onion and garlic in a skillet until soft (med-high heat).  While onions are cooking, add peach slices to a food processor, and puree.
2. Add in peaches, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and pepper to the skillet, and cook (med) for about 10 minutes, so simmering well and reduces some.
3.  When peach mixture starts to stick a bit, add in vegetable broth and stir.  Let cook for a few minutes more, until everything is soft and homogenized.


Arrange pancake, then add “filling” on top and sauce.  Garnish with parsley flakes and some fresh mint if desired.