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

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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.

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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.

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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

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Charli September 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm

That looks great! Love the fruity sauce!

I was also amazed that I had all the ingredients on hand! Apparently I don’t have to eat out to have Indian!

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Winnie September 13, 2009 at 8:43 pm

You have a very nice blog and you did a great job with the dosas and the filling/sauce variations!
I pretty much stuck to the recipes as given, and enjoyed the meal immensely; I love that you
used buckwheat flour and I am going to give that a try next time!

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Anh September 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm

You have done well!!

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Simon September 14, 2009 at 12:03 am

Looks like you had one hell of a challenge compared to most. Good work with what you’ve done as it looks quite nice :)

The limitations that you had to work with doesn’t show in the final product.

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Frenchie September 14, 2009 at 12:40 am

I am so impressed that you managed to make something so incredible with so many limitations, that takes true creativity and skill!

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Robert September 14, 2009 at 2:15 am

You must have the patience of Job. Catering to your family’s needs the way you do and still pulling off a beautifully presented recipe is a wonderful feat. Well done.

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mub September 14, 2009 at 2:50 am

I’m so impressed with all of the modifications that you figured out! It looks lovely =) I think the addition of the pumpkin sounds really good too.

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chef_d September 14, 2009 at 4:13 am

Wow I love the way you made the dosas your own way and still kept it within the framework of the challenge!

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Jenny September 14, 2009 at 4:14 am

Wow, you really had a challenge there with all those limitations. And you pulled it off beautifully – it looks and sounds so yummy! Wonderful job!

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Cheri September 14, 2009 at 9:56 am

Wow! What an interesting take on this dish. I am so glad you were able to make it edible for everyone in your family. I don’t think I would have been able to come up with all those alterations. And, I actually kind of love that the filling just sits on top. It reminds me of a tostada. Excellent job!

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Feng September 14, 2009 at 10:20 am

theses look fabulous, love your photos!

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Valérie September 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Wow, I’m so impressed with your adaptation skills! And even with all the changes, the dosas look fantastic! I do recomment you try the coconut curry sauce someday, because it really is very tasty, but tomato peach sauce sounds very fresh and intriguing!

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Lauren September 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Great job with the adaptations!! I love the flavours and fillings you made =D.

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sarah September 14, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Wow your adaptation sounds delicious! And not being able to fold your dosa pancake made for a beautiful presentation.

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pia (taga_luto) September 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Kudos to you! The Dosa was already a challenge to begin with. And in your case you had another challenge to top w/ Debyi’s “requirements”. YOu pulled it really good. I like your tomato peach sauce. Your platting is beautiful. Can’t wait for next months challenge.

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isa September 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I love your take on this dish – I’m dying to try your tomato peach sauce! Great job!

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Ariane September 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I love how your recipes give me great excuses to go out and buy ingredients. Definitely need to get some pumpkin and buckwheat!

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Veena November 29, 2010 at 3:59 am

I came across this blog while searching for Saucisson Vaudois (was trying to see if I can find it in Seattle). Lovely blog and pictures and amazing presentation of curried chickpeas and sauce on the dosa! Yum.
BTW, most dosas are already gluten free to begin with. They are made from ground rice and lentil flours. The exception is rava dosa.

For other gluten free Indian breads, try ‘akki rotti’ or ‘ragi rotti’ from the South Indian state of Karnataka. Ragi or finger millet might be difficult to get in Switzerland though.

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Jenn November 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

Thanks for the tips, I’ll definitely keep my eye out!

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Lois Parker July 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I know this is a bit late, but dhosa are gluten free in their natural state. Just urid rice, urid letils, soak and naturally fermented. They should be paper thin, which is achieved by swirling the dough onto a cool griddle and then putting on heat (keep two going at once, one heating, one cooling) The long slow fermentation increases the bioavailability of the nutrients.

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