Have you ever tried dosas? Made with lentil flour, these Indian lentil crepes are the perfect vessel for a scrumptious, vegetarian cauliflower curry. Thank you to Pulses USA and Pulse Canada for helping me share this recipe with you.
When we lived in Salt Lake City, we became regulars at a great little restaurant called Saffron Valley that served Indian street food. Friendly staff, casual atmosphere and fantastic food. We became creatures of habit, always ordering lamb korma and chicken saag curries, along with chutney, raita (yogurt sauce) and naan.
As content as we were with our regular order, we began noticing plates of thin, golden brown crepes arriving at the neighboring tables. Dosas. Filled with a variety of savory ingredients – potato and pea curries, chicken tikka or vegetable masalas.
We couldn’t resist trying the dosas and ordered one of our own, filled with a vegetable curry. The dosas themselves were light, tender in the middle and a little crispy around the thin edges. They had a slightly sour, but pleasant, taste to them, which I found out later was from the fermented dough.
After doing a fair amount of research, I discovered that dosas can be made in a variety of ways. Some are made by soaking urad dal, the small lentils that are a staple of Indian cuisine, then pulsing the lentils in a blender or food processor with raw, soaked rice or semolina flour. While this method of producing homemade lentil and rice flours is not only easy, but surely produces a wonderful dosa, there is a cheater’s method that can be used.
The cheater’s method, which I fully admit to using, involves stirring together premade urad flour (also known as lentil or gram flour) and rice flour. While rice flour is sold in many groceries stores, urad flour takes a little more effort to find. If there is an Indian market near you, that should be your first stop. In fact, I found a bag of urad flour (gram flour) at the first Indian market I wandered into. No Indian markets nearby? Urad flour can also be purchased online. Even Amazon carries it!
Admittedly, my dosas were not as pretty as the ones at the restaurant and it took a couple of tries to get the pouring/flipping down pat, but they sure did taste good! I made a simple cauliflower curry to tuck inside of the crepes, and served them with mango chutney and a spicy cilantro chutney. Fantastic!
Be sure to make the batter for the lentil crepes first thing in the morning or the night before, as it needs to rest for at least 8 hours to allow the batter to ferment.
In honor of the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses and as part of The Pulse Pledge, we have been working more dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas into our diets. I regularly cook with chickpea flour when making our family favorite version of socca, this Indian Spiced Chickpea Flatbread, but never had the chance to work with lentil flour. I was so excited to discover a new way to use pulses that my family loved!
Lentil Crepes (Dosa) with Cauliflower Curry
- 1 1/4 cups rice flour
- 3/4 cup urad flour lentil flour
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, lentil flour and 2 ½ cups water.
- Cover and let rest for at least 8 hours.
- Before using, stir in the salt.
- Heat a nonstick crepe pan over medium to medium-high heat.
- In a circular motion, pour just less than ½ cup of the batter onto the crepe pan. Immediately use the back of a ladle to gently spread the batter. If the batter does not spread easily, you may need to add additional water to the batter. If not using a nonstick pan, first brush canola oil on the pan or coat it with cooking spray (repeat for each crepe).
- Cook until the edges are set and the crepe is turning golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Using a spatula, carefully flip the crepe. Cook for 1 minute. Transfer the crepe to a plate.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, separating the finished crepes with wax paper or parchment paper.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and ginger, and cook until the onion is tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and curry paste. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, cauliflower and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then cover partially, reduce heat slightly and simmer until the cauliflower for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley.
- Scoop about ⅓ cup curry into the center of each crepe and roll to enclose. Serve with chutney and yogurt, if desired.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!