a mild heat

During our recent road trip, I ordered two fiery hot Indian meals in two different New York locales, one from an Indian restaurant in Niagara Falls and another from an Indian-Pakistani restaurant in downtown Albany.
Even as a spice lover, I couldn’t take the heat or eat my flaming vegetable curries. Each dish tasted like a habanero chili pepper was slowly melting in my mouth. The vegetables became a mish mash of indiscernible textures and colors inside the rising heat.
So, when I read the September Daring Cooks’ Challenge, Indian Dosas (pancakes) made from spelt flour with a served with a chickpea curry and topped off with a coconut curry sauce, I thought, “Oh, no. Not again.”
This time, I wanted to enjoy the flavors in my curry so I left the chili peppers in New York. I followed the Dosa Pancake recipe verbatim, although I made up a vegetable curry recipe featuring local seasonal vegetables along with a crunchy nut chutney.
I cooked the spices in a few teaspoons of coconut oil before adding the onions and garlic. Then I sauteed the eggplant, red potatoes, and green peppers together until tender. I added coconut milk, swiss chard, and tomatoes and let the curry simmer for twenty minutes or so.
Tucked inside a dosa pancake with a side of basmati rice and topped off with a peanut chutney spiced with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper, the meal was mild and satisfying.
The September Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Debyi of Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She chose Indian Dosas and adapted the following recipes from Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston’s reFRESH Cookbook.

Indian Dosas

This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to

make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve

them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer.

Serves 4

Equipment needed:

large bowl


griddle or skillet

ladle (or large spoon)


vegetable peeler &/or knife

large saucepan

food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes

1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)

½ tsp (2½ gm) salt

½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder

½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder

½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)

¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water

cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling

1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings

1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated

¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut

¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes

1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water,

whisking until smooth.

2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking

spray, if needed.

3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter 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 remaining batter.

Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling

This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make

a full batch.

5 cloves garlic

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)

2 medium hot banana chilies, minced

2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground

1 TBSP (8gm) oregano

1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)

1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric

4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)

½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices,

cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.

2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato

paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce

This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the

texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this

sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the

texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground

¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)

3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder

3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)

3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth

2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk

3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or

until soft.

2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional


3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been

incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.

4.Let it simmer for half an hour.


  1. Mary says

    You've done a great job with the challenge. Your photo is beautiful and looks so cool compared to many posted here. I hope you enjoyed the dosas.

  2. lisamichele says

    I love your filling and the plating is lovely! I also used basmati rice, omitted the peppers in the filling, and made a peanut chutney, although it was powdered :)

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