Daring Cooks, Daring Kitchen

Daring Cooks, Vegan Indian Dosas

After all of the EST dinner parties and Linda’s amazing Masterchef dessert renditions, it seemed inevitable that we would fall on the Daring Kitchen wagon and fall hard we did. After joining Daring Cooks I waited oh so impatiently for the new challenge to be revealed and when it was… as a committed omnivore, the concept of a vegan meal had me more than a little stumped.

The Dosa is a South Indian style crepe traditionally made with ground rice and lentils, the Daring Cooks challenge was a little more similar to a pancake. In addition to the Dosa, a vegetable filling and coconut based sauce were also part of the Challenge. While I have nothing against Indian style cuisine, it’s not one that I find myself eating often and I found myself wondering how it would all turn out in the end.

Net Dosa

Inspiration came in the form of an old Masterchef challenge, to be precise episode 14 and the egg net, for a day or so all I could think about was how to incorporate the Dosa batter into net form. All of my obsession ultimately culminated in a disturbingly detailed dream which consisted of me worrying about how to plate my Dosa while simultaneously balancing both lights and camera. Who says dreams are nothing like real life?

Pyramid Dosa

As my neighborhood is very heavily Asian and Indian populated finding the ingredients required for the recipes were no problem at all, with no less than 3 Indian owned food stores less than 10 minutes walk away. I do wonder what the store owners were thinking watching this strange person pace their spice aisles for 20 minutes, the sheer amount of choice available sending me into a bit of a spin.

Wrapped Dosa

Not wanting to play with the recipe too much, I followed the portions to a tee and found that the result was more than generous enough to feed 4 people, which was pretty lucky considering I had half the EST team over for a night of DDR and top chef. Making the filling and saucing components was a simple matter of chopping the various ingredients and mixing them with the spices and letting them simmer for a half hour. The curried sauce especially had a great flavour combination to it with the cumin, curry powder and coconut milk, every 5 or so minutes I found myself tasting the sauce again, unable to stay away.

...Cigar Dosa?

With the fillings completed the rest of my concentration was on the construction of the pancakes. I found that by simply oiling the pan generously, the batter was flexible enough to be cooked in almost any shape tried. The recipe for the Dosa was simple enough that I went a little plating crazy, not just stopping at Net Dosa, but also tried out a Pyrmid Dosa, Wrapped Pancape and even… Cigar Dosa? Linda put the final touch on the Cigar Dosa by dusting it lighly with pepper on one end.

My personal favourite of the would definitely have to be the Net Dosa, this idea was enough to penetrate even my dreams and I was unbelievably satisfied with the final results. No matter what the plates looked like, tastewise they were also great with the Curry Filling being unexpectedly filling. and I was surprised just how much I didn’t miss the lack of meat in this meal. Many thanks to Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen for hosting this challenge and not being afraid to give us a challenge a little out of the box.

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. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting.

Serves 4

Equipment needed:

  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Griddle or skillet
  • Ladle (or large spoon)
  • Spatula
  • 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
  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 minute.
  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.

Additional Dosa Toppings

  • ¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced


  1. Helen says:

    oh so pretty! love all the wrapping variations. the pyramid dosa looks like you’ve trapped yourself some curry and the plating of the cigar dosa is very elegant! the pepper on the end is such a cute idea too.
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Bodegas Tapas Bar, Surry Hills, Sydney =-.

  2. FFichiban says:

    OOh woow plating is awesome and very creative :D! and LLOLOLOL at DDR!! You guys play at home 0_o?!
    .-= FFichiban´s last blog ..Boon The Chocolate Experience – Darlinghurst, Sydney (4) + Home Booning =-.

  3. Nidhi says:

    Very beautiful. Neat ideas ….great job!
    .-= Nidhi´s last blog ..Black Bread =-.

  4. dude awesome! and lol i love ddr! a friend has got metal mats!
    .-= chocolatesuze´s last blog ..fine food show 09 [13] =-.

  5. Jacq says:

    So crative that you can make the dosas in all those different shapes! They all look amazing :) Nice work!
    .-= Jacq´s last blog ..Max Brenner, Sydney =-.

  6. Good on you! These look great. I totally spaced on this months DC challenge, mainly because I have a good friend that makes Dosa at a market up the coast who insists that the batter needs to ferment. I agree with him wholeheartedly as it produces a light crisp pancake, but now I’m sad because the rest of the components look great!
    Love the last pic.
    .-= lili – pikeletandpie´s last blog ..Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah =-.

  7. shez says:

    Looks absolutely fantastic Minh :) Especially love the idea of having a net-dosa and the pepper dipped cigar dosa at the end. Well done!
    .-= shez´s last blog ..malaysian mondays #3: bakuteh =-.

  8. Betty says:

    very creative work you have here

    i’ve had dosa @ billu’s harris park – love it!
    .-= Betty´s last blog ..Capital Thai =-.

  9. Anh says:

    Very creative! I love the presentation!
    .-= Anh´s last blog ..September Daring Cook’s Challenge – Indian Dosa! =-.

  10. Simon says:

    Nice work with the plating! Love the trouble that you went through to do so. Makes the food look appetising :)

  11. Steph says:

    Wow, I love how you managed to do so many different variations but I particularly love the look of the net version! I’m usually a bit wary of vegan but your plating makes it look mouth watering :)
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Dedes Bar & Grill, Abbotsford =-.

  12. Frenchie says:

    Wow, I am stunned, your pictures are beautiful, but that is only possible because your Dosas must have been incredible! Way to go.
    .-= Frenchie´s last blog ..Daring Cooks/Indian Dosas =-.

  13. Robert says:

    You pulled off several artful presentations of a recipe that is hard to dress up. Well done.
    .-= Robert´s last blog ..Mystery Meat for Dinner =) =-.

  14. That’s a great net! Dosa are great. I often have the potato ones, but they aren’t vegan.
    .-= Arwen from Hoglet K´s last blog ..Chocolate Gingerbread Cake =-.

  15. Suzie says:

    Your dosas all look amazing. I love the range of shapes, but the net is definitely the pick of the bunch.
    .-= Suzie´s last blog ..Daring Dosas – Delicious Indian Stuffed Pancakes =-.

  16. chef_d says:

    Wow beautiful looking dosas!
    .-= chef_d´s last blog ..Indian Dosas–DARING COOKS’ CHALLENGE SEPTEMBER 2009 =-.

  17. Lisa says:

    Your plating is fantastic. I was wondering if anyone was going to manage to make this dish, photogenic.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Dosas – Daring Cooks September Challenge =-.

  18. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by squishies and Minh Giang. Minh Giang said: My first daring cooks challenge! New EST post up – Vegan dosas – http://is.gd/3dXI3 [...]

  19. Cheri says:

    Great creativity! I love your plating styles. And, the net dosas were a brilliant idea I must say.

  20. Though you guys eat out often, all your at-home food looks restaurant quality. I love all your different plating possibilities and I think the one that made me gasp most was the pyramid.
    .-= Irina @ PastryPal´s last blog ..Chocolate Sorbet =-.

  21. Mary says:

    I love what you were able to do with this challenge. Your dosas look good. I hope you enjoyed them.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Cougnou (Bread of Jesus) – Brussels, Belgium – Blue Monday =-.

  22. Lauren says:

    Wonderful job with this challenge!! Your dosas look amazing, and all of the variations look stunning =D.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Daring Cooks: Vegan Dosas =-.

  23. Lisa says:

    OK, hands down, the most creative and beautiful dosas I’ve ever seen. The photos are gorgeous too. You totally rocked this challenge! So creative and artsy!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Vegan Dum Dum =-.

  24. *applauds* you did an amazing job! I can definitely see the eggnet (I thought it was an eggnet at first glance) and I love the elegance of the cigars :) Bravo Minh!
    .-= Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella´s last blog ..Not Quite Nigella Turns 2 & We Celebrate With A Tobie Puttock & Ferrero Rondnoir Competition! =-.

  25. Nate says:

    I love dosas. Here in Malaysia, they are spelled “thosai” but they’re essentially the same thing. You should try a dosa rawa next.

    I also loved walking through Indian grocery stores back in San Jose. Those aisles of spices kept beckoning to me. There aren’t too many Indians here in Kuching, but I hopefully can find enough spices to replicate their cuisine at home.

  26. wow – these dosas look like perfection! thank you for sharing!
    .-= {kiss my spatula}´s last blog ..Endless Summer Jam =-.

  27. minh says:

    Thanks for all the lovely comments! What a great way to start off my first Daring Cooks challenge :) I had a lot of fun plating out the results and am definitely excited for next month’s challenge.

  28. Akshay says:

    How many DOSA Varieties do you know..???? Five… Ten…Twenty… Hundred… Sorry.., There are 624 varieties of DOSA’s… WoW …