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Tasty and Healthy--Meet the Dosa

Updated on June 30, 2017
Delicious with fermented bean paste!
Delicious with fermented bean paste!

A gluten-free and versatile snack that kids enjoy!

The soured grains make these dosas naturally somewhat leavened.
The soured grains make these dosas naturally somewhat leavened.

Dosas, also called Indian pancakes, are an excellent snack. Made of lentils and rice, they are a complete protein, and the culturing process makes them highly digestible. If you fry them in oil they are entirely vegan. I have used them to make almond butter or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are wonderful plain or with butter. Make dosadillas by putting a slice of cheese on top and broiling briefly. Similarly, make small dosa pizzas by adding sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings.

In my household, dosas get eaten up so quickly, that I don’t have many to keep around, but they keep fine on the counter for a couple days. I put them in a container with the lid off slightly so they don’t get too soft. However, they also keep just fine in the fridge. They can be reheated in the toaster.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Dry Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Dry Lentils
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, Preferably raw
  • 1/4 cup Rice water, OR 2 more Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Benefits of Dosas

These snacks are so healthy and easy to take along. The kids love them. They really don't taste like lentils and rice, either. They are also very inexpensive to make, especially when compaired to other gluten-free options.

This recipe, based on the recipe in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, has the added benefit of being cultured to enhance assimilation of nutrients. In fact, people whose diets largely depend upon grains and pulses (such as legumes) have, historically, developed recipes, such as this one, to make their food more nutritious.

Lentils after soaking.
Lentils after soaking.
Rice after soaking.  Bubbles and/or a light white film are natural.  As long as it smells good and pleasantly sour, it is safe.
Rice after soaking. Bubbles and/or a light white film are natural. As long as it smells good and pleasantly sour, it is safe.
The batter should be fairly soupy but not too watery.  How thin you make it depends on how thin you want the dosas.
The batter should be fairly soupy but not too watery. How thin you make it depends on how thin you want the dosas.
When the dosas begin to look dark around the edges they are ready to flip.
When the dosas begin to look dark around the edges they are ready to flip.
Nifty trick for oiling your pan.  Use an onion dipped in oil to rub the oil around the pan.  Be careful!  Tongs are recommended.
Nifty trick for oiling your pan. Use an onion dipped in oil to rub the oil around the pan. Be careful! Tongs are recommended.

This recipe has three main parts:


1. Soaking the rice and lentils separately for around 12-24 hours.

2. Grinding them up, mixing them together, adding salt, and culturing for around 12-18 more hours.

3. Cooking.

The timing can be tricky on this one, but rest assured, it is fairly flexible, so don’t worry too much. I like to start part 1 at night, grind them up the following night, and then cook them the following day. If you get tired before you’ve cooked the whole batch, it will be fine for a few more hours. The batter also does pretty well in the fridge for a few days. It seems, however, that they stick to the pan more when they are cold, so it may help to allow them to come to room temperature if they have been in the fridge.

This recipe makes about 30 four-inch dosas, which can take a while. You can easily make a smaller batch by using less lentils and rice. You should use around two parts rice to one part lentils.

Instructions

Part 1:

1. Combine 2 cups brown rice with ¼ cup rice water or 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar. Add 4 cups water.

2. Rinse lentils.

3. In a separate container, combine 1 cup rinsed lentils with 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar, and 4 cups water.

4. Put both containers in a warm place for about 24 hours.

Part 2:

1. Rinse lentils.

2. Reserve some rice water for future batches.

3. Puree rice in batches with enough rice water to allow the blender to run. The smoother you make the puree the thinner and smoother you can make the dosas.

4. Puree lentils with rice water or plain water.

5. Combine lentils and rice with salt and enough water to make a batter. It is better to make it too thick than too thin.

6. Cover and place in a warm place for about 12 hours.

Part 3:

1. Preheat skillet (preferably cast iron).

2. Drop in a small amount of butter or oil to cover bottom of the skillet.

3. Drop in a small amount of batter to test the skillet. If it doesn’t sizzle, it is not hot enough. If it is smoking it is too hot.

4. Drop in small portions of batter (I prefer about 3 Tbsp) to make the dosas.

5. When the dosas become darkened around the edges, flip them and allow them to cook for a few more minutes.

6. When they are done on both sides, remove them to a rack or plate.

7. Serve them hot or room temperature, but preferably not cold.

Dosadillas can be made one at a time while you are frying dosas.  Just add cheese right after you flip the dosa.
Dosadillas can be made one at a time while you are frying dosas. Just add cheese right after you flip the dosa.
Cast your vote for Dosas

How to Use Dosas

These make pretty good pbj’s or abj’s (almond butter and jelly). However, my favorite thing to do with them is to make what my sister calls dosadillas. These are quite easy. Simply put a slice of cheddar cheese (or a cheese of your choice) on each dosa and broil them for about 2 minutes (set a timer!) or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

In the same way you can make little dosa pizzas with sauce, cheese, and any toppings you choose.

Most of the time we eat dosas just with a bit of butter. The kids love them and they are great to bring along.

Use them in place of pitas or bread. Serve them with peanut butter or tahini. Mix crushed garlic or bits of red bell pepper in with the batter for some extra flavor. Get creative! This is a very versatile recipe and I would love to hear your ideas!

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    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I love dosa! My good friend Nina makes them for us from time to time. She learned to make them from her mother who is from India. Imagine my delight when I learned they were gluten-free! Delish! Nina's going to be jealous when she hears that I can make them, too. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    • Organic Mama profile image
      Author

      Amelia Walker 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thanks MickiS. I'd love to hear how they turn out for you!

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