I-Bleed-Orange-and-Green Mini Masala Dosas

DSC_6314 As a tribute to my Alma Mater, I decided to make orange and green masala dosa.

Ok Disclaimer--This is not really a dosa. In Tamil, this more closely resembles an Adai, a cousin of the dosa made with different types of lentils and rice.  I substituted rice  in this recipe with quinoa and brown rice. Basically it is a spicy, savory protein-packed pancake. Instead of the traditional potato masala you find in masala dosa, I decided to use sweet potatoes. The result: a healthier version of a South Indian breakfast classic!

Read on for the recipe…

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Green “Dosa”

You will need:

  • DSC_62101/4 cup green split peas
  • 1/4 cup yellow split lentil (moong dal)
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • Asafatoedia powder (a pinch)
  • Frozen spinach (a handful)
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt

Prep:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup split yellow peas (yellow moong dal) and 1/4 cup green split peas, 1 tbsp of urad dal and 1/4 cup of brown rice. If you don’t have these specific lentils, feel free to use whichever lentils you find.

2. Wash thoroughly until it rinses clear.

3. Soak the lentils  and rice overnight.

4. Separately, cook about 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water. It’s good to have a little extra quinoa in case the batter gets too watery.

The batter: 

1. Once the lentils are soaked overnight, combine all the ingredients in a blender with 2 dried red chillies, 1/2 tsp asafoteida powder, and some salt. I also added a handfull of defrosted frozen spinach to create the green color.

2. Add in about 1/2 a cup of quinoa and blend the ingredients until it forms a batter.

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To make the  pancakes: 

1. It is important to have the right consistency when making the pancakes. If there is too much water, the pancakes will remain soft in the middle, and won’t flip. The best thing to do is to test a small pancake on a steaming hot pan. If needed add more water. If you find the consistency is too watery, you can add a tablespoon of rice flour or ground quinoa.

2. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil or vegetable oil to the pan. I usually use a little bit of both.

3. For regular dosa, the technique is to pour a ladle of batter and spread the batter around the pan using the ladle from the center to the edges in a circular motion. For these mini dosas, just pour a tablespoon of the batter, and lightly spread it using the spoon. The batter should look like the pictures below.

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You’ll know when to flip it when the edges start to brown. When this happens, gently separate the pancake from the pan  with a spatula. If it sticks, give it more time. If not, flip.  The pan should be hot, but if it is too hot, the bottom of the dosa will burn and it will not cook through. This will take a few tries, so be patient, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a perfectly crispy and delicious dosa. Congrats!

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Sweet Potato Masala

sweet potatoes

 Yummmm Sweet potatoes…It’s that time of the year and these little guys are in abundance. The good thing is that they are way healthier than their non-sweet starchy cousin the potato. Sweet potatoes have a ton of nutrients, including Beta Carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Fiber.

You will need:

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • A handful of frozen peas for color
  • ginger or ginger paste
  • mustard seeds
  • asafoetida (a sprinkling)
  • turmeric powder
  • curry leaves
  • cilantro
  • 1 smallish orange pepper (red pepper should work too)
  • 1/4 diced jalapeno (I used red)  or red chilli powder

Directions: 

1. Cut the sweet potatoes in three sections lengthwise, and then into 3/4 inch cubes.

2. In a wok or large pan, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable  or canola oil and add 1 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds.

3. Once the mustard seeds  start to pop, add about 1 tsp of grated ginger or ginger paste. (The quantity  of ginger depends on  how sharp you want it), sliced onions, orange pepper to pan.

4.  Sprinkle the veggies with a little bit of tumeric powder and just a little bit of asafoetida powder. Too much will give it a strong smell. Optional to add  a pinch of red chilli powder if you like it spicy.

5. Add the diced sweet potatoes to the pan, with about a tsp of salt, and a handful of frozen peas.

6. Stir to combine and allow to stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add a few tbsps of water and reduce the flame to medium. Cover, stirring occasionally, and adding water as needed until sweet potatoes are soft. Before the dish finishes cooking, add a handful of curry leaves. My mom has a curry leaf tree in her backyard, so I was able to get fresh curry leaves, but you can also get them dry or refrigerated from the Indian store. I would say the curry leaves are an essential component to this dish. They are what make this a “masala.”

7. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot along the green dosas!

Enjoy, and GO CANES!

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