Sourdough Rava Dosas with Potato Chickpea Masala


rava dosa

Rava dosas, a savory dish that is popular in South India, are crêpes typically made with semolina and rice flours and stuffed with cooked vegetables blended in complex spices that Indian dishes are known for.  I visited a local Indian market a while back and brought home a number of herbs and spices as well as various flours, of which, a white coarse semolina, that has waited to be used.  So when I saw Rava Dosas featured on Gourmet magazine I could not be happier at a chance to make another Indian dish –second actually– that is everything vegetarian.

That evening I also needed something quick (and tasty) for dinner while waiting to turn, shape and bake this bread. Indeed it only took me an hour or so from washing, chopping, cooking the stuffing and a breeze to make the wrappers.   I had some excess sourdough starter (at 100% hydration) so used it in place of the called for all-purpose flour adjusting the amount of water to keep the batter’s consistency as formulated. The batter is very thin; the mixed flour seems to stay at the bottom while the liquid floating above it, so just stir or whisk it well before pouring it into the skillet.  The unused batter can be stored, well covered, in the fridge.  You can halve or double the recipe.  One more thing, you do need a non-stick skillet, absolutely no substitution here unless you don’t mind to wrestle with the dosa and the cooking tool.

I had a delicious meal and plenty more for a few more meals later.  I ate the dosas  stuffed and also unadorned.  The crêpe is quite flavorful –a noticeable sourdough taste– bursting with crunches of cumin seeds.  The filling is  complexly hearty, as expected of Indian food, with the richness of roasted coconut throughout.  It’s definitely a keeper recipe.

Rava Dosas with Potato Chickpea Masala

Recipe from November 2009 Gourmet Magazine

Serve 4; Active Time: 40 minutes; Start to Finish: 1 hour

For Masala Filling

    1.5 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
    1/3 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    1 (3-inch) fresh jalapeño, coarsely chopped, including seeds
    1 (2 1/2-inch) piece of peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, smashed
    1 Tablespoon curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 3/4 cups water, divided
    1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
    1 (15 to 19-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw)
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For Rava Dosas

    1/2 cup semolina flour
    1/2 cup rice flour –I use brown rice flour–
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour   (I use 100 g white starter at 100% hydration, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour )
    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups water   (I use 1 3/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons adjusting the water in the starter above)
    Vegetable oil for brushing

Making Masala Filling

Peel potatoes and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.  Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water.

Toast coconut in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a small bowl and wipe out skillet.  Toast cumin seeds in skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently, until fragrant and just a shade darker, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to another small bowl.  Reserve skillet.

Purée jalapeño, ginger, and garlic in a blender (I used a small food processor) with curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, oil, 1/4 cup of water, and 1 tsp salt until smooth.  Transfer purée to skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes, then add to onion mixture with cumin seeds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Add chickpeas and remaining 1 1/2 cups of water, scrapping up any brown bits, then briskly simmer, covered, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted coconut and cilantro.

Make dosas while potatoes cook

Whisk flours, cumin seeds, salt, and water in a bowl.

Generously brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers.  Pour 1/2 cup batter into skillet, swirling until bottom is coated.  Cook, undisturbed, until dosas is set and edges are golden, about 2 minutes.  Flip using a rubber spatula and cook dosa until underside is golden in spots, about 1 minute more.  Transfer to a plate.  Make more dosas with remaining batter, stacking and covering loosely with foil to keep warm.

To serve, spoon masala filling into dosas.

Cooks’ Note: Masala filling, without coconut and cilantro, can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled.  Reheat before stirring in coconut and cilantro.

Mily’s Note: It took me much longer to cook the dosas so cook it to your liking however long it might take.


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