Sunday, 26 May 2013

Red Lentil Dosas

When I found out that the Random Recipe challenge for this month was bread themed I knew that I had to make the effort to enter. I've mentioned the bread book that I like to bake from in several posts before so this is the one that I picked. I opened the book at a random page and it landed on page 246 which happened to be red lentil dosas. I've looked at this recipe several times in the past but thought it might be a bit challenging. I hadn't tried a dosa before making these although I have seen them being made on TV cookery shows and wasn't sure how achievable they would be at home. To make them in Indian restaurants, the chefs cook them on a large hot plate and spread the batter out until it is very thin. I only have a 20cm non-stick frying pan so mine ended up a bit on the thick side but they tasted great and I will definitely be making them again.

These dosas are different to other Indian breads because they don't actually contain any flour. Instead they are made from a mixture of ground and fermented red lentils and long grain rice. This means it takes a couple of days before they are ready to be cooked. The result is actually more like a pancake than a bread and they are traditionally served for breakfast with chutney. I chose to serve these with a spicy beef casserole. My boyfriend is often initially sceptical of new foods but he enjoyed them too, definitely a success.

Ingredients - makes 6 (Recipe adapted from Bread by Christine Ingram & Jennie Shapter)

150g long grain rice
50g red lentils
250ml warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
oil for frying and drizzling

  • In a bowl soak the lentils and rice in the water for 8 hours
  • Drain and reserve the water, blend the lentils and rice together in a food processor until smooth then blend in the reserved water. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 24 hours to ferment.
  • When you are ready to cook the dosas add the salt, turmeric, pepper and coriander to the bowl and stir to combine. 
  • Heat a heavy frying pan until it is hot and add a little oil, spoon in 2-3 tbsp of batter and use the base of a soup spoon or ladle to spread the batter to a circle approx 15cm diameter (I don't actually own either of these and found it a struggle to spread the batter). Cook for 1.5 - 2 minutes or until set then drizzle a little oil over the dosa and around the edge, carefully flip over and cook for a minute of until golden. Keep warm in a low oven over simmering water whilst cooking the rest. 
I found that when it came to mixing in the spices that my batter seemed a little dry so I added a couple of spoonfuls of water. The recipe didn't say to cover the bowl when soaking the lentils and rice but I think maybe it should to prevent evaporation of the water. My dosas broke apart quite a bit when trying to flip them, perhaps my batter was still a little on the thick side so maybe it needed an extra splash of water.

Thanks to Dom for picking bread as the theme otherwise I probably would've kept on putting off making these. I'm entering these into Random Recipes and Made With Love Mondays. I'm also entering into Credit Crunch Munch run by Helen and Camilla, this month's host is Janice, I didn't add up the total cost but apart from the fresh herbs these use cheap storecupboard ingredients. Also as these have coriander I'm going to link up to Herbs On Saturday as well, this month hosted by Delicieux.



  1. These are right up my street as I love all the ingredients here and being thrifty too is a bonus. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch with these!

    1. I love how cheap they were to make, literally pennies. Needs a bit of forward planning to ferment the batter but not much time involved to actually make them which is great :)

  2. Yum! As you know I'm on a major bread-learning-baking-challenge at the moment, and these look like exactly the type of thing Gary and I would love! Thanks for sharing :-)
    The Pantry Door

    1. These are definitely something you should try on your bread mission, not quite as tricky as they sound and even if they break a bit like mine did, they still taste good.

  3. I've never tried to make dosas myself, but love the use of the lentils! And that there's no need to buy any special flour or anything like that... Very tasty and brave of you for attempting!

  4. Wow. They look do yummy. People have gone to such amazing efforts for this months challenge and I'm so pleased you stuck to your guns and went ahead. I do love a dosa and the idea of the ingredients is also very appealing. Thanks so much for the brilliant entry xx

    1. So glad you picked bread as the theme this month, wondering what you're going to set us next month now...

  5. They sound divine, well done you on taking on this challenge and thanks for entering Credit Crunch Munch

  6. What an interesting recipe! Your Dosas look lovely and I love the idea of them although I have never tried anything like them before. Very adventurous cooking, I love it! Thanks for entering Herbs On Saturday x

  7. Love Indian dishes and these would go perfectly. I was amazed that these contain no flour perfect - gluten free recipe.

  8. These look gorgeous. really tasty. We all love Indian food and i usually make Naan to eat with, but I might give these a go next time


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