Sunday, September 13, 2009

Daring Cooks/Indian Dosas

I have officially been shoved right back to reality, and I don't like it one bit. In August when I was still reveling in the joys of vacation and studying abroad I made this month's Daring Cooks challenge: Indian Dosas with Chickpea filling. The September Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Debyi from Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She choose Indian Dosas. This was a huge hit, I made it out of the beach for a big family dinner and everyone just could not get enough. Luckily I doubled the recipe and we had leftovers for days, so they really had no choice but to keep eating it.

The only aspect I struggled with was the dosa pancakes themselves which for some reason were not cooking and just wound up being soggy and somewhat flavorless. I also made jasmin rice to go along with this dish, so I would say that that was a much better accompaniment. I absolutely LOVED the curry sauce, I made 4 quarts of it and froze it because it was just so tasty and versatile that it is something I always want to have on hand.

I am a Daring Baker as well as a Daring Cook and I am always thrilled by the challenges we get. I am a new blogger (and possibly a completely UNREAD blogger), but I do believe that getting involved in community oriented online activities such as DC and DB, is not only a way to get some more recognition but it is also a positive motivator and definitely helps people like me forge on.

On another note, I want you all to know that I am back to school and back to blogging. For me, cooking is a thrill and challenge every time and I just love sharing it with others. If someone offered me an endless pantry and a beautiful kitchen with every appliance and gadget in the world, on the condition that I can neither tell anyone, nor share the food I make with anyone, I wouldn't take the opportunity. That might sound crazy, but for me cooking is taking care of myself by sharing with others. It invigorates and inspires me.

I would love to get feedback and suggestions from my fellow bloggers on ideas and suggestions of what I can do to make this blog better, more fun, more interesting. I am curious to hear anything and everything. Thank you for reading!

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 (I forgot & didn't start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

Serves 4

Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skillet
ladle (or large spoon)
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

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
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.


Simon said...

I found that the problem with the dosa itself was getting it thin enough to do away with the thick sponginess which I didn't find particularly pleasant.

Advice-wise (only cause you've asked so nicely ;P), learn the basics of food writing, photography and web design, learn from more experienced bloggers wherever possible and most importantly in my eyes, keep up the momentum of regular blogging. I'm hardly an expert by any means as I have much to learn myself. However, this is what I find works for me.

The Trinigourmet said...

Good post Frenchie :) Don't worry most of us longer food bloggers would cringe at our earliest posts. I agree with SImon. Keep writing, keep taking pics, learn and emulate from those you admire and never stop reading as much as you can on all aspects of food and blogging :)

Also I almost didn't post this because my prior attempts to leave a comment failed due to some strange layers action when one tries to post. The embedded dialogue box cut off visually at the word verification screen and I couldn't see where to input the captcha. Finally figured out that pressing the scroll key solved the problem but it wasn't very intuitive or explained :) It may be a layout thing that can be adjusted though :)

Rose said...

Great job!!!! I've found the hardest part about getting more blog exposure has been taking the time to REALLY comment on as many people's blogs as possible. Exposure!

The two above definitely nailed a lot of the other topics :) Also, keep posting on the DC/DB forums! =) You're doing great!

Rose said...

Lastly, there seems to be a problem posting comments on here, maybe go back to a basic layout?

Frenchie said...

Thanks for the help so far! I have adjusted the comment format and hopefully this will no longer be an issue for anyone. If anyone has a problem trying to comment from here on out, please let me know. Thank you!

Charli said...

I'm still pretty new to the food blogosphere as well, so I'm right there with you trying to get things figured out! Basically I'd just echo everyone else's comments. Check out others blogs for stylistic ideas (good and bad) and exposure through comments. Be yourself and have fun with it!

I loved that curry sauce too!

Mary said...

You've done a great job with this challenge. I hope you enjoyed the dosas. I thought it was a fun challenge.

Lauren said...

Wonderful job with this challenge!! Your dosas look great =D. In terms of the blog, go to the experts, don't be afraid to play with things, and always look for ways to make it better.

Heather B said...

Great job on your dosas! My earlier posts make me cringe but they get better the more you work at it. Just takes some time and practice to get the hang of blogging! Can't wait to see more from you!

TeaLady said...

Your dosas look tasty. It was an intriguing challenge. I liked the taste,but had trouble getting them thin. Practice, practice, practice.

Thanks for coming by for a visit.

You have a nice blog.

Amy I. said...

Great work and welcome to the blogging world! I love the sense of community that the Daring Kitchen has brought to my blogging experience. A lot of your words in this post about feeling inspired and challenged totally resonated with me, that's what it's all about :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post too!

Jenn said...

They look great, great job with this month's challenge!

As far as tips for making the blog better, I would just say larger pics!! I love to drool over the awesome food everyone makes :)

Olive said...

Hi Frenchie:)

we're on the same ground, I am new to blogging too. I am not a good writer and photographer, my first photos were horrible but I did not let that stop me.

my advice: follow the advice posted in the above comments, that's what I'm trying to do.

On your dosas: I'm sure it's delicious after all we used the same recipe, I agree with you on the sauce, it's the best part of the whole dish for me

I'll come back here for sure and read your posts.

BTW, I have the same cooling racks as yours ;)

~Madeline~ said...

I love this sauce too. I have some waiting in the freezer as well.

Great advice above. Just keep writing and taking photos and continue to challenge yourself. But most importantly, just have fun!