Dr. Padma Garvey

The plant-based Doctor Mom 

Purple Dosas


Dosas are a very popular dish from South India.  They are made out of lentils and rice, stuffed with potatoes.

I started making mine with black rice instead of white.  The result is a deep purple color.

The technique for making the dosa can take some time to perfect so don't be discouraged if you don't get them right away.  Learning how to make lentil crepes like dosas is a good way to add some variety into your meals.

In a large bowl soak one cup of urad dal and one cup of black rice in the refrigerator.  This one to one ratio of dal to rice produces excellent results.  Alternatively, you could do one cup urad dal to 1/2 cup of black rice and 1/2 cup of quinoa or barley.  You can make more batter but just keep the ratio.  The water line should exceed the dal and rice by several inches.  You can get urad dal at any Indian grocery store.  They will need to soak for at least 8 hours.  After 8 hours, place the rice and dal into a blender without the water you had them soaking in.  Add some fresh water to the blender, just to the level of the dal and lentils.  Puree thoroughly.  You may need to add more water to get the mixture to blend well.  You want your batter to be smooth and have the consistency of a creamy soup.  Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, place four large red skinned potatoes into cold water (whole/with the peel) and start to boil until fork tender.  Then remove from water and set aside.  In a large skillet over medium heat, place add one teaspoon of oil, add the following ingredients in order of appearance:  1/2 cup of coarsely chopped raw cashews, one tablespoon of urad dal, one teaspoon of black mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds.  When the mustard seeds start to pop, add one large white onion cut into thin strips.  Add a pinch of salt and stir occasionally until the onions are starting to caramelize.  You can add hot green chilies if you like your food spicy  (start with one the first time).  You may need to add a little water to get the onions to really cook.  Mash your potatoes with skin and add to the onions.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste.  Mix some more.  You may need to add some water to get the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Add salt to taste at the end.  Remove from heat.

You need a large, flat, smooth, nonstick griddle.  Place on medium to high heat.  When the griddle is hot, place two ladles of the batter in the center of the griddle.  Immediately start spreading the batter with your ladle in ever expanding concentric circles until the batter has formed a large, thin circle.  Wait until the dosas edges start to brown before you attempt to flip your dosa to cook the other side.  Generally you cook the second side for a shorter period of time.  You don't want your second side to get too crispy.  Remove from griddle and place on a plate.

Take your cooked dosa with crispy side down.  Place a few tablespoons of the potato filling in the center of the dosa.  Roll your dosa up like a tube and enjoy. 


If you want to make some traditional dips to go along with your dosa, try peanut chutney.

Roast 1/2 cup of raw, peanuts until slightly brown.  Let cool and place in your blender.  Next take a small sauté pan, heat over medium flame and add one teaspoon of oil add the following ingredients in order of appearance.  One tablespoon urad dal, one teaspoon black mustard seeds, two dried red chilies, and a dash of hingh powder.  When black mustard seeds start to pop, remove from flame, cover and let cool.  Add to blender.  Add one tablespoon of dried, unsweetened coconut gratings, add enough water so you can puree your ingredients thoroughly.  Add salt to taste.