WARNING: You need to start this recipe two days in advance. It’s worth it.
Dosa is a Southern Indian pancake or crepe made from fermented rice and mung beans … well, mine are. This recipe is really quite different from the traditional version, in which dosa are made with white rice, urad dal (skinned black lentils), rice flakes and fenugreek seed.
Instead of white rice, I use brown — usually brown basmati. I prefer brown rice because it is more nutritionally dense, and has a higher fiber and protein profile. I use mung beans rather than dal because, according to Ayurvedic medicine, mung beans are considered to be a deeply detoxifying and healing food. Mung beans also have a low glycemic index value, and they are high in protein and alkalizing.
All beans and legumes should be soaked overnight, which will do two things:
- Eliminate harmful anti-nutrients and make the legumes/beans more digestible, which is gentler on your tummy
- Reduce the cooking time.
For this recipe, we aren’t going to cook the beans; rather, we are going to ferment them. I usually make my batter and then add seasoning and salsa verde (green sauce). Sometimes, if the greens in our garden aren’t in abundance, I’ll instead add to the batter a heaped teaspoon of ground turmeric and maybe a little ground ginger.
We love eating dosa for breakfast. Any leftovers, we’ll snack on during the day. In my opinion, dosa are best eaten freshly made, as they tend to go rubbery if refrigerated.
dairy free | gluten free | vegetarian | vegan option
Note: I usually double this recipe. The dosa batter will keep, covered in the fridge, for a week.
½ cup mung beans, well rinsed
1 cup brown or brown basmati rice, well rinsed
4 cups water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
We whip up batches of salsa verde every second day to use liberally on a variety of meals — wherever we want to add colour, zest and piquancy. The ingredients change depending on what we are growing. We’ve recently been using parsley because our parsley patch has grown wild. You could use mint, coriander, basil, rocket, chives, sorrel or watercress, and you could add anchovies, vinegar (instead of lemon juice), Dijon mustard, sugar, honey, cornichons or gherkins, chilli or Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce. Experiment and see what floats your boat. When we were prepping salsa verde in my restaurant kitchen, we would always chop the parsley by hand; however, at home, I like to blast it quickly in the NutriBullet.
large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed (optional)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, peeled (optional)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, de-stoned and sliced lengthways
4 organic fresh eggs
1 tablespoon apple cider or white vinegar
micro herbs or herbs of your choice from your garden
To make the dosa, place mung beans and brown rice in a large glass bowl, and add water and vinegar. The vinegar helps to remove the anti-nutrients. Soak overnight. The next day, rinse the beans and rice well. Place in a high-speed blender. Add ½ cup of water to the blender or enough to cover the grains and legumes. Blend to a smooth batter, pour the batter back in the glass bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel. The batter will double in volume, so make sure the bowl is large enough. Leave on the bench to ferment overnight.
To make the salsa verde, simply place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend to create a loose green paste. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water. Add two tablespoons of salsa verde, one teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to the dosa batter. Stir well and check the consistency of the batter is like pouring cream. You may need to add some more water.
Heat a cast-iron crepe pan to a medium heat and add one teaspoon of ghee or your preferred cooking oil. Pour a ladle of batter into the pan and spread with the back of a large spoon to create an even round crepe (dosa). Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove when cooked through and repeat with the remaining batter.
To poach the eggs, use a 30 cm cast iron skillet, or simply use a frying pan. Fill the skillet with about 4 cm of water. Bring the water to the boil, add vinegar, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a cup and gently slide into hot water. Cover with a lid or tray and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the whites are firm and the yolks are soft but not too runny — just right. Remove the eggs carefully with a slotted spoon and drain in a bowl lined with absorbent paper towels, folded in quarters.
To serve, place a dosa on a plate, smear with salsa verde, add avocado slices, and top with perfect poached eggs and garden herbs. Add freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!