For this month's Daring Cooks challenge, Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen! has chosen Indian Dosas (Vegan Style) from the cookbook reFresh: Contemporary Vegan Recipes From the Award Winning Fresh Restaurants by Ruth Tal. You can find the recipe for Indian Dosas, Curried Garbanzo Filling and Coconut Curry Sauce here.
Although I told myself I would not prepare the recipe a day or two before the post was due, that is once again what happened. It all went well, except the photo-taking part. As a result, I don't have an image of the assembled dosas to share. I will rely on your imagination to make up for that.
I followed the given recipe to make the batter (pastella) for dosas, using soy milk (latte di soia). I rarely make pancakes, but my lack of experience was not a problem: the batter was easy to work with and only one dosa was badly injured when I flipped it.
Debyi allowed us free rein in terms of filling and sauce, the only requirement being to keep them both vegan. I decided to improvise using available ingredients. I started with half a pound of fagioli borlotti freschi (fresh cranberry beans, weighed after being shelled — more on these in an upcoming post). I cooked the beans in enough water to cover them by an inch, together with three slices of an onion, a bay leaf, a smashed garlic clove and a couple of parsley sprigs. Once the beans were ready, I turned off the heat and let them cool, then removed the aromatics and drained them. Finally, I seasoned them with some sea salt.
In the meantime, I started to slow-roast a pound of San Marzano-like tomatoes (pomodori). The inspiration here came from this recipe by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. I cut the tomatoes by half and seasoned them with a mix of finely chopped fresh herbs (winter savory, marjoram and parsley) and a bit of salt. I then placed them, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and baked them at 250 F for five hours without turning them. When they were cool, I slipped off the skin and spooned them in a bowl, where I mashed them with a fork. Finally, I added the beans, mixed well and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
For the topping, I set my eyes on some yellow heirloom tomatoes I had, compliments of my CSA box, and decided to make a simple sauce. Last year, I learned to use my grater to quickly turn fresh tomatoes into crushed tomatoes using this tecnique, and that is what I did. In a small saucepan, I warmed up a bit of olive oil, then added two garlic cloves, minced, and a few leaves of pineapple sage (salvia ananas), slivered. When they became fragrant, I added the crushed tomatoes and cooked, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then adjusted the salt.
While I prepared the dosas, I warmed up the bean filling and tomato topping and then served them all together. The dish was well received by the people around the table. Looking back, I feel that, once again, in preparing a dish from another culinary tradition, I gave it a decidedly Italian twist.
I am sure you will find a lot of photographs to admire, when you browse the creations of my fellow Daring Cooks. A special thanks to Debyi for a very nice challenge.