Dosa is an Indian savoury crêpe made with fermented rice and black lentil (urad dal) batter and cooked only on one side until crispy. Besan dosa (also known as besan cheela or besan puda) is made with gram flour (chickpea flour), cooked on both sides and are easier to prepare as they don't require fermentation. They are traditionally served for breakfast with a variety of chutneys or as accompaniment to stews or gravies.
Besan (gram flour) is gluten-free and imparts a beautiful golden yellow colour to dishes. These dosas can be made plain or with finely chopped or shredded vegetables. I've previously posted Manjula's Besan Sooji Laddoos, those delicious gram flour-based sweets. Besan dosa (puda) is another one of her famous recipes and a great way to enjoy zucchini. I've made it several times, usually in the form of rolls with different fillings. Since these are not some typical crêpes, I recommend you watch Manjula's video on how to make them.
- 1 cup besan, sifted
- 1/4 cup rice flour (optional - the first time I made them I replaced it with more besan, they were equally delicious)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chopped green chili (I mostly omit it because I don't usually eat spicy food for breakfast)
Mix well. Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup water to make a thick batter.
Add 1 cup shredded zucchini (skin on for better texture and colour). Note: Manjula's zucchini seems to be shredded medium, I had to choose between finely grated or coarse, so I went for finely.
Mix well to combine.
Heat a non-stick pan or griddle on medium. Pour 1/3 cup batter and spread it around quickly with the back of a spoon, starting from the centre and moving outwards in circular motion until it is evenly spread. Let it cook for 30 sec - 1 min until it's dry on top. Drizzle 1/2 tsp oil and spread it around using the back of a spoon.
The cooked side should be crispy and golden-brown. Using a spatula, flip the dosa and let it cook for a few seconds more, pressing down with the spatula to ensure even cooking.
Invert the dosa onto a plate and fold it in half. Finish making all the dosas (I made 6-7) and serve.
The first time I made them I spread them with cream cheese, placed some iceberg lettuce leaves on top and rolled them. Another time I filled them with wilted kale and red pepper, flavoured with ginger and garlic.
For more colour and flavour variation, check out my yellow Carrot Wraps, pink/red Beet Wraps and green Spinach Wraps.
Update 14 Feb 2013: A few Indian friends were kind enough to explain to me the difference between Dosa and Cheela - dosa is basically a fermented crêpe made from rice and urad dal (black lentils); cheela (also chila or chilla) is made from besan (chickpea flour) and doesn't require fermentation (so this recipe is in fact Besan Cheela). While the preparation is different for dosa and cheela, the cooking method is similar. In parts of India the terms are used interchangeably.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
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