Besan dosas are a fantastic gluten-free alternative to regular flatbreads. They can be made simple or filled with different vegetables, used as sandwich wraps or as accompaniment for curries.
This recipe makes 7-8 thin dosas. If made a little thicker, they would be great for Quesadillas. Besan dosas are excellent for breakfast - rich in fiber and protein, they are filling and satisfying, providing slow-release energy. Besan (chickpea flour) is also packed with minerals and vitamins (great source of iron, folate, magnesium and manganese). You can read more about the health benefits of chickpeas and fiber in my Chickpea Nuggets and Burgers post.
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan; gram flour)
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2 tsp finely grated ginger root
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup finely grated carrot (1 large carrot)
- 1/4 cup oil, for cooking the dosas (I use sunflower oil)
Note: 1 cup = 250 ml. I use a 16.5 cm/6.5'' pan. If you use a larger pan and wish to make large dosas, simply increase the amount of batter for each.
The dosa should remain golden on both sides. Reduce the heat if they turn brown. If serving right away, you can stack and cover them with a kitchen towel to remain soft and warm. When making them in advance, cover the inside of a pan with a large kitchen towel letting the edges hang over the pan, place the dosas inside as you make them, cover them with the towel and place the lid on top. When all dosas are done transfer them to an airtight container. Eat within 1-2 days. If they become too dry, you can steam them.
For a little heat you can add cayenne pepper, chili powder or finely chopped fresh chilis to the batter.
I like dosa sandwiches with fresh veggies like cucumber, tomato, red pepper, iceberg lettuce and lemon juice (combine the dosas with vitamin C-rich veggies to better absorb the iron), but also spread with hummus and rolled up like cigars.
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!:)
If you've tried these wraps I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!