“The dosa—a light crisp crepe made of rice and lentils—is eaten by millions of South Indians every day,” is how Dosa Kitchen begins. The book’s authors, Nash Patel and Leda Scheintaub, continue by saying “when you taste a dosa, you’ll instantly fall in love with its seductively sour, tangy, flavor and airy crisp texture.” I couldn’t agree with them more.
At the heart of nearly all of Patel’s and Scheintaub’s recipes is their basic dosa batter, which does require hours of soaking and fermenting but lasts for about a month in the fridge. (They do point out that you can buy premade batter at Indian grocery stores if you don’t want to bother waiting around.)
The basic premise of the book is that the dosa can serve as the base for just about any ingredient combination—from eggs to falafel to pulled pork with tamarind barbecue chutney. Thanks to this versatility it wouldn’t surprise me if in a few years that the dosa suddenly becomes an American staple just like the tortilla has become ubiquitous on restaurant menus.
So where do you start? “A cheese dosa is a gateway dosa for many,” writes the authors. And the perfect dish for them to serve given that they park their food truck outside Grafton Village Cheese in Brattleboro, Vermont.
No matter what toppings you start with, you’ll no doubt find ever more ways to enjoy dosas.
- Batter for 2 Dosa Pancakes
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar or other melting cheese
- Chutney of choice (optional)
- Begin making the first dosa pancake.
- After you’ve flipped it and it’s just about done, sprinkle a half cup of cheese all over the pancake and leave for a few seconds to melt.
- Remove the dosa and place it on a plate.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Serve open-face or fold in half and cut into wedges or triangles, with chutney for dipping alongside, if you like.
- Cheese and Chile Pancake: Sprinkle a handful of sliced fresh chiles over the cheese.
- Tomato, Onion, and Chile Cheese Pancake: Layer sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, and sliced fresh chiles over the cheese.
- Margherita: Use fresh mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar, and layer tomato slices and fresh basil leaves over the cheese.
Reprinted from Dosa Kitchen. Copyright © 2018 by Nash Patel and Leda Scheintaub. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.