Vegan masala dosa

Vegan masala dosa

vegan masala dosa

After about 3 years of relative stability, we’ve decided to turn our lives upside down, pack our bags again and move to the other side (almost) of the world. So far, we’ve really been enjoying Bristol.

Yes, the weather isn’t a patch on Greek island weather on a good day, but there is so much more happening here than on Paros in winter time. I go crazy every time we step into a niche food shop as the majority of the ingredients that were off limits to me for the past 3 years are now at my fingertips. I cannot wait to be able to create recipes again.

We are facing a bit of an issue with finding accommodation as most landlords do not appreciate us having a cat, so it’s a bit of a struggle. It looks like we may need to rent something unfurnished, which isn’t ideal but certainly doable.

Duncan is looking for a job as, while he has been enjoying creating videos for you guys, he misses coding and meeting people with similar interests to his (don’t worry, he’ll keep creating videos though). Tina and I are encouraging him as while it’s nice to have him around, we think it would be a welcome change for him.

Tina is loving the massive garden of Duncan’s relatives (where we are staying right now) although she did disappear for 36 hours at some point and we raised a bit of an alarm in the neighbourhood. She strolled back in after a day and a half as if nothing happened…Cats, eh? We had no idea where she was but the next door neighbour has a bird feeding table and we suspect she might have just sat there with her mouth twitching the whole time.

She is still petrified of Biscuits – the resident bunny rabbit, which may be big but that’s just because she is insanely fluffy. She has also spotted some foxes who visit the garden now and again so she has plenty of new things to sniff at and explore and she does look rather happy. She is also way more affectionate than she has ever been, which is a nice side effect of our traumatic journey, we think.

So recipe creation has to wait until we find a place to live, but here is a recipe for vegan masala dosa, which I found in one of my favourite vegan cookbooks Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney. It’s not the quickest recipe to make as the batter ingredients require soaking overnight and then fermenting for another 24 hours, BUT that’s the way to make proper dosa batter and most of that time is passive time anyway so don’t let that stop you from trying!

vegan masala dosa filling

vegan masala dosa side

vegan masala dosa portion

60 min
45 min
60 min
45 min

DOSA BATTER (must make 48 hrs in advance)

  • 300 g / 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 100 g / heaped ½ cup urid dal (split husked black lentils), I used unhusked
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 2 small green chillies, diced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced finely
  • 2.5 cm / 1″ ginger root, diced finely
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • chilli flakes or powder, to taste
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts, pan-roasted
  • fresh coriander, to serve
  • sambal oelek, to serve


  • 100 g / 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1-2 tsp finely grated ginger root
  • 1 small green chilli, deseeded
  • salt, to taste
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 dried curry leaves


  1. Place rinsed basmati rice in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, place dal and fenugreek seeds. Fill both bowls with water so that the dry ingredients are well covered and set aside for 8 hours (or overnight) to soak.
  2. The next day, place drained (don’t throw away the soaking water just yet as it will come in handy) rice, dal and fenugreek seeds in a blender. Add ¾ cup / 180 ml of soaking liquid and salt and blend until super smooth. Place the batter in a large bowl, cover with a piece of cling film (glad wrap) and set aside in a warm place (for about 8 hours / overnight) so that the batter ferments.
  3. If you are ready to fry the dosa pancakes, check the batter’s consistency. It should be somewhere between pancake and crepe batter. Heat up a medium frying pan on a low-medium oil, brush it with a generous amount of vegetable oil and ladle about 2-3 tablespoons of the batter onto the pan. Use the back of the ladle to spread the batter by making a large spiral on the surface of the batter from the middle of the pan outwards.
  4. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, then gently flip over to the other side and fry for another 2-4 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Place cooked dosa on a plate, pile spicy potato filling in the middle, sprinkle with roasted cashews and chopped coriander and fold in half. Serve with a spicy sauce like sambal oelek and coconut chutney.


  1. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.
  2. Heat up the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or pot. Once hot, add mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes until the mustard seeds make a popping sound.
  3. Add chopped onion and green chillies. Fry (stirring now and then) for a few minutes, until softened. Add in garlic and ginger and fry off gently until they both become fragrant and the garlic softens.
  4. Mix in turmeric and a fat pinch of chilli powder or flakes into the aromatics.
  5. Add mashed potatoes, frozen peas and salt. Keep it on the heat until the peas defrost and the excess water cooks out. Keep warm until needed.


  1. Place desiccated coconut in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate and soften (about 15 minutes).
  2. Put softened coconut (reserve soaking water), grated ginger and green chilli in a blender or spice grinder. Blend until smooth, add a touch of soaking water to loosen up if needed. Season with salt and lime juice.
  3. Heat up oil in a small frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and fry gently until the seeds start to pop.
  4. Next, add in cumin seeds and crushed curry leaves and sautée them in the oil for a few seconds.
  5. Add tempered spices (including leftover oil) into the chutney and mix well.

After fermentation is over (there will be small bubbles on the batter’s surface and it will smell a little bit sour), you can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for later.

This recipe is adapted from the book Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney.

5 g
19 g
11 g
13 g
79 g
*per serving
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3 reviews, 19 comments
I'm having trouble with the dosa batter. It's very thick, glopy, and grainy, not smooth or pourable. I used a blender per the recipe. It doesn't spread and I can't flip it. It's more like scrambled eggs. Maybe I should add water and re-blend?
    Hi Kate,
    If it's grainy/not smooth, it means that it has not been blended for long enough. In terms of consistency, it should not be as thin a crepe batter ('ladle-able' rather than pourable) so you may not need more liquid. Once you blend it smooth, I'm sure it will easier to judge. Ania
Can you eat the chutney the same day you prepare it? Or, are you supposed to put it in the fridge for a few days?
    Yes, you can have it straight away, no problem. Ania
Why does this require 48 hours? I'm seeing two 8-hour tests, first the soak and then the fermentation. What am I missing? Thanks!
    Hi Shelley,
    You are right, it could be done in 24 hours if you soak batter ingredients overnight. Good spot, I will correct. Ania
Such a tasty recipe! My husband claims not to like Indian food, but he loves this. Thanks, Ania
    I'm delighted to hear that, Helen. Thank you for letting me know and stay safe. x Ania
Hi Ania! I don't have any urid dal, do you think red lentils or yellow split peas would work?
    Hi Noa,
    I think they will (although I have not tried it myself), but they certainly need soaking overnight first. Good luck! x Ania
Russell P Fontenot:
Excited to try this bad boy. Dosas are to die for...
    Glad to hear, Ania!
Ewa Kim:
Hi Ania, what type of frying pan do you use? We have induction hibon and use stainless steel pan ( not the non stick type) and it just kept sticking to it and I couldn’t flip it. We have tried two more pans with the same result.
Also, I had to add about 500 ml water as otherwise the batter was like concrete.
Are you sure that you only add 5 tablespoons to drained rice and lentils?
Thank you
    Hi Ewa,
    I used a non-stick pan for this. As for the liquid amount, you are completely right that 5 tablespoons isn't enough - my apologies. I just consulted the original recipe that this was adapted from and it suggests approximately 12 tablespoons, which is 180 ml. I shall correct it now. Ania
Do you need to use white basmati or will brown rice do?
    I used white, Alice, but I'm sure that brown will work too. Hope that helps! Ania
You should try adding a tamarind chutney along with a corriander chutney, takes the dosa to a whole new level :)
    Great idea, Nisha! I will, thanks :)
Annelies Verbiest:
Just had this for dinner. I added much more water, but apart from that simple delicious!
    I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Annelies! Thanks for letting me know too! :) Ania
Thanks for the link to vegan street food - I'm not a fan of many vegetarian/vegan cookbooks (particularly those from Instagram celebrities), but that one looks really interesting.
    You're welcome! :) It is a really good book indeed and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys South Asian flavours. Ania
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