Sunday, 11 May 2014

Week 5: Dosa deliciousness

Potato Dosa from Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats

This week's dish was a little ambitious, but I didn't realise how much so until I actually read the recipe properly. ("Wait what, you mean I have to soak it for eight hours then let the batter ferment for eight hours??") So yes, definitely not a spur of the moment dish, but definitely worth the effort.

I went to a bit of trouble a while ago to find the right kind of dal - urad dal - for the dosa pancake, then stored it in my cupboard and forgot all about it. I remember looking at it and remembering that I'd gone to a lot of trouble to find it but having no idea what recipe I'd bought it for, until recently when I remembered, hooray!

As I'm the queen of substitutions (and had trouble finding ground fenugreek powder), I used asfoetida in this instead, after making friends with a lovely Indian guy at the supermarket, who assured me that the internet was lying to me and no neither fennel seeds or mustard powder would make an adequate substitute. (And because I'm not gluten free I just used normal flour in this recipe, as opposed to the two types of rice flour suggested)

So a lot of planning is involved in this dish. First I had to soak the split lentils overnight, then make the batter and let that ferment for another eight hours. Here is the interesting bubbly effect that happened the next day:

In the meantime, I made the potato and leek filling: 

Maybe because I didn't cover them properly, but the potatoes took way longer than expected to cook. (Pro tip: don't try to cook these in the morning before having to leave for a family lunch, it will be very frustrating.)

The hardest part though, proved to be making the actual dosa pancakes. It took many failed attempts (and a lot of swearing) to get the technique of swirling the batter with the bottom of the ladle so it spread wide and thin across the pan, without breaking or lumping up. The key seemed to be keeping the heat at an even medium-high, and a slow, light touch as I smoothed the ladle around. One thing that still bothered me though was that it didn't bubble and have little holes in it like with regular dosa (and in the picture in the book). I'm not really sure why this was, maybe because of the flour I used, or it didn't ferment enough.

I served these cut in half with lots of mango chutney at the family lunch and vegetarians and omnivores alike seemed to enjoy them, so I'll call that a win!

Smith & Daughters

So for mothers' day brunch today I took my mum to Smith & Daughters, so she could see what I've been raving about. At first I was disappointed they weren't serving the dinner menu and paella, until I ate this:

Mmmm, Spanish-style omelette with chorizo, sweet peppers and soffrito, with avocado on top. Yum.

Mum chose the French toast with poached quince which was also very nice:

I am determined to go back soon for dinner and taste more of that amazing paella!

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