Some describe them as pancakes. Some describe them as crepes. I describe them as absolutely delicious.
Flatbread is always a welcome item at our family dinner table. My preschool aged boys love to wrap their food up, even if it's saucy ground beef. My elementary aged daughter loves the tidiness of eating with something with which you can wipe your plate when you're finished. My husband and I just love flatbreads as the vehicle for carrying delicious foods to our mouths.
Flatbreads and wraps also make fabulous additions to a school lunch, as they are a convenient way to eat pretty much anything.
Dosas especially, however, are a special treat, because not only do we love South Asian food, like vindaloo and korma, but dosas are a gluten-free, lacto-fermented wrap-style flatbread that heartily satisfies and delights the tongue. Thus, not only are they delicious and practical, they're nutritious and easily digestible.
You're welcome to use nearly any type of rice and any type of lentil in this recipe, but I find that the brown rice adds a nutty undertone that I love and the red lentils are what I most typically have on hand. If you've got brown, black, green, or yellow, go ahead and use them!
Oh, and be sure to plan ahead for this recipe! They're very simple to prepare with little hands-on time, but the batter does need to sit for two days before it's cooked, so plan accordingly. 🙂
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 cup red lentils or chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted (add more if needed)
- Place the rice in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups filtered warm water. In a second bowl, repeat the steps by covering the lentils with 2 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to each bowl, then cover each bowl with a tea towel or other loose cloth and let both bowls sit overnight (8 to 12 hours) at room temperature.
- Drain water from both bowls, then in a food processor, blend rice and lentils separately, adding water to create to a smooth, creamy texture. I usually add approximately 2 cups water to the rice and 1 cup water to the lentils, but add the water slowly so the mixtures don't get too runny.
- Once both mixtures are very smooth, blend or stir both purées together with the salt, adding more warm water if needed to make the batter the consistency of thick cream.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl and cover, then let it sit for another 18-24 hours in a warm place, such as on top of the fridge. The mixture will expand - sometimes as much as doubling, depending on temperature - so use a bowl that's large enough to accommodate a bubbly, happy batter.
- When fermentation is complete and you are ready to cook the dosas, heat a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until fully hot. Meanwhile, whisk in the melted butter and a bit of additional water, if desired. (The batter should be fairly thin: It should be pourable off a spoon, yet thickly coat the back of it.) Rub a sheen of butter on the pan with a paper towel, then pour 1/4 cup batter in the middle of the pan and using the back of a ladle, quickly swirl it to create a large circle.
- Cook until the bottom is nicely browned and the top is dry in both appearance and touch. Using a spatula, lightly lift the dosa off the pan, shaking a bit if necessary, and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.
- And as I've said before about crepes, don’t stress too much if the first ones stick a bit – the first one or two pretty much always turn out as a disaster and make you question any kitchen ability you may or may not have (even after you’ve made these dozens of times). They still taste great, so just eat those less-than-brilliant samples while you continue to cook. If they continue to stick after the first two, whisk a few extra tablespoons of melted butter into the batter and cook as directed.