Authentic dosa pancakes are made by soaking, blending, and fermenting black gram lentils (urad dal) and rice. So, this version is a take on dosa pancakes, which are wrapped around an aromatic spiced sweet potato and chickpea filling. You can serve these with some mango chutney and coconut yogurt mixed with chopped coriander and lime juice, or raita.

Indian Dosa with Spiced Sweet Potato [Vegan]

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For the Filling:

  • 1 lb 2 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 red chili, deseeded for a milder flavor, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed or grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 tablespoon dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 14 oz tin of chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
  • small bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped chutneys, and raita, to serve


To Make the Batter:

  1. To make the pancake batter, put the flours into a large bowl with the bicarbonate of soda, mustard seeds, and a good pinch of salt. Gradually whisk in enough water, about 1 2/3 cups, to make a loose, smooth batter, like the consistency of double (heavy) cream.
  2. Set aside.

For the Filling:

  1. To make the filling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss the sweet potato in half the oil and spread out on a large baking tray.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring on the tray once or twice during cooking, until soft and starting to caramelize around the edges. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and fry the fennel, cumin, and coriander seeds for around 30 seconds until they become fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chili, onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, and turmeric and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is really soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the chickpeas and scant 1/2 cup of the chickpea water. Stir well to bring all the flavors together.
  6. Add the roasted sweet potato and chopped coriander to the pan and season with a good pinch of salt. Keep the mixture warm until the pancakes are ready.
  7. To cook the pancakes, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large non-stick frying pan or pancake pan over medium-high heat. Add a large spoonful of batter to the pan and immediately twist so the batter coats the base and slips up the edges.
  8. As soon as the top of the pancake looks dry, starts to cook away from the sides of the pan and there are lots of bubbles, add a large spoonful of the sweet potato filling and gently spread across the dosa.
  9. Once the base is crispy, loosely roll up the dosa in the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Keep warm while you continue with the rest of the batter and filling.
  10. Serve with chutneys and raita.


- Root swap: if you’ve some other root veggies to use up then you don’t have to stick with sweet potatoes – white potatoes, swede, parsnip, and butternut squash all work just as well in this recipe. - Spice swap: if the amount of individual spices in this recipe make your shopping list too long, then use any spices you have already– 1 tablespoon of a mild or medium curry powder could be used, alternatively 1–2 tablespoons curry paste is also fine.


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