We are seduced every time by the lush coconut-fringed exotic coastline of southern India, where a sense of the culture, charm, and vibrancy is in abundance- markets bustling with locals, ancient temples, a richness in nature, multicolored festivals- a place that is so deeply under our skin. Kerala’s cooking is fragrant, a culture that is famous for its coconut palms, seafood, spices and generous amounts of hot chilies. There is a real magic to the combination of spices they use, a harmony like no other- Our trips to far off places like India means laddening our bags with sacks of spices, colorful aromatic treasures to bring back to try and recreate dishes.
This is a bit of a cheat on the traditional southern Indian dosa, where you make the batter by grinding up rice, dal, Bengal gram and leaving to ferment overnight – which of course is authentic and really the right way to do it, but it’s also time-consuming when you just want to enjoy something like this as fast and easy food. We use gram flour, naturally gluten-free made from chickpeas, and water- as easy as that- and tastes (we think) as good as the real deal! We have also cheated with a coconut chutney, as if we find it a push to go out and buy a fresh coconut, then grate it- we are pretty sure the majority reading this will find that the case too. Soaking unsweetened desiccated coconut in a little hot water, to tenderize and adding to yoghurt with mint, coriander and spices is a speedy and clever little cheat to achieving a realistic coconut taste and grated texture.
Masala dosa and green coconut chutney
100 g gram flour
200 ml water
½ tsp baking soda
2 medium potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic, finely sliced
2 inch ginger, peeled and grated
2 shallots, diced
2 green chillies, finely sliced
4 sprigs curry leaves
2 tsp garamasala
2 tsp turmeric
1 aubergine, cut into 2cm cube
2 big tomatoes, diced
5 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbp desiccated coconut
small bunch coriander
small bunch mint
1 lime, zest and juice
1 garlic clove
1 inch peeled ginger
1 green chilli, deseeded
1 tsp ground cumin
1. Put desiccated coconut into a cup and submerge in boiling hot water, just to cover. Once cooled and softened add to a blender with the remaining chutney ingediants. Blitz until smooth. Best served a few hours after resting.
2. Mix the gram flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl with water to make a runny batter. You want something runnier than a pancake batter
Boil your potatoes until tender, set aside.
3. heat oil in a pan, we like coconut oil, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle add the garlic, chilli, shallots, ginger and curry leaves. Sauté, stirring frequently, until they start to turn colour.
4. Then add the aubergine making sure to coat, after 5 mins add the tomatoes, potatoes, turmeric and garamasala. Cook for a further 5 mins, adding water to the pan if sticking. Then add your spring onions, lime and coriander. Take off the heat.
5. Heat a pancake pan, frying pan will do, with a little oil, again we use coconut oil. Add a small ladel of the mixture and turn quickly, so as to spread around the pan. Once it starts to crisp and has bubbled place a a few tablespoons of your mixture inside the dosa and roll up.
Serve with your green chutney