On my way home from work on Wednesday, all I could think about was dinner and what I was going to make. Since Vishnu’s been spending his days and nights at the library, I’ve been doing my own thing most nights of the week. I had settled on making a quesadilla for dinner when much to my surprise, I found my hubby studying at home. Woo hoo!
Dinners together are rare right now, so I changed my mind about the quesadilla and decided to make an Indian meal. As I looked through our pantry, I found dosa (savory Indian crepe/pancake) and sambhar (a slightly spicy Indian soup) mixes hiding in the back. I called my mom to ask a couple of questions, and she reassured me that it would turn out just fine.
Before I share the details about how I pulled this all together, I want to say a few things about these mixes. First, most Indian grocers carry Gits brand products. And most major cities have at least one Indian grocery store. Just ask Google. Second, these mixes are not really healthy. About half way through, I looked at the ingredient lists and found things like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening and butylated hydroxy anisole (a preservative). Not a fan of hydrogenated anything so that was a bummer. However, we do not eat Gits dosa and sambhar very often so I let it slide. And finally, using these mixes was not intimidating at all. It was honestly one of the easiest Indian meals I’ve ever made.
For the dosa mix, all I literally had to do was add water. That’s it. When actually cooking the dosa, I was extra careful to maintain an even layer of the mixture. Dosas are best when thin and crispy (in my opinion).
The sambhar was a little more involved. I had to add water AND chopped tomatoes..haha!
For the masala filling, I cooked a medium onion and a large sweet potato in coconut oil and added a bunch of spices (turmeric, mustard seeds, red chili pepper, cumin/coriander powder and salt). It turned out really well.
Leftover masala mixture
As I was plating everything, I realized that something was missing – a chutney (sauce)! I frantically called my MIL (she’s a dosa expert), and when she didn’t pick up, I called my mom (who also makes great dosas). She asked me what I had on hand and gave me a few ideas. I quickly mixed together some Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, coconut powder, salt, sugar, and red chili powder. I know this sounds strange, but it was perfect on top of the dosa. The cool yogurt complemented the masala and sambhar perfectly.
Side note: Vishnu didn’t like it, but only because he prefers his chutneys dairy-free.
I was so proud of myself when I took the first bite and realized that my dosa actually tasted good!
How I eat dosa: fill with masala, top with chutney, and dip in sambhar
I highly recommend visiting your local Indian store and picking up some different mixes. Who knows…you may end up with a delicious dinner!
Have you ever tried a masala dosa? What’s your favorite Indian dish?