It is one of those days…when a bunch of friends WhatsApp one another and say, “hey, wanna meet for coffee today?”. Surprisingly, everyone’s super-busy summer schedules are open for that afternoon, and all agree it is high time that we meet up.
What everyone does NOT agree with is where to meet. One has a problem with a cafe because they use single-use disposable dishes. Another has a problem with a coffee shop because parking is hard to find. Yet another buddy complains that a certain venue is too far from her place.
Then, I extend a middle-ground option: why don’t you all come over to my place? Offer is quickly and eagerly accepted. All fine and dandy. But one problem: In case they decide to hang out after tea, what to serve that’s quick to make? Now, all of you know that when 5 gals meet up for tea, it seldom ends with just that. It invariably rolls into cocktails and dinner…and if push comes to shove, dessert, which, by the way, is exactly what happened…No complaints; I wouldn’t want it any other way. I consider myself lucky that I am blessed to have the kind of close friends who come for a cup of Joe and are likely to linger on until dinner time.
With two hours left (remember it was an impromptu meetup) I began to wonder what I could serve my friends for dinner if it came to that. Off I go peering into pantry and fridge for something quick, easy and healthy to boot. Can’t have a Healthy Indian blogger serve junk, right??! 😉 Out comes a small chunk of cabbage. The house is always stocked up with onions and brown Basmati rice, so those come out as well. And voila! the proverbial light bulb goes off. Thanks to my sister-in-law Shyla, who visited us from India recently, I had learned how to make this delectable dish first-hand. Cabbage-onion dosa is a no ferment dish that is local to coastal Karnataka (the Udupi region where my husband’s family hails from). The folks from this region of India have some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G recipes. If you think you hate cabbage – think again after you’ve eaten these dosas. You will be a convert.
No sweat! And no fermentation needed. And boy do they taste AMAZING. And there can’t be a bigger testimony to that fact than friends standing around the stove and gobbling them up right off the Tawa!
Substitutions & Notes:
This dish is super-easy to make and will become a staple in your house. If you don’t have cabbage, you can substitute the dosa with spring onions or fenugreek leaves, or spinach, or drumstick leaves, or….with any grated veggies of your choice (think carrots). Each will bring a distinct taste and flavor to the batter. Since the batter will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, you can change the veggies and greens daily, making it a whole new type of dosa.
I soaked the brown Basmati rice for just a couple of hours since I didn’t have enough notice, but it would be great if you could soak it for up to 6 hours. You could also substitute brown rice with red or white rice.
Do use Kashmiri chilis, rather than the regular red chilis. For one, they are milder tasting, and for another, they add a brilliant hue and color to the dosa batter.
I served them with homemade ginger pickle, but it would taste just as good with our regular Chutney Powder or our Sesame Chutney Powder or even with some of our various chutneys like the Yellow Mung Raw Onion Chutney, Malabar Spinach Chutney, Ridge Gourd Chutney or a dry curry like our Spicy Bell Pepper Potato Medley or the traditional South Indian Potato Curry.
Watch the video on how easy it is to make these crepes.
Here’s to good friends and to the Udupi side of my family.
Cabbage is an excellent source of the ever-so-important vitamin C, crucial for maintaining a strong immune system. It has been known for years that consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower cancer risk. Furthermore, onions contain fiber and folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells.
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No Ferment Cabbage-Onion Dosa
- 1 Cup Brown Rice or use any rice of your choice
- 1/2 Cup Grated Coconut
- 1 Teaspoon Tamarind Deseeded
- 1/2 Teaspoon Jaggery Optional
- 1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt Or to taste
- 1/2 Cup Cabbage Finely Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Onions Finely Chopped
- 6 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds Methi Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Urad Dal
- 6 Kashmiri Chilis Whole. Change quantity to taste
- Wash and soak brown rice for 2-6 hours. Drain the water.
- Dry roast Kashmiri chilis on medium flame for 2 minutes and set aside. In the same pan, dry roast urad dal, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds until they are lightly browned, and you smell the aroma.
- Add dry roasted ingredients to a high-speed blender, add grated coconut, a little water and blend well.
- Add soaked rice, salt, tamarind, jaggery (optional) to the blender. Add a little more water and blend to a fine paste. The consistency of the batter should be that of a pancake mix.
To Make Dosa
- Take only as much batter as you need for one meal. You can store the remaining batter in the fridge (see notes). Add finely chopped onions and cabbage to the batter and mix well.
- Heat a non-stick griddle on medium flame. Roll out the dosa (watch the video in this blog) to pancake thickness. Drizzle coconut oil, cover the griddle and let the dosa cook for about 3-4 minutes. Turn the dosa over and cook uncovered to desired crispness.
- Serve hot with chutney, chutney powder or any dry curry of your choice
- The dosa batter can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can pack the batter in an airtight container and freeze it too!
- Add jaggery only if needed. The grated coconut and spices already take this recipe up to a Zen level, without needing to add the extra sugar.
- Finely chopped veggies and greens will allow you to spread the dosa batter thinly on the griddle, thereby making crispy dosas.