These rava dosas with potato and chickpea masala are thin spiced crepes, made with semolina, rice, and all-purpose flours, that are filled with a fragrant mixture of potatoes, chickpeas, peas, coconut, and spices.
We never would’ve thunk that made-from-scratch rava dosas would be doable for dinner on a weeknight. Guess who was wrong. To ensure things go as slickly for you as they did for us, read through this rava dosas with potato and chickpea masala recipe first, gather all your ingredients and then get to work peeling potatoes as you’re keeping an eye on the coconut and cumin being toasted in the skillet. Next, make the masala, and then bring it to a simmer while you chop your onion. Toss the potatoes in with the spices and, while the masala cooks, set about making your dosa batter. Somewhere along the way, uncork a bottle of white wine and have a sip, seeing as you’ll definitely have the time to spare.–Renee Schettler
Rava Dosas with Potato and Chickpea Masala
For the masala filling
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- One (3-inch) jalapeño chile coarsely chopped, including seeds
- One piece ginger peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large onion chopped (about 3 cups)
- One can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (do not thaw)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
For the rava dosas
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cold water
- Vegetable oil for brushing
Make the masala filling
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover.
- Toast the coconut in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Wipe out the skillet and toast the cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring until the seeds are fragrant and a shade darker, about 30 seconds. Transfer to another small bowl. Set the skillet aside.
- Purée the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic in a blender along with the curry powder, cinnamon,turmeric, oil, 1/4 cup water, and salt until smooth. Transfer the purée to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
- Drain the potatoes, then add to the onion along with the cumin seeds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and remaining 1 1/2 cups water, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cover and briskly simmer until the potatoes are tender, 16 to 20 minutes more.
- Add the peas and cook, covered, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted coconut and cilantro. (The masala filling, without the coconut and cilantro, can be made 8 hours ahead and chilled. Reheat before stirring in the coconut and cilantro.)
Make the rava dosas
- While the masala cooks, whisk the flours, cumin seeds, salt, and water in a bowl.
- Generously brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Pour 1/2 cup batter into the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook, undisturbed, until the dosa is set and the edges are golden, about 2 minutes. Flip using a rubber spatula and cook until the underside is golden in spots, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat. Stack the dosas and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
- To serve, spoon the filling into dosas and serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The potato-chickpea masala has excellent flavor, and is even better the second and third day after cooking it. The dish came together in about an hour, as the recipe specifies.
In the process I did dirty a lot of dishes and set off my fire alarm 3 times (even though nothing was burnt). I made the masala with only 1/2 of a chile, as that’s all that I had available, and the resulting heat level was just right for me. I also used the generic curry powder that’s available at Whole Foods. If I make this again, I may cut the potato pieces a little smaller and use a little less oil. The rava dosas were interesting, but next time I’d skip them and just make the potato masala, as eating potatoes, chickpeas, and rava dosas is too much starch for me in one meal.
Though I love Indian food, I don’t usually make my own because the recipes have long and complicated ingredient lists and don’t seem to translate well to written form. Admittedly, these rava dosas have a lot of steps—they’re best left to weekend cooking—but neither the directions nor the ingredient list were complicated. The crepe-like pancakes were a cinch to make—not at all fussy and they cooked up really fast. They were sturdy too, so they really stood up to the chunky filling. The spice level was just right for the filing—not overpowering or pungent. I happily had leftover filling, which I’ll heat up with rice for lunch.
Although the potato chickpea filling isn’t traditional (normally it’s only potato), it was quite flavorful. I used homemade Madras-style curry powder in this recipe. The dosas (crepes) turned out well. I always use a cast-iron skillet for my dosas and I used ghee instead of oil to cook them. However, I did find that the filling is done in a very complex manner. For a beginner it might be overwhelming.
Originally published January 18, 2020