Quick masala ‘dosas’

Quick masala ‘dosas’

Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Lisa Linder

Dosas are crisp, spongy pancakes made with a fermented lentil and rice batter. They are lovely, but far from quick and easy to make! So, at home, I’ve started using these rice paper wrappers instead of the pancakes. They make light and crispy envelopes but, unlike true dosas, are not the main event, rather just the wrapping for this lovely, spiced potato filling. These make a substantial, satisfying main course as well as a tapa if the portion size is increased. Either way, I serve them with a coconut chutney; it whizzes up quickly if you have some frozen grated coconut stashed away, which I highly recommend.


Quantity Ingredient
500g potatoes
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 4 teaspoons extra to cook the rolls (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2-4 dried red chillies, (optional)
2 rounded teaspoons chana dal
2 rounded teaspoons urad dal
12 fresh curry leaves
2 onions, sliced
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 teaspoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts
10 rice paper wrappers


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 5 cm cubes. Place in a pan of water and boil until just cooked.
  2. After about 10 minutes, heat the 3–4 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, once the popping starts to die down, add the chillies and chana dal and, after about 10 seconds, follow with the urad dal. Cook until the lentils start to colour, then add the curry leaves, onions and salt. Cook the onions over a medium-low flame until just caramelising on the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, check the potatoes. When done, remove with a slotted spoon (reserve the liquid in the pan). Once the onions are done, add 1–2 tablespoons of water from the potato pan and the turmeric and cook for 20 seconds.
  4. Add the potatoes, seasoning and lemon juice to the frying pan and press down with a masher to coarsely mash the potatoes; there should be large pieces as well as some mashed bits. Add more of the potato cooking water if the mixture seems a bit dry, it should come together in clumps. Taste, adjust the seasoning and add the peanuts. Take off the heat and pour away the remaining potato cooking water.
  5. When ready to assemble, fill a large bowl or plate with water. Soak the rice paper wrappers individually for about 30 seconds, or until soft and pliable. Once soft, place a wrapper in front of you on kitchen paper. Place about 3 tablespoons of the potato filling across the centre in a thick log. Make a parcel by folding over the edge of the wrapper closest to you, then fold in both sides, then finally roll away from you to make a thick sausage shape. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. You can serve them now, or you can fry them if you like, as follows.
  6. If you want to fry the rolls, wipe the pan you were cooking in and add 2 teaspoon of the remaining oil. Add five of the rolls, seam-side up, and cook gently until golden, then flip over and cook the seam side until golden. Repeat with the rest of the oil and rolls, then serve.
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