Colm O'Gorman: Whip up some Indian vegan street food with my delicious dosas

This classic Indian crepe is stuffed with a spiced potato mixture and served with a delicious chutney
Colm O'Gorman: Whip up some Indian vegan street food with my delicious dosas

Crispy pancakes stuffed with spiced potatoes.

Dosa are crispy crepes made with a fermented rice and lentil batter. They are a popular breakfast dish in South India, and though they take some time to prepare, most of that is taken up with soaking the rice and lentils for several hours, then once you whizz them into a batter, allowing it to ferment overnight. Preparing the batter takes maybe ten minutes in total and is very simple. A classic Masala Dosa is stuffed with spiced potatoes and served with a chutney or a vegetable sambar, a kind of lentil and vegetable stew. For this recipe I stuff my Dosa with Aloo Mutter, a pea and potato curry and serve it with a Coconut and Coriander Chutney. The chutney is a delight. It is light and fresh and full of flavour, but incredibly easy to make.

This is classic street food, great for a snack, or as a side to a bigger meal. You could have this with some of my Tandoori Chicken, you will find that recipe on ieFood. You can also try other fillings. I made my Chicken Vindaloo earlier this week and the leftovers were amazing as filling for a Dosa, again with this coconut and coriander chutney on the side. That Vindaloo recipe is also on ieFood.

A classic Dosa recipe uses urad lentils. You will find those in most Asian supermarkets. You can swap them for red lentils if you cannot find any urad lentils. If you cannot get hold of any dried birds eye chillies, use half a teaspoon of chilli flakes instead.

The batter and filling can be made in advance. The batter will keep for up to a week in the fridge, and the potato filling can be made the day before you need it. Whizzing up the chutney and cooking and stuffing the Dosa will only take about 30 minutes. This recipe makes eight to ten Dosa.

Masala dosa

recipe by:Colm O'Gorman

A classic Masala Dosa stuffed with spiced potatoes and served with a delicious chutney

Masala dosa



Cooking Time

60 mins

Total Time

60 mins






  • For the batter:

  • 400g basmati rice

  • 200g urad lentils

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

  • For the filling:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1tsp black mustard seeds

  • 1tsp cumin seed

  • 2 dried birds eye chillies

  • 2 onions

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1tsp flaky sea salt

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp grated garlic

  • 4 fresh basil leaves

  • 2 fresh green chillies

  • 750g rooster potatoes

  • 150g frozen peas

  • 30g fresh coriander

  • For the chutney:

  • 50g desiccated coconut

  • 15g fresh coriander

  • 2 green chillies

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt

  • 1 tsp caster sugar

  • 125ml water


  1. Start your batter the day before you want to cook the Dosa. Rinse the rice thoroughly and put it in a large bowl covered with cold water. Put the lentils and fenugreek seeds in another smaller bowl, rinse them a few times and then cover them with fresh cold water. Allow both to soak for five to six hours.

  2. Drain both separately. Retain 250ml of the soaking water from the lentils. Put the rice into a food processor with 250ml of cold water and process it until you get a fine grainy consistency. Repeat with the soaked lentils and fenugreek seeds but use the soaking water instead of fresh water. Whizz the lentils until you get a smooth, creamy texture. Now combine both batters together in a large bowl. Add a little more water if needed to get a medium to thick batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it somewhere warm to ferment for at least eight hours or preferably overnight.

  3. To make the filling, peel and chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the onion, and finely chop the green chillies. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onions and dried chillies. Cook for about five minutes, stirring regularly until the onion is soft. Add the turmeric, ginger, garlic, chopped green chillies and basil leaves. Stir well and cook for another minute.

  4. Add the potatoes and 200ml of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for five to ten minutes until the potatoes have softened. Use a potato masher to break them down a little but keep some texture, you want smashed rather than mashed potato. Add the lemon juice, some fresh ground black pepper and salt to season. Set aside now until needed.

  5. When you are ready to start making your Dosa, warm the potato through and add the peas. Stir them in, leave them cook over a low heat for five minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chopped coriander.

  6. To make the chutney, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Temper half a teaspoon each of mustard and fennel seeds and a dried chilli in a little olive oil and pour that over the chutney before serving it.

  7. Make your Dosa. Warm a non-stick pan over a high heat. Brush the pan with a little oil and use a ladle to pour 60ml of batter into the centre of the pan. Use the bottom of the ladle to quickly spread the batter out across the pan in a circular shape, about 12cm in diameter. Let the Dosa cook for two to three minutes until the edges start to brown. Use a spatula to loosen the Dosa from the pan. You may well find that your first effort sticks, like many pancakes the first is often for the pan! Do not worry if that happens, just discard it, start again and your second and subsequent crepes will be fine.

  8. Once the underside of the Dosa is nicely browned, remove it from the pan. Add a generous serving of the potato and pea masala, placing that in the middle of the Dosa and flatten it into a strip along the centre. Fold the sides of the Dosa over to make a cone like shape. Repeat until you have cooked enough Dosa and serve them straight away with the chutney on the side.


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