Frugal February Recipe: Dosa with Coconut Sambal

After Christmas credit card bills and annual tax returns at the end of January, February can be a frugal month for some. But how to reduce your food bill whilst still eating well? There are plenty of great recipes and £1 meal ideas out there, utilising cheaper ingredients, store cupboard staples and making the most of leftovers. This dosa recipe from our Indian Cookery Course is a great option, and makes for a fantastic brunch dish too if you put a fried egg on top.

Dosa’s are basically Indian pancakes, so you could always make these on Shrove Tuesday?

Coconut Sambal (Sort Of)


  • 1 shallot or small red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice plus zest
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • small handful coriander
  • small handful flaked or desiccated coconut


  • Finely dice the shallot and chilli
  • Add the red wine vinegar, lime juice and zest, and a pinch of salt
  • Heat a dry frying pan and toast the coconut until golden brown
  • Dice the tomato (you can do this with or without the seeds)
  • Add the mint sauce to your onion mix
  • Roughly chop the coriander
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, season, taste, and serve


Batter Ingredients

● 1 cup of gram flour
● 1 cup of plain flour
● ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
● 2½ teaspoons mustard seeds

Filling Ingredients

● 2 baking potatoes, leftover baked potatoes or leftover mashed potato
● 2 sweet potatoes
● 1 dried red chilli
● 1 fresh red chilli
● 1 cm piece of ginger
● olive oil
● 1½ teaspoons mustard seeds
● 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
● 4 spring onions
● a few sprigs of fresh coriander
● 1 lime


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  • For the dosa batter, add the flours to a large bowl with the bicarb, mustard seeds and a good pinch of salt. Gradually whisk in enough water, about 400ml, to make a loose batter.
  • Scrub and prick the potatoes and sweet potatoes, then bake until soft, Once cooked, cut the potatoes open, then scoop out the flesh and roughly mash. Alternatively, use up leftover baked potatoes, roasties or mashed potato.
  • Crumble the dried chilli and finely slice the fresh chilli, then peel and finely chop the ginger.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the chillies, ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Fry until smelling fantastic and the mustard seeds start to pop, shaking the pan regularly.
Fry off your spring onions, chilli, shallot, ginger and salt.
  • Meanwhile, trim and finely slice the spring onions, and pick and roughly chop the coriander leaves.
  • Pour the spice mixture over the potatoes then gently mix together with a knife. Taste and season, if needed. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the spring onions and coriander, then mix together.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, then wipe around and away with a ball of kitchen paper.
  • Add a spoonful of batter to the pan and immediately twist so the batter coats the base and slips up the edges. As soon as the moisture on top starts to cook away and there are lots of bubbles, add a few heaped teaspoons of potato filling and gently spread across the dosa.
Cook your batter mix in a hot pan, as you would a pancake.
  • Once the base is crispy, loosely roll up the dosa in the pan and you’re ready to go.
  • Delicious served with minted yoghurt, chutney and wedges of lime for squeezing over.
Flip the pancake, add a dollop of filling, and roll.
Serve with coconut sambal. You’re probably not going to only have one, though...

For more fantastic Indian cuisine and street-food recipes, techniques, tips and hacks, book on to our next full-day Indian cookery course (20th June or 23rd September 2020) or half day Street Food course on April 17th 2020.

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