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Of Sambars and “Dosadillas”

If you haven’t seen the gorgeous photo of my recipe for red lentil sambar taken by Susan at Fat-Free Vegan, be sure to check it out — she posted the recipe, too.
This particular sambar recipe is in Vegan Fire & Spice and is special to me for several reasons. I adapted it from a family recipe given to me by my dear friend, Sangeeta Kumar, who got it from her aunt Anshu. Another reason is that I now live in an area where there are no Indian restaurants and it’s great to have some yummy Indian recipes handy when I need a fix.

All sambars aren’t created equal. Most of the ones I’ve sampled in restaurants are thin and soupy and usually served with idllis or dosas. When I make sambar at home, I sometimes like to serve it as the main event. In that case, I make it a little thicker and cut the vegetables a little larger, so it turns out more like a stew than a soup. I serve it over basmati rice and enjoy it as a main dish. I usually serve a thinner version when I make “dosadillas” — my quick and easy dosa/quesadilla hybrid that I make with leftover cooked potatoes and tortillas. This photo shows one of my curried potato dosadillas with a side of “soupy” sambar. To make the thinner soupier sambar, you can still use the same recipe, just cut the veggies a little smaller, and add more liquid as you simmer the sambar. Here’s my recipe for “dosadillas.”

Potato “Dosadillas”
South India meets Mexico in this dosa-quesadilla hybrid that I created one day with “on-hand” ingredients. It gave me a quick Indian food fix with a minimum of effort. If you have some leftover cooked veggies that you’d like to add instead of the peas, chop them and mix them in with the potatoes. Use hot or mild curry paste or powder, according to taste. Serve with mint or tamarind chutney, raita, or a vegetable sambar. (Recipe from Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson © 2007.)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced scallions or onion
1 1/2 cups cooked potatoes, mashed (see note below)
1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
2 teaspoons curry paste or powder (or to taste)
4 large whole wheat tortillas

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the scallions and cook until softened. Add the potatoes, peas, and curry paste and cook until well mixed and hot.

Divide the mixture evenly over half of each of the tortillas. Fold the tortillas over and place them, two at a time, in a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-heat. Cook until lightly browned on both sides, turning once. Keep them warm while you cook the remaining dosadillas. Serve them whole to be cut with a knife and fork, or cut them into wedges to eat out of hand.

Serves 4

Note: The mashed potatoes can come from a variety of sources: you can plan ahead and make extra baked or mashed potatoes for dinner the night before. If there was ever a reason to make extra potatoes, this is it. If you don’t have cooked potatoes on hand, you can quickly microwave some, and then simply mash them with a potato masher, adding salt and pepper and a little margarine.

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