Rava Dosa with Sambar

Rava Dosa with Sambar

Whenever I go to London, there are a few places I just have to visit: Diwana’s, Tate Modern, Foyles and my parents. Unlike the majority of my London, Diwana Bhel Poori House has remained the same for the last thirty years – even in the face of HS2 that spelt the end for the wonderful Bree Louise public house – it still serves the same delicious vegetarian Indian food that I was introduced to at Uni – I don’t think the prices have changed since then either!

During the pandemic, to get my fix, I began making my own Diwana inspired food: pani poori, bhel poori and now rava dosa with sambar. The rava dosa does not require a fermented mix and is very forgiving when it comes to cooking.

You could also serve coconut or coriander/ coconut chutney with your dosa and sambar.


Serves 4

1 small aubergine (~100g)
2 carrots
2 medium potatoes
5 shallots (~100g)
3 tomatoes (~230g)
1 tbsp tamarind paste
filtered water
Himalayan salt

Sambar Lentils
110g moong daal washed
110g masoor daal (red split lentils)
½ tsp turmeric powder

Sambar Masala
1 scant tsp kashmiri chili powder
~15 dried curry leaves
1½ tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chana daal
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp oil

Sambar Tempering
2 tbsp oil
~5 dried curry leaves
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp urad daal (husked and split)

fresh coriander leaves to serve

100g rave (semolina (durum wheat) flour)
100g rice flour
30g whole wheat flour
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped green chilli
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
½ tsp crushed black pepper
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp crushed dried curry leaves
Himalayan salt

240 – 360ml filtered water


For the sambar, rinse both of the lentils well. Add them to medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring the pan to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until soft and mashable. Make sure to add more water if necessary during the cooking process. Add the turmeric and roughly mash the lentils.

To prepare the sambar masala, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan. First add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to crackle, then add the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, chana daal and curry leaves. Stir and cook until the spices become aromatic – take care not to burn the spices. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, grind to a powder in a spice or coffee grinder. Add the Kasmiri chilli powder to the mix.

Peel the potatoes and carrots. Peel and quarter the shallots; then dice the rest of the vegetables. In a large, wide-bottomed pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the urad daal and the mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle and the urad daal colour a little before adding the quartered shallots and curry leaves.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and sweat down for 5 minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook for a further 7 minutes.

Add about 150ml of filtered water along with the tamarind paste – stir to combine. Continue to simmer the vegetables until soft and cooked. Now add the ground sambar masala and the mashed lentils. Add more hot water to the desired consistency and check for seasoning. Serve and finish with a little fresh coriander.


For the rava dosa, mix the rava, rice flour and whole wheat flour before adding the chopped onion, green chilli and the grated ginger. Now add the black pepper, cumin seeds and rub in the dried curry leaves. Pour in 240ml of water and season well. Whisk the mix till smooth and without flour lumps. The mix should be thin and pourable so add more water if required. Cover and leave the mix to rest for 30 minutes.

Heat a skillet/ frying pan. Using a ladle, give the mix a final stir. Take a ladleful of the mix and pour it in a circular motion around the outside of the pan. take a little more of the mix and fill in the centre. Cook for 1½ minutes before flipping over for a final 1½ minutes. Serve while hot and crispy.



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