Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vietnamese Style Vegetarian Crepes with Curried Sweet Potato Hashbrowns

All Life is suffering, according to the Four Noble Truths. In Buddhist thought, humans are marred by their keen and unmitigated desire and this desire leads to suffering. (Freedom from suffering is gained through a release of desire but through various means, depending on the school of Buddhism.) But, sadly, I am not a Buddhist, so I have only really understood the problems with desire; in other words be careful what you wish for…

And, I had wished for a promotion at work; and having gotten it, I wonder…well, I just wonder. One major ramification is that there is more work and less time to cook and be with Belle. I see a moment in the near future where my work will be more clear and predictable, but as it stands, I don’t have time to play, cook, eat, rest, write my blog, hang out with my husband, talk to my friends….so instead for the last few weeks I have been mostly playing with Belle and eating take out more than we should.

So, today, I ran in only 20 minutes before dinner time. Belle was absolutely bouncing off the wall, yelling “yum, yum, yum, yum.” (This is her code for dinner.) On Sunday, I had made dosa batter.

I often make masala dosas. I usually make a basic masala (with turmeric, onions and cumin) but vary the vegetables—confetti masala, I call it, and it always includes carrots and potatoes—sometimes rutabaga and parsnips. This dosa filling has always been a hit. I have also played around with the chutneys—I made one where I added spinach to a fairly basic chutney recipe. I have also made an arugula chutney, but it really work with the dosas.

But, tonight Masala Dosas it was not to be . Instead, I wanted something hearty for dinner, because I had felt unsatisfied with the old pasta that I took for lunch. I still had some fake ground meat and so I decided to make faux Vietnamese crepes with curried sweet potato hashbrowns. My husband had bought eggs the other day, so I scrambled a couple for his crepes. I didn’t have bean sprouts, so for the crunch I used shredded lettuce and shredded cabbage. (If you think, this Maybelle’s Mom seems to use A LOT of cabbage, well, yes; Belle loves it and spring veg has yet to be seen in Cleveland.)

This dinner was good, but it wasn’t as fast as I would have liked. I felt a little like an octopus . With all of my burners going, while I was madly chopping things, I felt like I had 8 hands going. When I make Vietnamese food, I know why traditionally women cooked all day—they spent half their day chopping.

I noticed on Is My Blog Burning that there is a dosa event, Dosa Mela at Cooking 4 All Seasons, and I believe that my recipe qualifies.

Faux Vietnamese Crepes
In a bowl combine and then set aside

¼ cup shredded red cabbage
2 T sesame oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 t oden broth
2 t finely slice green chillis

Slice and sautee
1 cup mushrooms

In another sautee pan,
Scramble 2 eggs in butter and olive oil

In yet another pan,
Steam broccoli (cut into small florets) and sugar snap peas (sliced fine)

In yet another pan, brown:
1 cup fake meat
1 shallot diced fine

In yet another pan or griddle,
Make small dosas

Shred some lettuce and then assemble the crepes. To assemble: on a warm dosa, add some browned “meat”, warm scrambled egg, sautéed mushrooms, steamed vegetables, quick-pickled cabbage, shredded lettuce.

Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
Steam until half cooked

1 diced sweet potato

Sautee in 2 T of Olive Oil
2 t curry power
1 t cumin seeds
1 t black onion seeds
1 t mustard powder

Add the sweet potato to the spices and sautee until browned.

Dosa Batter
Soak overnight in two separate bowls:

2 cups urad daal
1 cup rice

Blend until you get a thick batter. (I did this by blending each separately and then mixing the two in a bowl.) Add
1 T salt.

Ferment over night. (I placed the bowl on a chair over the heater vent.)


Anonymous said...

I guess they spent the other half of the day washing all those pans ;-)

The recipe looks great. I love dosas but never made them. I have to get my hands on some urad daal.

Srivalli said...

Thanks for the lovely entry..you can send across the picture once your computer is up..!..if you are not able to upload, its fine too.

Maggie said...

I've really enjoyed reading your recipes and I think your blog is Excellent and passed on the word. If you'd like the badge and are interested in nominating someone else you can get the details on my post.

maybelles mom said...

Thanks for the comments and compliments to all.

Susan, It is my suggestion that you go to an indian grocery store and buy the smallest bag of urad dal. I don't really use it that much (I use Masoor Dal and Toor dal all the time.) So, there is no reason to buy a big bag--unless you plan to make a lot of dosa. Also, for me, in the cold weather of Cleveland, dosas are a hit or miss thing; because you need a certain amount of warmth for the fermentation. So, don't be discouraged. Finally, if your Indian grocery store sells dosa batter that is made in the home of an Indian caterer (so not from the mix), buy it..it is probably just fine or even very good.

Sunshinemom said...

So nice to see Indian cuisine being adopted in a foreign kitchen! Great work too! I always thought that only the curry was popular!