Cauliflower Makhani Dosa Crepes
For this Cauliflower Makhani Dosa Crepes recipe, the cauliflower is roasted and then dunked into a flavorful, spicy, velvety orange gravy of onions and tomatoes. All this creamy deliciousness is then wrapped in an easy and quick dosa crepe made with chickpea flour, for a perfect marriage of south and north Indian cuisine. A vegan, soy-free recipe. Makhani is gluten-free.
Cauliflower Makhani Dosa Crepes are a new spin on two classic Indian favorites: gobi makhani, and, of course, dosa, that spongy, delicious crepe so omnipresent across south India and south Indian restaurants anywhere in the world.
A makhani gravy is a buttery, rich concoction into which you can mix almost any vegetable or lentil in the world for a flavorful dish. A popular restaurant dish, it is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the tummy, with that rich, signature orange color and those spicy, slightly tangy, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet notes that produce the perfect yin-yang for your tastebuds.
My Cauliflower Makhani is a quicker version of my regular makhani, which I’ve shared with you before in this delicious Tofu Makhani recipe, but it doesn’t skip on flavor. Also keep in mind that this vegan Cauliflower Makhani, made creamy and smooth with nuts, is way healthier than the traditional version made with cream and butter.
I usually serve makhani with a naan bread or just rice. And a dosa is usually eaten with a coconut chutney or a south Indian dal known as a sambar, or both. But in the city of my birth, Bombay, the land of legendary street food, eating a dosa with a spicy gravy like a tikka masala or a makhani has become somewhat de rigueur. And once you’ve eaten these Cauliflower Makhani Dosa Crepes, you will know just why.
The dosa I most often make at home is the classic south Indian dosa, with black gram lentils and rice, but for this easy cauliflower makhani recipe I wanted to keep it all simple and weeknight-attainable. So I used my recipe for instant dosa crepes, made with chickpea flour and whole wheat flour. This recipe requires no soaking or blending or fermentation, and you can go from empty bowl to piping hot dosas in five minutes straight. The best part is, it is still very nutritious. If you are gluten-free, try making a more coconut chutney and then pair it with the cauliflower makhani.
If you want a variation of a paneer makhani/dosa combination sold by street vendors, try my tofu makhani with these dosa crepes. But I find the slightly crunchy cauliflower just perfect in this silky gravy.
- Double batch of Quick and Easy Masala Dosa (crepe only). Recipe in notes below.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, each large floret cut in half so one side lies flat
- ½ cup rice flour
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne or any red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the makhani gravy:
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (try and use a flavorless oil, like peanut or avocado)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 5 medium tomatoes, diced
- 5 almonds
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 heaping teaspoon paprika (optional, but this helps give that great orange color)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves). This is available at Indian grocers and online. Try not to skip it because it is very crucial to the unique flavor of makhani. If you absolutely can’t find it, some dry mint might help, but use only a teaspoon.
- ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in ½ cup water for 30 minutes, then blended to a smooth paste
- Salt to taste
- Roast the cauliflower first. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the rice flour, turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Whisk together and add enough water to make a runny paste.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, Coat the cauliflower florets in the rice-spice mixture and lay on the parchment paper, flat side down. If desired, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
- Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 45 minutes or until the edges are brown and crispy. Remove and set aside.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, make the makhani gravy. Heat the oil in a saucepan or large skillet or wok, and saute the onions and ginger garlic paste until the onions start to brown. Add the tomatoes, cayenne, coriander powder, paprika, garam masala, turmeric, and almonds. Mix well, cover, and let the tomatoes and onions cook for 10 minutes over medium heat or until the tomatoes have become mushy.
- Let the tomatoes and onions cool a bit, then transfer to a blender with 2 cups of water or vegetable stock. Blend into a very smooth paste.
- Return the blended onion-tomato paste back to the saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add the cashew paste, methi and sugar, and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the roasted cauliflower florets. Stir them in, and turn off the heat.
- Ladle some of the makhani and cauliflower into each crepe and fold. Serve hot. The crepes tend to stiffen as they stand.