Banana Dosa is a small, unleavened, south Indian pancake flavored with cardamom and studded with cashew nuts. My vegan version is tasty and healthy and the batter comes together in a blender, making this the perfect indulgent breakfast in a hurry. A vegan, soy-free recipe, can be nut-free.
I love it when I come across a delicious food idea that I can easily adapt into something easy and nutritious that fits into my lifestyle. Like this Banana Dosa.
The word "dosa" would make you think of a paper-thin crepe spilling over the plate, because that's the kind you typically encounter at an Indian restaurant. But dosas in south India come in many flavors, colors and sizes, not all of them big.
A banana dosa is usually smallish, more the size of a western pancake than a masala dosa. It's made without any leavening, so there's no baking powder or baking soda or yeast here.
What these dosas do have is the addictive, comforting flavor of bananas married with cardamom and jaggery, an unrefined Indian sugar that you can easily find outside India in Indian grocery stores or online (the Mexican brown sugar, piloncillo, is a perfect substitute).
These pancakes are also a great way to use those overrripe bananas that you sometimes don't know what to do with and when you simply don't want to make another banana bread (yummy as it is).
Banana dosas are often served as a dessert in India, but they make a wholesome and delicious breakfast or snack. They are a crowd pleaser and kids, understandably, love them.
They are easy on the cook too. All you need to make them is toss the ingredients into a blender jar, chop up a few cashews, and cook the dosa pancakes up on a hot griddle.
What we love about this banana dosa
- It is super easy to make, the batter comes together in a blender.
- It is chock full of amazing banana flavor.
- It's whole wheat
- It has the divine scent of cardamom
- There's no artificial sugar here
Tips for making banana dosa
- Use a mix of whole wheat flour and rice flour in this recipe, in a 2:1 proportion. So for 1 cup of whole wheat flour use ½ cup rice flour. Whole wheat pastry flour works as well.
- Jaggery is traditionally used in banana dosa, and it has a wonderful, deep, rich flavor that's quite indispensable in this recipe. But if you can't find jaggery (or piloncillo, which is a fine substitute), use maple syrup or coconut sugar, which will work just as well. At a pinch, sugar will do too.
- You have some leeway in how much sugar you want to add to the dosa. Jay and Desi both love sweets, so I used ½ cup. You can drop down to as little as ¼ cup, if you'd rather, and you'll have a lightly sweet but still delicious dosa.
- The bananas, of course, will add some sweetness. Use overripe bananas, preferably, but regularly ripe bananas are fine too. They'll be less sweet, but as you'll be blitzing everything in a blender you don't have to worry they'll be too lumpy.
- One thing to keep in mind is to not blend for too long. Just do it until the ingredients are all mixed.
- You will need a nondairy milk for the batter. I usually use soy or almond because those are what I usually have around. You can use any nondairy milk to adjust to nut-free preferences.
- I like to add a bit of yogurt to the banana dosa batter it because the slight tang it conributes is amazing with the sweetness of the pancakes. I use my homemade cashew yogurt, but use a storebought coconut or any other yogurt, vanilla or unsweetened is fine.
- There is no leavening in this recipe--no baking powder or baking soda. But blitzing the batter in the blender, I find, adds in some air which helps these pancakes fluff up very nicely on the griddle. The bananas also make them light.
- Finally, when the pancakes are cooking on the griddle, sprinkle on some raw cashews on the uncooked side before you flip them. The cashews add a nice crunch and they are great with the cardamom.
- You can serve these on their own, no syrup needed, with more slices of banana. They taste best hot, so eat them fresh off the griddle.
- Blender (a bowl and whisk are fine too)
- Cast iron or non-stick griddle
- 2 ripe bananas (peeled and coarsely chopped)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup rice flour
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- ½ cup vegan yogurt
- ¼ to ½ cup maple syrup or jaggery or coconut sugar or regular sugar
- 1 to 2 tsp ground cardamom (start with less and add more if you want more cardamom flavor)
- ¼ cup raw cashews (chopped)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or cooking spray
- Place all ingredients except the cashews in the blender and blitz into a pancake-batter-like consistency. If
- Brush oil onto the griddle or coat with cooking spray. Use a ¼ cup measure to pour out little dosa rounds on the griddle.
- Sprinkle on a few cashew pieces on the uncooked side. When the sides of the dosa appear to dry up and the underside is a rich golden-brown, flip the dosa and continue cooking it for another 30 seconds.
- Serve the banana dosa hot with more banana slices.