Savoury Lentil Pancake – Dal Dosa

Dosa is a  savoury South Indian crepe or pancake usually made with fermented rice and urad dal, stuffed with a variety of stuffings… tempered potatoes and onions  being the most popular. Served hot and crisp, fresh off the griddle, it is one of the most popular South Indian dish. Cooking dosa requires a lot of prep work but the end result is a yummy crispy pan fried pancake that is just too hard to resist.

There are a lot of different kinds of dosa batters but urad dal dosa is the most commonly available one. You can have it with the stuffing or without it…it just tastes great either way. One of the variations from the traditional urad dal dosa is the mixed dal dosa. In this particular dosa you use a combination of urad, toor and chana dal along with parboiled rice, add the tempering  to the batter and make crispy pancakes. These are so good on their own, that you don’t really need to stuff them.

The preparation of dosa starts the day before you want to have it, cause the lentils and rice need to be soaked, ground and then left to ferment before you can cook them. Great thing about this dosa is the batter doesn’t need to be fermented, you can start making dosa right away after grinding your lentils. I got this recipe from my mother in law, who lived in  south India for a  few years when my father in law was working there. As with all the recipes, this one has evolved a bit too from the original one. My mom in law always used parboiled rice to make her dosa and idlis, but I  started using  rice flour for the convenience of it. Substituting rice with rice flour reduced  the preparation time by a lot and didn’t make any difference to the taste (or maybe  my North Indian taste buds can not tell the difference).



1/2 cup Urad Dal

1/2 cup Toor Dal

1/2 cup Chana Dal

1 cup Uncooked Parboiled Rice or Rice Flour ( I used rice flour)

3-4 red Dry Chillies Broken into smaller pieces

2 cups Water and some extra

4 tbsp Flaked Coconut

1 Medium Onion Chopped

1 Bunch Cilantro

A Generous Pinch Asafoetida

Oil for pan frying


1 tsp Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

5-6 Curry Leaves

1/4 Tsp Cumin Powder


Wash and rinse the dals till water runs clear. Soak them in 2 cups of water for about 4-5 hours.

Make a batter of  rice flour with water, add a pinch of salt to it and keep it aside.

Drain the dals and reserve the water, Blend all the dals to a coarse paste, using the reserved water as you need. You don’t want the batter to be too runny.

Add salt, coconut, onion , chopped cilantro leaves and asafoetida powder.

Add rice batter to it and mix well.

Heat oil at medium high heat in a pan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin powder. Roast for  a a minute till the tempering is brown and fragrant.

Add it to the batter.

Heat a non stick griddle on a medium to high heat and add a tsp of oil to it .

Pour a ladle full of batter to it and spread it out thin.

Put a little more oil along the edges of the dosa and let it cook  for a minute or two till one side is crispy and golden.

Gently flip it over and cook the other side till done.

Fold it over and serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s