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How to Make Home-made Dosas – Indian Rice and Lentil Pancakes


Dosas are like tortillas with an education


dosas served with a homemade chilli sauce

dosas served with a home-made chilli sauce. A quality store bought chilli sauce could also be used.

For this week’s recipe shed challenge – that’s recipes with rice, pulses and/or pasta – I’ve chosen a family favourite: dosas!

I’ve been planning to publish this dosa recipe for some time now. Dosas are simply amazing with their crispy exterior and soft centre. To my knowledge, there’s nothing like them in western cookery but I bet you’ll be planning your next dosa meal after you take your first bite!

Dosas can be served plain or stuffed with the filling of your choice. They also go quite nicely with Indian raitas and chutneys.

Here I have decided to stuff them with my masala mash potatoes which is the most common dosa stuffing in India.

The great thing about dosas is that they are really good for you. The batter is made from basmati rice and white urad dhal lentils which can be purchased in Indian shops.

You do need to plan a day ahead to make these Indian crepe-like delights but I promise you’ll be very glad you did.

Before we get started, let me stress one thing… get yourself a non-stick pan if you don’t have one.


Dosas like to stick to pans!



Serves 8 to 10


600g Basmati rice
150g urad dhal lentils
1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds
2 Tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 onion cut in half
Vegetable oil for cooking


Place the rice in a large bowl and soak in plenty of water overnight.

In a separate bowl, soak the dhal and fenugreek seeds together in water overnight.

In the morning, drain the rice and put it in a blender with 125ml of water and begin to blend.

While blending, add another 125ml of water until it turns to a smooth paste. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. You may need to give your blender a rest during this time.

Pour the rice paste into a bowl and then add the lentils to the blender.

Now I know what you’re thinking… ‘Why not just blend everything at the same time?’

Believe me, you don’t want to go there!

OK, so you’ve added the lentils and fenugreek seeds to the blender.

Turn on the blender and begin adding water a little bit at a time until it begins to blend and turn into a smooth paste. This will take 5 to 7 minutes and you will need give your blender a rest as it will begin to smoke. Don’t panic! Just let the blender have a break.

When you have a smooth lentil paste, add it to the rice paste and throw in your fenugreek leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

Now cover the bowl with a wet cloth and set it in a warm place for 12 hours to ferment and take on take on its delicious flavour.

The batter will begin to bubble and expand a bit and will smell quite nice.

To cook

Place a non-stick shallow frying pan over high heat and get the pan very hot.

Onion for cooking dosas

Onion for cooking dosas

Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and spread it around with the halved onion. The starch in the onions helps ensure the dosas don’t stick and it also adds nicely to the flavour.

Take a ladle or tea cup full of you batter and swirl it around the edge of the pan and then quickly spread the batter to cover the bottom of the pan as if it were a crepe.

Cooking dosas

The dosa begins to cook!

All you need to do now is wait a few minutes.

If you are serving your dosas plain, you will want to flip the dosa after about two minutes and cook for another two minutes on the opposite side.

Dosa frying

Add the filling if using.

If you are filling your dosas, cook on one side for about two minutes and then add the stuffing.

The top of the dosa will still be under-cooked but that’s okay.

Spread your filling over the surface and cook for another minute and then fold over as shown in the picture.

As mentioned above, I have filled these dosas with my vegetarian masala potatoes. They are also good filled with cheese, lamb rogan josh, chicken tikka masala, last night’s spaghetti, eggs…

I think you get the idea.

Enjoy and please pop back by and let me know if you are as crazy about dosas as my family and I am!

18 Responses to “How to Make Home-made Dosas – Indian Rice and Lentil Pancakes”

  1. Will says:

    Love the video! I will defo be making these soon! prob no more homemade Naan breads for a while!

  2. What a masterclass! You are the main man, Dan. I’ve bookmarked this. Never cooked dosas before, but they are on my Must Do list.
    (love the contempt in your photographer’s voice when she says, ‘Two minutes!)
    Next week’s Shed is being hosted by TheBoyAndMe (coz I’m going up north to visit my dad). her theme: PRESERVES AND CHUTNEYS.
    Get that mango chutney recipe off the shelf!

  3. HELEN says:

    great video…and great recipe, it looks delicious. I really would like to try this but it does sound like a lot of work….but I’m sure it’s worth it though. :-)

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Thank you for that Helen.

      The recipe is really nice. Hope you do give it a try. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions.


  4. maggie says:

    great video, will try again you recipe is much clearer. I even bought the special pan what i am aiming for are the fairly crispy dosa served almost in a cone shape (london restauarant style)

  5. Mark says:

    Nice one Dan as always (will have to wait for diet break!). I like the glass of red wine in the background that has nothing to do with the cooking (but is oh so essential!).


  6. Keith says:

    When I am feeling energetic and adventurous, I am going to have to try this, it looks delicious

  7. Mina Joshi says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Your dosas look so delicious. I hope to try the recipe soon as I have never made dosas – not even from the ready made packs. My kids love them and always order them when we eat in an Indian restaurant.


  8. Terra says:

    Oh I am loving the idea of working with fenugreek, AND making homemade dosas!!!! They look really delicious:-) Take care, Terra

  9. Janine Bailey says:

    These look fab, must try x

  10. What a wonderful recipe. I remember good vegetable dhosa at a little Indian vegetarian restaurant off Tottenham Court Rd.That was over 15 years ago, and I now live in an Indian food free environment.That is about my only regret:)

  11. A.K says:

    Hi Dan,
    I am a recent visitor to your site and your measurements are perfect, But if we want it more simple we can say the urad dal and rice measurement as 1:3(1 urad and 3 rice), and the important tip is, if you are living in freezing cold / cold environments don’t add salt immediately after grinding the batter. Let it ferment overnight first and then in the morning add salt, a pinch of bi-carb soda, 1 tbsp. cumin seeds and refrigerate the batter. Trust me, I am from India and living in Australia now and you will get perfect dosas.

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