I am always making different kinds of dosas in my kitchen because we love dosas around here, for a traditional Indian breakfast or lunch. I've shared with you many of these recipes, including my classic dosa recipe, brown rice dosa, sorghum dosa and instant masala dosa (as well as an instant gluten-free masala dosa).
Among those recipes was also a quinoa dosa, which I called a quinoa crepe when I shared it back in 2013. This recipe has always been one of my favorites because it makes the crispiest dosas.
In the years since I've tweaked my quinoa dosa recipe to simplify it and to remove rice from it altogether (although you can add some if you want to--I'll tell you how). And I've also started to ferment the batter for its probiotic benefits, although you don't have to if you'd rather eat the dosa sooner.
I don't need to tell you the benefits of quinoa, you already know them: this super grain has a large amount of protein with a wide range of amino acids, which makes it particularly beneficial for vegans, vegetarians and those who follow a gluten-free diet. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants, and has B vitamins and iron, among tons of other benefits.
If you already love quinoa, these dosas are a great way to incorporate this healthy grain in your diet. And they will make a great addition to your Indian vegan recipe box!
Why you'll love this quinoa dosa
- It's super healthy. I use a mix of three lentils and quinoa in this recipe. You can use just one kind of lentil, if you'd rather. Also, you can make these dosas probiotic by fermenting the batter overnight--a simple, hands-off process with huge benefits for your gut health.
- It's crispy and delicious. The quinoa makes these dosas really, really crispy and crunchy, which makes it really kid-friendly as well. Jay has always loved dosas, but he loves these quinoa dosas just a bit more.
- It's easy to make. If you've never made dosa before, there's no reason to be afraid. The only part that takes a bit of skill is actually making the dosa--spreading the batter on the skillet--and you don't have to be perfect to get good results. Stay with it and you'll get better as you practice.
- It's everyone friendly. These dosas are gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free--and vegan, of course, so anyone can eat them.
- Quinoa. Always wash quinoa before use. This is best done by placing the quinoa in a fine-mesh colander and rinsing it under running water. Quinoa has a natural, protective coating of phytochemicals called saponins, which can make the quinoa taste bitter. But it's a problem easily taken care of by simply rinsing the quinoa thoroughly before you add it to your recipe.
- Lentils. I use three commonly used Indian lentils in this recipe: urad dal (black gram dal), chana dal (Bengal gram dal) and toor dal (split pigeon peas). If you want to use just one dal, use urad dal and leave out the others. The mix adds great flavor and more healthfulness.
- Fenugreek seeds. You can leave out the fenugreek seeds, especially if you don't plan on fermenting the batter.
- Salt to taste.
How to make quinoa dosa
What to serve with quinoa dosa
You can also serve the dosa with this tasty onion chutney.
If you don't want to use three types of lentils, just go with urad dal. Always use the tiny white dal in this recipe, not the versions that have the black skin on.
Most definitely. Replace half the quinoa with rice and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Yes, just add ¼th cup of poha or flattened rice to the quinoa and lentils when you soak them.
Dosas are always best eaten right after you make them. If you have more batter than you need, store the batter in the refrigerator--it will be fine for at least four days to a week. When you feel like eating dosas, just take the batter out and make them.
- Rinse the dals and quinoa and place in a bowl with fenugreek seeds, if using, and enough water to cover by at least two inches. Set aside to soak at least three hours or overnight.
- Drain and place the quinoa and lentils in a blender with enough water to keep the blades moving. Blend into a smooth paste. You can always mix in more water later if your batter is too thick. The dosa batter should have the consistency of a thin pancake batter minus the lumps.
- You can make the dosas rightaway after blending, or you can ferment the batter overnight to get healthier dosas. To ferment the batter, cover the bowl with a lid and place in a warm spot in your kitchen, or in a cold oven with the light turned on, overnight. The batter will become puffy after 8-10 hours, indicating that it is teeming with good-for-you bacteria. Stir in salt to taste at this point.
- To make the dosas, use a paper towel or the cut surface of half a potato or onion to rub a tiny bit of oil on the surface of a griddle. There should be no visible oil, you are just seasoning the griddle to ensure the dosa doesn't stick.
- Heat the griddle until water splattered on the surface sizzles and evaporates rightaway. Using a ladle with a rounded bottom, place about ⅓rd cup of the dosa batter in the center of the griddle. Using the bottom of the ladle, start spreading the batter into a round, moving outward from the center in a spiral motion. Your dosa should be rather thin and crepe-like. Don't worry if you don't get this perfect the first few times--you'll get better with practice.
- Sprinkle a few drops of oil around the edges of the crepe. This helps the edge brown and become all crispy, and it helps release the dosa crepe. You can also use cooking spray, just turn the heat all the way down or off before spraying around the edges, for safety's sake.
- Let the bottom cook until golden-brown. If your dosa is thin enough, you don’t really need to cook the other side, but if it is thick, flip it over and cook another 30 seconds.
- Serve hot with sambar or chutney.
- Always make only the number of dosas you want to eat and refrigerate the batter until you want to make more. Dosas don't store very well once made. Eat them rightaway.
- To make softer dosas, add ¼ cup poha or flattened rice. You can also make the dosas thicker, which will keep them softer.
- Serve the dosa with a sambar, a south Indian dal, like this Onion Sambar or this White Pumpkin Sambar. Or serve it with a coconut chutney or onion chutney.