How to make Dosa Varieties without the Dosa Batter

How to make Dosa Varieties without the Dosa Batter
Dosa Varieties – the more the merrier

Dosas – gluten free, rice flour crepes, are decidedly one of the most preferred breakfast dishes – after the softy, fluffy idlis of course. This is true, at least for me. The thin, crispy, golden brown crepes served with Sambhar and coconut chutney is a mouth-watering prospect when hunger strikes. Unlike varieties of Idli, the varieties of Dosa are only restricted by your imagination. A random Google search yields results that talk of 51 types of dosas. I am sure an innovative chef will go beyond that number as well.

However tasty these dosas are, the traditional dosa varieties cannot be made at will. The rice and the lentils needs to be soaked, ground and then the batter needs to be fermented for a few hours before you can enjoy these crispy crepes. So what if you want – the soft or crispy dosas in a jiffy? There are options to get this. No, we are not talking about readymade dosas or quick fix dosas. We are taking about alternative Dosas – flavorful, crispy and delicious crepes that do not need long hours of soaking or fermentation. So enjoy these dosas – that can be made minus the dosa batter.


Adai is the much healthier version of the rice flour dosa. Why? Unlike the white flour dosas, the Adai is made of mixed lentils -making it protein rich, upping the health quotient. Adai, in fact, goes very far back in history and is recorded in celebrated Tamil literature. Read more about this historic dish, among others, in this article on Down to Earth by Chitra Balasubramaniam titled “Traditionally Sumptuous”


Adai is a kind of dosa that is not made from the traditional dosa batter, Instead, it is made of lentils, making it protein-rich, and a delicious dish
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Dinner
Cuisine south Indian


  • 1 cup Rice
  • ¼ cup Toor Dal or Split Pigeon Peas
  • ¼ cup Chana Dal or Split Chickpeas
  • ¼ cup Masoor Dal or Red Lentils
  • 2 tsp Urad Dal or Split Black Gram
  • 5-6 Red Chilies
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • Few curry leaves
  • Water to soak
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salt to Taste


  • Soak all the ingredients – the rice, lentils and the red chilies for about two hours. If you want it to soaking to be done faster, you can use boiling water, and keep it covered for about half an hour. This is of course the shortcut method, but effective nevertheless.
  • Once soaked, grind them in a blender with a little water. The traditional Adai is slightly coarse, so don’t blend it very fine. Of course, as an option you can grind it to a fine paste, if you so wish.
  • Once the blending is done, take the mixture out in a bowl. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding more water. The batter should not be runny and not very thick too. Slightly pasty consistency should help make great Adai.
  • Add salt and a pinch of asafoetida. Add curry leaves and mix well
  • Heat a non-stick tava and spread the batter evenly on it. Take a teaspoon of oil and sprinkle around the pancake.
  • Let the pancake cook evenly on both sides to golden brown color. You can serve Adai with Sambhar and with green, red or coconut chutney.

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