Crispy and golden quinoa dosa is a delicious alternative to traditional dosas. Made with a combination of quinoa, lentils, and oats, this recipe offers a nutritious variation without using rice or poha. It is perfect for those seeking a gluten-free and protein-packed breakfast or meal option.
Masala dosa served with coconut chutney, chutney powder, sambar, and potato masala is the ultimate breakfast for South Indians, and this twist to the regular dosa is just perfect. Both lentil chutney powder and flax chutney powder taste delicious with this dosa, and so does avial.
Instant quinoa dosa requires very little prep work, and the batter can be used without fermentation. This is my go-to recipe, particularly in winter or when I don't have time to ferment the batter. Next time, skip the quinoa salad and try this recipe instead. The kids will love it with some homemade strawberry jam.
Why you will love this quinoa dosa recipe?
- Gluten-free and rice-free: This quinoa dosa recipe is naturally gluten-free and does not use rice or poha (flattened rice) in the batter.
- Versatility: Quinoa dosa can be customized with various ingredients, such as chopped vegetables, herbs, spices, or cheese, allowing for different flavor profiles and adaptations to personal preferences.
Quinoa: This is the main ingredient. White quinoa or red quinoa can be used.
Lentils: Urad dal (black gram) is mainly used to make the batter. Along with it, chana dal (split yellow peas), moong dal (yellow lentils), and toor dal (pigeon pea) are also used.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Add vegetables: Add grated or finely chopped vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, spinach, or grated zucchini to the quinoa dosa batter. Make sure you squeeze out any excess liquid from grated veggies (particularly zucchini) so that it does not alter the consistency of the batter.
Make it with cheese: Sprinkle grated cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, on top of the dosa just before folding it. Allow the cheese to melt and the dosa to turn crispy. This variation is particularly a favorite with my kids!
Turn them into pancakes: Mix in jaggery or sugar along with cardamom powder to the batter and cook them like pancakes. Serve the "sweet quinoa dosa pancake" with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Step 1: Wash one cup of quinoa thoroughly 2-3 times. Drain all the water and place it in a large bowl. Next, wash the lentils, methi seeds, and oats well. Drain all the water and place it along with washed quinoa seeds (image 1).
Step 2: Add enough water to soak them. Cover and let it soak for 4-5 hours or overnight (image 2).
Step 3: Once the quinoa, lentils, and oats are soaked, drain all the water from them. Grind them into a smooth batter. The consistency must be similar to pancake batter. Start with one cup of water, and you may need 1 to 1½ cups of water for grinding. Add salt and mix the quinoa dosa batter (images 3 and 4).
Step 4: Take ½ to ¾ cup of batter and pour it into the center of the hot tawa. Using the ladle or a small bowl, gently spread the batter in a circular motion (images 5 and 6).
Step 5: Cook on medium heat until it begins to brown and the outer edges of the dosa leave the pan. Add a few drops of oil or ghee. Flip the dosa using a flat spatula and cook on both sides (images 7 and 8).
Expert tips for making quinoa dosa and batter
It is important to wash quinoa grains thoroughly in cold water and rinse them well before using them. Rinsing quinoa seeds removes their natural coating, which can make them taste bitter.
Where possible, use filtered water for soaking and grinding.
Always add a little water at a time in small batches as needed. The dosa batter consistency must be similar to the pancake batter. For this recipe, you will need 1-1.5 cups of water.
This batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To use, portion out the required amount of batter and let it sit on the countertop for about an hour (depending on the quantity) to come to room temperature. Place the rest of the batter back in the refrigerator.
Use the right tawa or skillet. Traditional dosa recipe uses cast iron tawa. However, a nonstick griddle can also be used. Always cook the dosa on medium flame.
Clean the pan after making the dosa. Sprinkle some water and wipe the pan off with a cotton cloth or wet paper towels before pouring the batter for the next dosa. Sprinkling water also helps to cool the tawa slightly, helping you make thin dosas every time.
The quinoa dosa batter is vegan. Make sure you cook the dosa with oil and not ghee to enjoy vegan quinoa dosa.
To ferment quinoa dosa batter, grind it as per this recipe, mix well, and place it in a steel vessel with a loose-fitting steel lid. Put it in a warm and dark spot for about 8-10 hours or overnight for fermentation. Keep the dosa batter in a steel vessel to ferment in complete darkness. Maintaining the right temperature, ideally around 95 F to 105 F (35 C to 40 C), is essential for the fermentation process. You can use an oven in its keep-warm mode, keep the oven light on, or utilize a yogurt-making appliance for consistent results, with fermentation times varying based on the season's temperature.
Certainly, quinoa flour can be used as a substitute for whole quinoa when making quinoa dosa. To do this, combine the quinoa flour with the other ingredients in this recipe and adjust the water content to reach the desired batter consistency. It's important to note that a batter made with quinoa flour may not ferment the same way as one made with whole quinoa, so it's best to prepare the dosa instantly. To improve binding and achieve the desired crispy texture, you can also add a small amount of chickpea flour (besan) to the batter. Quinoa flakes can also be used instead of whole quinoa; simply soak them along with other ingredients and follow this recipe, adjusting the water as needed.
Here are some of my tried-and-tested tips to make crispy and golden quinoa dosas: Maintain the right batter consistency, ensuring it's thin enough to spread easily but not runny. Heat the griddle properly before pouring the batter, achieving the right heat by testing water droplets. Spread the batter thinly and evenly, as a thin layer results in a crispier dosa. Drizzle oil or ghee on the edges and surface for a golden and crispy texture. Cook on medium-high heat, avoiding very high heat, and flip to cook both sides evenly. Serve immediately to retain crispiness.
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Quinoa Dosa (No Rice or Poha)
Soak and grind the batter:
- Wash the quinoa thoroughly 2-3 times. Drain all the water and place it in a large bowl.
- Next, take the lentils and methi seeds. Wash them well 2-3 times. Drain all the water and place it along with washed quinoa.
- Wash the oats and drain all the water. Place it along with quinoa.
- Add enough water to soak them. Cover and let it soak for 4-5 hours (or overnight).
- Once the quinoa, lentils, and oats are soaked, drain all the water from it.
- Grind them into a smooth batter. The consistency must be similar to pancake batter. You may need 1 to 1½ cups of water for grinding.
- Add salt and mix the batter.
- Heat a cast iron pan or non-stick pan (or tawa) until it is hot. Turn the heat to medium. Lightly grease the pan and wipe off excess oil using a paper towel. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto it and let it evaporate.
- Take a ladle full of batter and pour it into the center of the tawa. Using the ladle or a small bowl gently spread the batter in a circular motion.
- Pour one teaspoon of oil or ghee onto the dosa. You may skip the oil if you are using a non-stick tawa.
- Cook on medium heat until brown. Flip the dosa and cook on both sides.
- Serve hot with the chutney of your choice.