Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Set Dosa – Soft and Spongy Dosa

Set dosa is a popular breakfast item at Udupi restaurants in Bangalore. It usually comes as a set of three soft and thick spongy dosas served usually with sago or vegetable korma. The best part of this dosa is that it is oil free and remains soft and spongy even when cold. Serve this with mixed vegetable korma and you have a complete and nutritious meal.
Like with other urad dal based dosas, proper fermentation of the batter is very important to get spongy dosa. Fermentation time may vary depending on the local climate. During summer time, 8 hours of fermentation is sufficient for the batter to raise well.

Idli/Dosa rice – 2 cups (You may also use 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice)
Aval/poha/avalakki – 1 cup
Urad dal/uzhunnu parippu – ½ cup
Fenugreek/methi seeds – 1½ tsp
Water as needed
Salt as needed

While preparing dosa:
Oil to taste

Cooking Time:
Soaking time for ingredients – 6-8 hours
Grinding batter – 20 mins
Fermentation – 8-12 hours
Dosa making time – 2 mins/dosa
Makes 25-30 set dosas

Making batter:
Wash and soak rice in water in a bowl. Wash urad dal and fenugreek seeds and soak in water. Let these sit for about 5 hours.
Wash poha/aval in water just before grinding. Drain the water.
Add soaked urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and washed aval to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smoote paste. Remove the ground paste from the mixer and transfer to a large bowl.
Add rice to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the bowl containing the urad dal batter. Add salt. Use your right hand to mix the batter well. The batter should be idli batter consistency. You may add water to make it the right consistency. Remember, you can always add more water if needed but if you make the batter watery, your will not get the right texture of dosa. Adding the right amount of water at this stage is very important. A very thin or thick batter may not ferment well.
Set the batter aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours, you will notice that the batter has risen well and almost doubled. Use a ladle to stir the batter and mix it well.

Making dosa:
Heat an iron tawa. When the tawa is appropriately hot, place it on medium heat and pour one ladle of batter on the tawa and gently spread it around to make a small round shape (about 5 inches/similar to the size of a CD-ROM). Do not spread thin like the regular dosa. Keep the flame in medium. If the batter is fermented properly and if the heat is right, you will notice holes forming on the surface of the dosa. You may choose to sprinkle oil around the edges. You may skip this also.
Set dosa is usually not cooked on both sides. Personally, I prefer cooking it on both sides. But, if you choose to cook it only on one side, after spreading the batter on the tawa, cover it with a lid.
When you notice the edges turning crisp, flip the dosa and cook for less than a minute.
Remove the dosa from the tawa, place on a serving plate, and serve hot with vegetable korma or chutney.

You can also sprinkle milaga podi on the dosa just before serving.

I used 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice and hence the dosas are slightly red.
If you live in colder regions, place the ground batter near the refrigerator/warm stove to aid in proper fermentation.

Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Tiffin, Vegan

Ada Dosa with Drumstick Leaves

Ada dosaAda dosa is a popular traditional morning breakfast or evening tiffin in Kerala Iyer households. It is a thick dosa made of coarsely ground parboiled rice and lentils. It is a balanced food consisting both carbs and protein and after having a couple of adais, your stomach feels very full for at least 3 hours. Adai is a family favorite and we make two variations. One is with rice and multiple dals and the other one with rice and chana dal and drumstick leaves/methi leaves mixed in the batter. This is a very good way of including greens in your diet. Earlier I had shared a soft and instant dosa with drumstick leaves made of raw rice. Check it out here.

Moringa leavesIngredients:
Parboiled rice/idly rice – 2 cups
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Shallots/asafetida(hing) – a handful of shallots or 1/2 tsp hing
Dry red chilies – 6-8
Water – just enough to grind to medium consistency
Salt to taste

Drumstick leaves – 1 cup tightly packed
Methi leaves – 1 cup washed and chopped

For Dosa:
Sesame oil/groundnut oil – 1 tsp per adai

Preparation time:
Soaking: 3-4 hours
Grinding: 10 mins
Cooking time: 3 mins/dosa

Wash and soak the rice, chana dal, and dry red chillies together for 3-4 hours. Grind the soaked ingredients along with handful of shallots (or 1/2 tsp asafetida) coarsely. Since only coarse grinding is necessary, you may use a mixer to grind in batches. Add necessary amounts of water to grind the batter to a medium consistency. Do not make it too loose. Add salt and drumstick leaves/chopped methi leaves to the batter. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. Ada dosai batter does not require fermentation.

Heat an iron griddle. Use a cotton cloth to grease the griddle with sesame oil.

Ada dosaWhen the griddle is hot, spread a ladleful of batter and spread around to make a thick dosa. My grandmother never used to a ladle to spread adai. She would use her hand to spread the batter around.

Drizzle oil around the adai batter and in the middle. Do not economize on oil. Since this is a thick dosa, a good amount of oil is needed so that the batter gets cooked properly. Cook in medium heat.

When the sides start getting brown, turn over and cook the other side. Cook until both sides turn crisp.

Remove from tava and serve hot. Since this is a spicy dosa, it does not need chutney. It is traditionally served with unsalted white butter or jaggery.

Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Snacks, Sweets, Tiffin, Vegan

Wheat Dosa with Sweet Coconut Filling

A simple and easy to make dish to satisfy sweet craving.

Wheat dosa with sweet fillingIn Karnataka, Neer dosa (made of rice) with sweetened coconut is served in many restaurants. Here is a wheat version that is very easy to make at home.

For batter:
Whole wheat atta – 1 cup
Water – 1-1/2 cup
A pinch of salt

For sweet filling:
Grated coconut – 2 cups
Grated jaggery – 4-5 tbsp (adjust to taste)
Sesame seeds – 1-1/2 tsp
Elaichi powder – a pinch

For dosa:
Coconut oil/ghee – 1 tsp

Rolled wheat dosa with sweet fillingMethod:
Mix grated coconut, scraped jaggery, elaichi powder together and mix well. Keep aside for half an hour.

Add water and a pinch of salt to the wheat flour and mix it to make a batter of dosa batter consistency.

Heat a tawa and make thin dosas/crepes. Smear a little ghee/oil and cook on both sides. When both sides are done, transfer from the tawa to a plate and spread sweet coconut filling on the side up, roll, cut, and serve.

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Breakfast, Dosas, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Akki Roti (Spicy Rice Pancake)

Akki roti served with chutney

My favorite in Kannada cuisine. It is a rice-based breakfast item, very similar to dosa. I love it for its mix of soft and crisp textures and the use of flavorful jeera, dill (a kind of herb that belongs to the parsley family), and coriander leaves.

Akki roti means rice pancake in Kannada. It is made by mixing boiling water in rice flour along with salt and kneaded well to make a soft dough. Chopped onions, crushed cumin seeds, coriander leaves, dill leaves, and curry leaves can be added while kneading the dough. Due to the sticky nature and thick consistency of the rice dough, instead of directly spreading it on to the tawa, it needs to be spread out on a banana leaf. At roadside stalls, I have seen thick aluminum foil/plastic sheets being used. I would not recommend this. Try to use banana leaf. Akki roti is best served hot and can be eaten along with sambar and/or chutney. A dash of butter or ghee with akki roti is also preferred.

Preparation Time – 10 mins
Cooking Time – 5 mins per piece
Makes 8-10 rotis

Raw rice flour – 3 cups
Onion – 1 medium sized
Jeera – 1 tsp
Dill leaves – a handful (optional)
Coriander leaves – a handful
Curry leaves – leaves from 2 sprigs
Green chilies – 3
Grated coconut – 1/4 cup (optional)
Water – 1-1/2 cups
Salt to taste

Oil – 1 tsp per roti

To spread the roti:
Banana leaves or plastic sheets

DoughMethod 1:
Boil water in a pan. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat, add rice flour and salt into the pan a bowl. Mix the flour using a ladle until it becomes a smooth and firm round ball (similar to chapathi dough). Keep aside.
Chop onion finely. Crush jeera (this helps bring out the flavor). Clean and wash dill leaves, coriander leaves, and curry leaves and chop them finely. Slit the green chilies, remove the seeds, and chop finely. Add the chopped ingredients into the dough and mix well.

StepsWash banana leaf, wipe with a dry cloth, and smear oil on the dark green side. Take fistful of dough and make into a round ball. Place the round ball of dough on the banana leaf where the oil is smeared. Flatten the ball with your hands – in this case, wet your fingers with oil/water periodically to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Alternatively, you could place the dough between two well-oiled banana leaves and use a rolling pin to spread it. Before cooking, take off the banana leaf at the top. The spread out dough can have the thickness of a roti.

Akki rotiHeat an iron tawa and use an oil smeared cloth to smooth out the surface. Place the banana leaf on it, dough-side down. After a minute or so, when the leaf starts fading in color, carefully peel off the leaf. If you are using a plastic sheet, make sure the sheet doesn’t touch the tawa. Drizzle a tsp of oil and cook the roti on medium flame on both sides. Roll out the remaining dough and cook in a similar fashion. Serve with coconut chutney and/or Sambar.


One part of a banana leaf can be used to make 4-5 akki roti.

Akki Roti Method-2Method 2:
An alternative and easy way of making akki roti (more like a dosa) is to use normal water instead of boiling water and make the batter dilute as in a rava dosa/neer dosa batter. In this case, you need to use a ladle to pour and spread the dosa batter on the tawa. It would be ideal to close the dosa with a lid after the batter is spread out. Flip over after a minute and cook both sides. This method can be tried out when banana leaf is not available. The dosas made this way are thinner and retain softness for a longer time unlike akki roti, which is best eaten fresh.

Akki roti-2

The texture and taste of akki roti is unique when made in the traditional way, and I highly recommend trying it out.

Tips & Variations:

  • Before mixing water to the rice flour, add a 1 tsp of hot oil. Mix it in and then add water. This reduces the chewiness of the roasted roti.
  • You can also add roasted and coarsely ground peanuts to add some texture to the roti.
  • If you prefer some sourness, you can add some sour curd to the dough.
  • You can substitute rice with ragi and make ragi rotiRagi is rich in calcium, fiber, protein, iron and other minerals and hence a healthier choice than rice.
  • Instead of using rice flour, you can soak raw rice in water for 3-4 hours, grind it to a fine paste and make the roti. Turns out delicious and stays soft for long. The advantage of making akki roti from scratch is that you get to choose the type of rice and can use red rice or unpolished rice varieties for more nutrition.


Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, Sweets, Tiffin

Banana Uthappam (Pancake)

BananaDid you know that overripe bananas with black spots have more nutritive value and more antioxidants than the yellow spotless ones? Overripe bananas are difficult to eat as is, but they are easier to cook, especially smoothies. Here is a pancake that you can make with overripe bananas. Kids are going to love this one. Some not-so-small kids will love it too. 🙂 The below recipe makes four 3-inch size uthappams.

Ripe Banana – 1
Rice flour – 2 tbsp
Wheat/Maida – 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
Milk – 1/2 cup
Raisins – 5-6
Cashew nuts – 5-6
Ghee (for cooking) – 4 tsp (1 tsp per uthappam)

Cut the ripe banana into pieces. Add rice flour and wheat flour/maida, cardamon powder, and milk to the cut bananas and mash.

Banana pieces and flour

Add milk in small quantities until you get a smooth paste. Add raisins and broken cashew nuts.


Heat a non-stick pan. Pour spoonfuls of batter into small uthappams. Pour a teaspoon ghee per piece.

Pour spoonfuls

When the sides start turning crisp, carefully flip and cook the other side. Ensure that you cook in slow fire, otherwise the uthappam will break. Cook both sides until golden brown.

Banana uthappam can be served plain, just off the pan, hot and crisp. You may pour honey or caramelized jaggery/sugar on it.


I added a drop of jackfruit jam to my uthappam – the best combo ever!

The source of this recipe is:

Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Millet Recipes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Sprouted Ragi Dosa

A variety of grains are cultivated in India. The best way to taste and experience grain varieties is to travel through villages. Rice and wheat (which is what most people in the city consume) is a luxury for most villagers. Villagers survive on cheaper millets such as bajra (pearl millet), jowar (sorghum), nachni (finger millet/ragi), etc. Generally labeled as food for the poor, these humble yet powerhouse grains rich in minerals are the secret to the villagers’ health and longevity. These grains are diabetic-friendly and gluten-free too!

Ragi is staple food of many villages in south India and Maharashtra. Ragi is the first solid food that is given to most South Indian kids. Ragi is rich in calcium and an excellent source of fiber. Most families living in villages include ragi in some form or the other in their everyday meal. Authentic Karnataka ragi recipes include Ragi Mudde and Ragi Roti. Bakhri of Maharashtra is an equivalent of ragi roti of Karnataka. City markets have sophisticated items like ragi cookies, biscuits, khakra, and even ragi puttu powder! Popped ragi powder called ragi huri hittu is also something found in city markets and can be used to make sweets. Ragi malt drink is a popular in many Udupi restaurants. Ragi dosa is also popular although not very commonly seen in restaurants.

Ragi dosa

One way of making ragi dosa is to get readymade ragi flour from the market and make instant ragi dosas that do not require fermentation. But I wanted to make it using whole grains and try sprouting the grain. The process is time consuming but the taste and feeling of satisfaction makes it a truly worthy experience. Sprouting ragi takes roughly 32 hours (depending on the climate in your region). This dosa batter needs fermentation. So plan for your sprouted ragi dosa at least 2 days in advance.

For Batter:
Ragi – 1 cup
Raw rice – 2 cups (I used unpolished red raw rice)
Urad dal – 3/4 cup
Salt to taste

For Mixing In Batter:
Chopped onion – ½ cup
Green chilly – 2
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup

For Dosa:
Cooking Oil as needed

Sprouted RagiSprouting Ragi:
Wash and clean the ragi grains in water. Soak the grain overnight/8 hrs in a wide mouthed vessel. Colder climates may need more soaking time. After 8 hrs of soaking, remove excess water. Close the vessel using a thin wet cotton cloth. Leave it to rest for 10-12 hrs or up to 24 hrs. Within 10-12 hrs, you will notice sprouts appearing. The length of the sprouts will depend on the climate in your region. Since it’s cold at this time here, I could get only tiny sprouts.

IngredientsRoughly 6 hrs before you want to make the batter, soak 2 cups of raw rice and 3/4 cup of urad dal separately. After 6 hrs, drain excess water. When your ragi sprouts are also ready, it’s time to make the batter.

Making batter:
Grind the urad dal to a smooth paste. Then grind raw rice and sprouted ragi and mix with ground urad dal. Add salt. Mix well using your hand (this aids in fermentation). Leave undisturbed overnight (8-10 hrs). Fermentation causes batter to rise. Ensure that you choose a vessel that has some space to allow the batter to rise. After 8-10 hrs the batter would have risen and is ready to be used.

BatterChop onions, curry leaves, coriander leaves, and green chilies finely. Add to the sprouted ragi dosa batter. Crush cumin seeds and add it to the batter. If you like the plain variety, you could avoid this step. Mix well.

Making ragi dosaMaking Dosa:
Heat an iron griddle. When the griddle is adequately hot, turn fire to low, pour a drop of oil on the griddle, and spread it around using a cotton cloth. Take a ladle full of batter and using the flat bottom part of the ladle to spread the batter. Close the dosa on the griddle using a lid. Since raw rice is used in this batter, closing it with a lid aids in dosa getting cooked faster and makes it soft yet crispy. Turn the heat up to medium and cook the dosa for about half a minute. Remove the lid. When you see that the dosa edges have turned crisp and leaves the sides, drizzle half a teaspoon oil and flip over. Cook the other side for about half a minute. Remove from fire. Serve with sambhar, chutney, or podi. When served with sambhar, sprouted ragi dosa becomes a healthy and wholesome meal. Try experimenting and including this poor man’s grain in your diet. Benefits are many!

Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Millet Recipes, Snacks, Sweets, Tiffin, Vegan

Sweet Multigrain Dosa

This multigrain sweet dosa is similar to my previous sweet dosa post. I found a packet of wheat bran at the health store and was thinking of ways of adding this fiber to my diet. Tried mixing it with the chappathi dough. That resulted in slightly stiff rotis because of the fiber content. Maybe if you add lesser quantities of bran, rotis might turn out to be softer. But when I can use the bran to make a sweet item, why not?

Making sweet dosa is very easy and I do not stick to fixed proportions. The quantity of jaggery can be the same as the amount of flour you take. Add little portions of wheat flour, wheat bran, rice flour, and ragi flour to melted jaggery and the batter is ready. I also added some jackfruit jam. This is an optional ingredient. You can throw in anything that you think will enhance the taste of this dosa.

Wheat flour – 1 cup
Ragi flour – 1/2 cup
Rice flour – 1/2 cup
Wheat flour – 1/2 cup
Jaggery – 1-1/2 cup
Water – 3 cups
Elaichi powder – 1 tsp
Ghee/cooking oil – 1 tbsp

spread batter on tawaMelt jaggery in water and strain it. Add all the flour, elaichi powder, and mix well. Wheat bran tends to thicken your batter. If the batter is very watery, the dosa may stick to the pan and you may have difficulty removing the dosa from the pan. This batter is better suited to make pancake-style dosas.

Heat a tawa on medium flame. Spread small portions of the sweet dosa batter to make slightly thick and small dosas. Drizzle ghee/cooking oil around the dosa. Let it cook for a minute. Flip using a spatula and cook the other side for around a minute. Sweet fibrous multigrain dosa is ready. If you want a pancake style dosa, you could drizzle honey on the dosa while serving although this is really not required.

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