As a self professed hard core lover of Dosas of all types, I can't but get excited when I am trying a new Dosa variety. It was my aim to cover 101 types of Dosas, though I have only about 35 of them till date. This Onion dosa had always being on top of my mind ever since I read about it in a paper cutting that has been with me for years now, I have tweaked the recipe as per our taste.

When we choose Indian Breads, I looked up again to know what gets covered as part of Indian Breads and was pleasantly surprised to see that even crepes or Dosas are part of Indian Bread. So I was keen on expanding my knowledge by trying yet another type. This dosa is very similar to the regular Adai that is prepared, though its taste is elevated by adding onions and other ingredients.

I was particularly looking for one that doesn't require fermentation or long hours of soaking. Though in a typical environment you can't but let it soak for long. Imagine working and you have to worry about soaking the dals for hours and then again fermenting it, which sure ends up as a regular lengthy process. Whenever I make Dosas that are instant, of course not as instant as Goduma Dosa or Rava Dosa which only needs 15 mins of soaking time, these are instant in sense you don't have to worry whether they ferment well or not. Of course the down side of this, is that you don't always have a crispy crepes in process. But then for a Dosa lover, any dosa is fine by my standards.

You can still get these dosas by adding Rice flour and making the batter really thin. But that again takes practice in spreading the batter properly. So forgot the hassle and enjoy as such. This dosa is one good variety to try if you are bored of the usual ones.


Recipe: Onion Dosa ~ Onion Crepes
Soaking Time : For the dals 4- 5 hours
Resting Time for the batter : 30 - 60 mins
Preparation Time for batter : 10 mins
Yields : 10 medium dosas or more
Recipe Level: Easy/ Beginner
Recipe/Post by: Srivalli

Onion Dosa ~ Onion Crepes

Ingredients Needed:

Channa Dal - 50 gms
Toor Dal - 50 gms
Raw Rice - 50 gms
Fresh Coconut grated - 50 gms
Onions - 2 medium
Dry Red Chili - 4 nos (as per taste)
Salt to taste
Tamarind - small gooseberry
Fresh Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Oil for cooking the dosas


  1. Wash and soak the dals and rice for 4- 5 hours. Grind to fine paste and let to rest for 1 hour.
  2. Soak Tamarind separately in a bowl till soft and extract pulp.
  3. Grind Onions, Red chilis, coconut, coriander leaves to fine paste.
  4. Then mix this onion paste, tamarind pulp, salt to the ground batter.
  5. Heat a tawa or pan with oil, pour one ladleful of batter and spread as a dosa. Sprinkle oil on top.
  6. Cook on one side and flip on the other side.

Coconut Chutney

Special Notes/Tips:

  • The batter should be thin and cooked on medium flame as that the dosa comes out crispy.
  • The batter can be soaked for longer hours too but after grinding you can store it in the fridge.
  • Red chilies can be increased as per taste.
  • I have used only about 50 gms of all, yet after soaking and grinding I had more batter than I thought. So adjust accordingly to your requirement keeping in mind the proportions.

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  1. Priya // 20 January 2010 at 13:45  

    Wow Valli, onion dosa looks fabulous..thanks for sharing..

  2. lata raja // 20 January 2010 at 16:35  

    Incredibly easy Srivalli.

  3. egglesscooking // 20 January 2010 at 17:10  

    Valli, I think this comes in between dosa and adai. I have never tried tamarind/coconut combination in Dosas.

  4. Panchpakwan // 21 January 2010 at 00:30  

    Dosa looks very tempting..

  5. KALVA // 21 January 2010 at 03:36  

    looks awesome. love these dosas

  6. meeso // 21 January 2010 at 05:02  

    Instant is always nice :) Looks yum!

  7. Neeta // 23 January 2010 at 18:12  

    This looks utterly delicious Srivalli, and just brings back the taste of home for me, here in cold grey London!!! I'm very glad to discover your site, it is a wonderful resource of all things I love and adore :-) Thank you......

  8. Gautam // 5 February 2010 at 03:50  

    Re:the 4-5 hours soaking of dals/rice. I DO realize you want to avoid the complications of fermentation and cut don onwork & WORRY,but just as a "what if" thought experiment, i was wondering:

    1. Today we have fast-acting yeasts [dried] packaged, for bread baking. Will a little bit of this help matters in the short ferment? In the long run, I hope Indian food scientists create & market their own "fast" strains of microbes specially suited to idli, dosa & vada,along with yeast/microbe nutrients, in little sachets.

    2. In households where idlis etc. are a common food, is it possible to keep a "sourdough" type culture going, tiny in amount, with leftover batter, renewing it with rice & urad flour every 3-4 days. Kept in the fridge, a very tiny bottle will not take much space, and every week would be drawn down a couple of times at least to make the batter-type foods. Only a teaspoon of the culture will be needed, so we are talking of a bottle holding 2 tsp.max, like a tiny glass lab beaker or bottle of 25-50 ml volume.

    The culture will develop a nice mix of bacteria & yeast that will give any batter a quick start in warm room temperature, or even a slow ferment in the fridge, overnight.