Bajra Dosai (Pearl Millet Dosai)

I guess no one really needs an introduction to dosai... In case you do.. they are crispy South Indian crepes made with a fermented batter of ground urad dal (black lentils) and rice. While plain rice dosai with a filling of potato and side of sambar is standard, there are several variations like maida (refined ywheat flour) and rava (semolina) dosai that are widely popular in South Indian households. Traditionally these crepes are consumed for breakfast. However with the increasing popularity of South Indian cuisine throughout India, people these days do not mind a lunch or dinner  of dosai along with dosa masala, sambar and coconut chutney.

This month Sowmya of Nivedhanam tried a healthy variation of the traditional Dosai. Replacing rice with pearl millet she created Kambu dosai or pearl millet dosai and challenged the Northern Group of SNC team to try it out... Now I had urad dal and pearl millet flour in my pantry. I asked her if  I could use bajra flour to make these crepes. She said I could and the same proportion of  bajra(pearl millet) to urad dal would work even if I were to substitute the bajra with bajra flour. So that is what I did.  I soaked the urad dal with fenugreek seeds for few hours, then ground it to a smooth batter and to it I added a paste of the bajra flour. As you can see the substitute worked beautifully..

However if you prefer to use pearl millet instead of pearl millet flour,  soak the same measure of the grain along with the urad dal then grind the mixture to a smooth batter and follow the recipe thereon. You can use a different combination of vegetables to top the dosai,  but I stuck to Sowmya's choice of carrots and green beans and we enjoyed the way the crepes turned out.

Now a quick word about the accompaniments..  As I mentioned before, traditionally dosai are served with sambar and chutney. But if you are in a mood to experiment, try it with this Cucumber Kootu and some South Indian garlic powder. It is a delightful combination.. even my husband with really high standards for south Indian food was pretty impressed with the combo !

Bajra Dosai (Pearl Millet Dosai)

Recipe by adapted from Nivedhanam
Prep time: minimum 9 hours                                                                Cook time: 3-5 minutes per dosai
Yield: 10 dosais

  • ½ cup urad dal
  • 1 ⅓ cup Bajra or pearl millet flour
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 medium sized carrots, grated
  • ⅓ cup green beans, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps curry leaves, finely chopped
  • ¾ inch long ginger, grated
  • 2 tsps green chili, finely chopped(I did not put)
  • 2 tsps black pepper powder
  • coconut or vegetable oil for making the dosai
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak the urad dal for atleast 6 hours along with the fenugreek seeds.
  2. Adding water as required, grind the soaked dal to a smooth batter.
  3. Add 1 ⅓ cups of water to the pearl millet flour and mix until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Add the pearl millet flour paste to the ground urad batter and mix well.
  5. Stir in the salt and add water till the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter.
  6. The batter can now be used. However dosai made out of batter that has been allowed to ferment in the refrigerator sometime tastes better. It is advisable to refrigerate the batter for atleast 4 hours. I allowed the batter to rest for 5 days before making them. The batter had began to smell a bit sour-ish by then.
  7. When ready to make the dosai, grate the carrots, slice the green beans, mix the two together and add the ginger, green chili(if using), curry leaves, coriander leaves and black pepper to it. Season the vegetable mixture and keep aside.
  8. Now heat a tawa or griddle over medium high heat. Rub it with a lightly oil crumbled paper towel and reduce the heat to medium low.
  9. Pour ¼ cup of the batter on the griddle and using the back of a ladle spread the batter moving spirally from inside out. Try to do this quickly.
  10. Sprinkle 1½ tablespoon of the vegetable mixture over the spread out batter and press it in using or spatula.
  11. Let the dosai cook for a couple of minutes. 
  12. When the edges will begin to get crispy and the dosai can be easily lifted with the spatula, flip it over, drizzle half a teaspoon of oil if you like and cook on the other side for another couple of minutes.
  13. Once cooked, remove from the griddle and serve with chutney and sambar or a vegetable kootu.  

Thank you Sowmya of Nivedhanam for the challenge and thanks to Divya Pramil of You Too Can Cook for starting the South Vs North Challenge. 

updated the recipe on 4/1/2014. Thanks for your comments.

I shall be sharing this at the following parties..
 Mix it up MondayThe ScoopMade with love Monday,
Marvelous Mondays @ This Gal CooksRecipe Sharing @ Jam Hands
Melt in your Mouth MondayInspiration Monday Party
Inspire Me MondayClever Chicks Blog Hop,
Meatless Monday :  Meatless Monday My Sweet and Savory


  1. ah haa such a great dosai :) it turned out so great :)

  2. These crepes are so lovely and I appreciate the background details on the dosai. I didn't realize they were made with black lentils and these sound delicious...

  3. Hello, just a clarification, where and how did the rice flour come in the method (
    Add 1 ⅓ cups of water to the rice flour and mix until you have a smooth paste.
    Add the rice flour paste to the ground urad batter and mix well.) I did not see it ant where in the ingredients. Am I missing something.

    1. Thanks for pointing out that. I had typed it wrong. I have corrected it now. Thanks again !

  4. Your Bajra Dosai looks fabulous!! Thank you so much for sharing your special post with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen


Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

Like us



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...