Vegetarian Dosa Recipe

Gluten free dosa

Recently when a friend was visiting me, we went out for lunch, and I had an amazing gluten free meal – Indian dosa. It was basically a thin crispy crepe-like gluten free pancake filled with curried potato and peas, served with different chutneys and relishes. I made up my mind to try making it at home as soon as possible.

I found this recipe for amazing Indian dosa by Jamie Oliver, which used chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour that I already had in the pantry from making socca.  I adapted the filling to match what I had in the house, and it turned out tasty, if not quite as picturesque as Jamie’s one.

Just a note about ingredients – I buy chickpea flour and mustard seeds in bulk from Indian supermarkets, where they are quite cheap.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

For filling:

1 red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tbsp curry powder (I use Keen brand)

Olive oil

2 cups butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 3cm pieces

2 potatoes, chopped into 3cm pieces

1 tin of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

For dosa batter:

1 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour

1 cup gluten free plain (all purpose) flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

Dosa filling


To make the filling – heat a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Add onions, garlic, chili flakes, curry powder and mustard seeds, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Reduce the heat to low and add pumpkin and potato. Stir to combine and add about 1/4 cup water. Put the lid on the frying pan and leave to cook for around half an hour, stirring every ten minutes. Add more water if the mixture begins to dry out.

Once the pumpkin and potato are soft, add the chickpeas and cook until the water has evaporated. The mixture should soft, but still hold its structure. Remove from the heat.

To make the batter – mix together chickpea flour, plain flour, bicarbonate soda and mustard seeds in a large bowl. Whisk in enough water to make a runny batter (around 1 1/4 cups).

smallIndian vegetarian dosa

Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Pour in enough batter to just coat the bottom of the pan and swirl to coat it. Once the bottom of the dosa turns golden brown, add 1/4 of the filling mixture to the centre, then loosely roll it up.

Transfer to a plate and enjoy with limes, mango chutney and lemon pickle 🙂

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  1. That sounds interesting. Are there other flours these would work well with? Could I substitute rice flour for the garbanzo flour?

  2. Thanks for the hint on where to get the chickpea flour! I just printed Jamie’s recipe the other day, so I must try these!

  3. Yums – must try this!

  4. Looks delicious! So you don’t flip it? Does cooking it on one side get it done?

    BTW – I love your measurements… a “glug.” Is that somewhere between a “splash” and a “pour?” 🙂

    • Yep, that’s right, you don’t flip it. It’s so thin that both sides cook, and only cooking it on one side means it is still flexible enough to roll up. And yes a glug is somewhere between a splash and a pour 🙂

  5. Made this tonight. How’d Jamie think it was serving 6-8! Certainly enough dosa but not filling. Couldn’t get mustard seeds so used mustard. The dosa wouldn’t spread and then stuck – so frustrating! Tasty though

    • I also thought Jamie was over-estimating, maybe he serves it as an entree. What kind of pan did you use for the dosa? I used a non-stick one and even then had a bit of trouble getting them to spread so some of them ended up a bit thicker and oddly-shaped compared to Jamie’s. I think if you don’t use a non-stick pan they would be difficult to spread out.

  6. I used a normal frying pan with oil. I think the key was less oil, but also spreading it out after 30 sec or so once the first pour had started to stick. I also made the batter super thin with more water. Meant more pancake to veggie ratio, but I’ll eat them in a big bowl smushed up.

    • Yep, I had the most success waiting for it to stick a bit then swirling the pan, otherwise the whole thing just slid around. I would really like to get a cast iron pan and season it enough to be able to cook these sort of pancakes in it, but they’re really hard to find here.

      • Ah, I’ll ask my (my bro’s?) godmother, she’s a Brisbanite and she sourced our family’s cast iron pans. She’ll know for sure. Whilst I’m on the topic, I’ll be in Brisbane at the start of May!


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