Savory South Indian Dosas with Coconut Chutney

Savory South Indian Dosas with Coconut Chutney

I grew up eating this mouthwatering classic South Indian breakfast. Now that I am gluten free, I enjoy it all the more as it satisfies my craving for Indian naan and roti. Best of all, you don’t need to eat this dish for breakfast only, enjoy it WHENEVER! I’m so thankful to my lovely mom who gave me this recipe to share with all of you.
Dosa with coconut chutney

Dosas are a mixture of rice and lentils. The rice used in this dish is a long grained enriched white rice, just make sure you DO NOT USE basmati rice. My mom says that if you do use basmati rice, it won’t turn out “properly”. The lentils used are called Urad Dhal or Black gram that is “skinned”, so they are appear light beige in color. It’s usually mixed in a proportion of 3:1 (3 parts rice to 1 part Urad Dhal). However, my mom uses a proportion of 2 ½ to 1 ½ parts to cut down on the carbs. Since she uses a rice cup to measure out the lentils and rice, which is a little smaller than an 8 oz cups, I have given you measurements for an 8 oz measuring cup. The batter is spread out with the base of a ladle to form a thin and crispy or a slightly fluffier spongy crepe. Dosas is served hot, either folded in half or rolled like a wrap. It is usually served with chutney, sambar (a spicy South Indian liquidy stew) and a spicy potato fry called masala dosa. This is a simple recipe of dosa served with coconut chutney that is absolutely mouthwatering!

Hope you enjoy it!

To watch the video on how to make this yummy dish, click here!




1 ½ cups ling grain enriched white rice (not basmati)

1 cup (8 oz) Urad dhal (black gram without skin)

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds (optional)

1 tsp Salt

*Each batch makes ~ 20 - 25 crepes; Batter can be kept in the fridge for ~3-5 days.


Coconut Chutney*:

1 – 1 ½ tsp olive/vegetable oil, for frying

1-2 red chilli, break in ½ (I use only 1 for medium heat)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2-3 Jalapeno (thumb sized): 2-3 (I use 2 for medium heat, cut into half, then once lengthwise to get quarters)  

1-2 cups Unsweetened coconut flakes/shredded coconut

2-3 small garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp Purple onion (diced) or 1/2 tsp onion powder

1 thumb size pinch Tamarind juice, pulp soaked in ¼ cup water

1 ½ tsp salt

¼ - 1 cup plain low fat/nonfat yogurt (Stonyfield brand preferred), customized to your palate (optional)

1 – 1 ¼ cup water, for grinding

Optional Step:

1 1 ½ tsp olive/vegetable oil, this will season chutney so it will last longer

½ tsp Mustard seeds

3 Curry leaves, (optional)

*Makes ~ 2 cups; depends on how much yogurt you add to cool down spicy heat.


Recipe for Dosa

  1. Add rice, urad dhal and fenugreek seeds (optional) to a bowl and mix together.
  2. Add water enough to cover all the ingredients and leave out on countertop at room temperature to soak overnight. If all water is absorbed and top of mixture doesn’t have water covering it, add a little more water to cover it.
  3. Drain the water and rinse out the mixture by adding more water (to wash it out) and drain it again so no water remains in the mixture.
  4. Grind mixture in blender/food processor with about 2 cups of water. Start by adding in 1 cup of water initially, then keep adding in ¼ cup of water to grind. It may take about 10-15 mins to grind the batter. Grind it till it flows out and folds like cake batter off a spoon and slight grittiness cannot be minimized anymore. It’s ok if it’s a little bit gritty.
  5. Add 1 tsp salt to batter (taste and add little more 1/8 tsp- ¼ tsp, if desired)
  6. Place a non-stick skillet on stove over medium low heat. Season it if necessary (add a few drops of oil to skillet, spread it around the skillet and wipe off with paper towel)
  7. Add a few more drops of oil to skillet, ladle out a big spoonful of batter onto middle of pan and spread it around in circles to make a round shape. (If batter is thin, the crepe will be crisp, if it’s thicker, it will give you a fluffier and spongier textured crepe).
  8. Fill a tsp with oil and slowly add drops of oil around the outer edge of the crepe.
  9. When the edges of the crepe slowly start to lift up after a minute or two, gently lift crepe up with spatula, check to make sure it’s golden brown underneath and flip over. Fry the bottom of the crepe for another 1-2 mins and check to make sure the batter is cooked and it’s slightly golden brown. (May be a little less than the other side). Don’t worry if first crepe doesn’t come out well, because it may mean that the skillet wasn’t seasoned well or the stove needs to be slight adjusted to medium or medium low heat.


Recipe for Coconut Chutney

  1. Heat 1- 1 ½ tsp olive oil in small pan over medium heat. Add red chilly broken in ½, heat for about 10-15 seconds, remove it and chilly seeds from pan and set aside. (Don’t let it get burnt)
  2. In same pan, add cumin seeds, then add cut jalapeno immediately. Stir mixture until jalapenos has little white dots show on its skin. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Add the following ingredients to blender: Coconut flakes, garlic, purple onion or onion powder.
  4. Add thumbnail sized tamarind pulp to ¼ cup water, mix the two together by squeezing the pulp well, discard pulp, then add the water to the blender.
  5. Add fried mixture of red chillies, cumin and jalapeno to blender.
  6. Add ½ cup water to blender starting with 1 ½ tsp of salt.
  7. Add remaining ¼ cup of water, blend and add last ¼ cup of water.
  8. Grind till everything is blended well and all bits are ground well so you no longer see chunks of jalapeno.
  9. Transfer chutney to a large bowl.
  10. Taste the chutney, if it’s too spicy hot, add yogurt in ¼ cups increments and mix well until desired spicy heat is reached. (For medium spicy heat, add ½ cup of yogurt; for mild heat, add 1 cup of yogurt).
  11. (Optional) Heat 1 tsp of oil in medium sized pot (enough to hold all coconut chutney), fry ½ tsp of mustard seed and curry leaves till mustard seeds flutters/sputters.
  12. Turn down heat to low, add chutney to mustard seeds and curry leaves, mix well, and simmer for about 5-7 mins, until it starts to bubble. Then turn off and let cool. Don’t worry if chutney is a little more on the liquid as it will slightly condense in the fridge when it cools.
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