Quinoa and Lentils Dosa

Healthy and super delicious quinoa and lentils dosa.

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We love dosas, there is no two ways about it. We eat dosas almost everyday and I try to change my grains so we benefit from the nutrients of all seeds, lentils and grains. This quinoa dosa is high in protein content because we are using dals or lentils and completely avoiding the rice. This dosa is Vegan and Gluten-free, is super crispy and taste amazing just like a regular dosa. It has all clean ingredients, super easy to make, nutrient-rich, healthy, low carb and high in protein, its a whole package breakfast solution.

Two quinoa dosa with peanut chutney and ginger chutney and with lentils and quinoa in the background.

2020 has been a dump of a year, we were emotional eating and not caring about the sugars or carbs. This year, we are starting with a bang and we hope and plan to eat as clean as possible, fingers crossed 🤞. This dosa completely fits the bill as it has all clean ingredients, no added sugar or unhealthy carbs. Its so simple to make and super healthy and delicious to eat.

What is Dosa?

A Dosa is a South Indian Breakfast item which is made with rice and Urad dal/Black Gram dal. Both Rice and Urad dal are soaked overnight and ground together to make a smooth batter, which is then fermented to make these awesome and crispy crepes of deliciousness. Dosa is usually served with Chutney and sambhar. Chutneys are usually peanut, coconut, ginger, tomato and the list will go on because we make chutneys out of every nut, seed and vegetable available in the world.

What are the health benefits of Quinoa And why quinoa in a dosa?

Quinoa is an edible seed from south America and it has all the nine amino acids, rich in protein and fiber and is loaded with vitamins and minerals as compared to any other grains. The Incas used to call it “Mother Grain” and its available in 3 different colors. It is a complete protein, has antioxidant properties, low carb and improves blood sugar.

Quinoa seeds are covered with bitter tasting saponins that naturally repel insects and birds. So before we cook, its good to wash it nicely under running water. It tastes almost the same as rice, so any recipes using rice can be interchanged with quinoa. Traditionally, rice is used in dosas but here we are using quinoa which is low in carbohydrates than rice and rich in protein and fats. They also have high calcium and magnesium compared to rice.

Two quinoa dosa with peanut chutney and ginger chutney.

What Ingredients are used in Quinoa and Lentils dosa:

This dosa uses all the ingredients in your pantry. I use all the dals or lentils in my pantry and the basic Urad dal and fenugreek seeds. You can skip any of the dals if you don’t have them. We are using equal quantities of urad dal and quinoa in this recipe which makes this dosa rich in protein. You can use Red quinoa in place of white quinoa too. We are also using Masoor dal, Toor dal, Chana Dal and Moong Dal. Adding Fenugreek seeds aids in fermentation and also gives this awesome red-brown color to the dosa.

Urad dal or black gram dal that is used should be dehusked whole urad dal (Urad Gota). Do not use black whole urad dal. Split urad dal can be used if you have less soaking time. I use pre-washed quinoa, you can use regular quinoa and wash it well.

Adding salt while grinding the batter is usually not recommended but I think it depends on where you live. I am in Seattle and I add before fermentation but if you are in a warm place, add it after fermentation. Also I would recommend to use non-iodized salt like rock salt or Himalayan salt.

Ingredients of quinoa dosa: Quinoa, urad dal, masoor dal, toor dal, moong dal, chana dal and fenugreek seeds.

To ferment or To not ferment?

Fermentation of batter is simply breaking down of the carbohydrates and sugars in the batter to produce carbon dioxide. The lactic acid bacteria and heat produced when mixing the batter with hand aids in the process of fermentation and triples the volume of the batter because of the incorporated air. I use my Instant pot to Ferment my dosa batter because I live in cold place but any means of fermentation will work.

However, this batter will work perfect without any fermentation too. You can grind this batter and use it instantly to make the dosas.

Process to make the dosas:

  • Soak Quinoa, Urad dal, fenugreek seeds and lentils for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • After 6 hours of soaking, rinse and drain the grains to remove water. Add the grains to your blender and add just enough clean water to cover the grains.
  • Add salt and Grind into a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl or instant pot and ferment. Fermenting is optional. Just rest the batter for half hour and make dosas if not fermenting.
Soaking and grinding the batter.
Fermenting in Instant pot:
  • Pour the batter into instant pot insert and mix it with clean hands for couple minutes.
  • Cover the instant pot with glass lid or a plate which fits the pot and set it on yogurt mode for 8 hours. If your batter is not fermented, continue the yogurt mode for 1 more hour.
Fermenting in the oven with light on:
  • Do not fret if you don’t have an Instant pot. If you live in a warm place, you don’t need all these devices to ferment. Just set it on countertop overnight and you are done.
  • If you don’t and live in a cold place like me, just pour the batter in a steel or oven safe bowl and turn on the light(The oven is OFF).Keep it covered and closer to the light to keep the batter warm all night. Your batter should be fermented by morning. If not, Keep fermenting for couple more hours.
Making Dosas
  • After the batter is nicely fermented, adjust the salt if needed. Add more water to get the pouring consistency for dosas( about 1 cup water). If you are not fermenting the batter, rest the batter for 30 minutes, adjust salt and water and make dosas like below.
  • Heat the griddle and when it is super hot, add a teaspoon of oil and wipe it off. It is very important to wipe the pan between dosas.
  • Pour a ladle of batter and spread in concentric circles super fast. Turn the ladle counter-clockwise and spread the batter until the edge of the pan or the batter is spread super thin. This comes with practice, don’t worry if you get thick dosas, they still taste delicious.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of oil all over the dosa and let it cook till you see brown spots.
  • The dosas start to peel off from the pan at the edges. Run your spatula across the edge and release the dosa. Fold it over and serve it immediately with peanut or coconut chutney and sambhar.
Making dosas on an Iron pan.

Which Pan/Griddle to use?

You can use any griddle that has a flat base. But I would recommend using a cast iron griddle to get awesome dosas. I have Lodge cast iron griddle and this makes the best dosa ever. This pan has a little learning curve to get it right but once you get it, its so easy to maintain. We need to season the pan with oil and then let it cool. Once the pan is properly seasoned, it is almost like a non-stick pan. I have noted down a few tips and tricks to maintain a cast iron pan here: How to maintain a Cast iron Pan. If you follow them, you too can make awesome dosas on a Cast Iron pan.

How long does the batter last?

This batter will last for a week in the refrigerator. Or for 2 months in the freezer. If you are freezing the batter, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator or leave on the counter for 4 -6 hours to get it to room temperature.

For more dosa recipes:

Yield: 18-20 dosas

Quinoa and Lentils Dosa

Two quinoa dosa with peanut chutney and ginger chutney.

Healthy and delicious quinoa and lentils dosa

Soaking time 6 hours
Fermenting Time 8 hours
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 14 hours 5 minutes

Instructions

  1. Soak Quinoa, Urad dal, fenugreek seeds and lentils for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  2. After 6 hours of soaking, rinse and drain the grains to remove water. Add the grains to your blender and add just enough clean water to cover the grains.
  3. Add salt and Grind into a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl or instant pot and ferment. Fermenting is optional. If not fermenting, skip the next steps and go directly to "Making Dosas" step.

Fermenting in Instant pot:

  1. Pour the batter into instant pot insert and mix it with clean hands for couple minutes.
  2. Cover the instant pot with glass lid or a plate which fits the pot and set it on yogurt mode for 8 hours. If your batter is not fermented, continue the yogurt mode for 1 more hour.

Fermenting in the oven with light on:

  1. If you live in a warm place, Just set it on countertop overnight and you are done.
  2. If you live in a cold place, pour the batter in a steel or oven safe bowl and turn on the light(The oven is OFF).Keep it covered and closer to the light to keep the batter warm all night. Your batter should be fermented by morning. If not, Keep fermenting for couple more hours.

Making Dosas:

  1. After the batter is nicely fermented, adjust the salt if needed. Add more water to get the pouring consistency for dosas(about 1 cup). If you are not fermenting the batter, rest the batter for 30 minutes, adjust salt and water and make dosas like below.
  2. Heat the griddle and when it is super hot, add a teaspoon of oil and wipe it off. It is very important to wipe the pan between dosas.
  3. Pour a ladle of batter and spread in concentric circles super fast. Turn the ladle counter-clockwise and spread the batter until the edge of the pan or the batter is spread super thin.
  4. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil all over the dosa and let it cook till you see brown spots.
  5. The dosas start to peel off from the pan at the edges. Run your spatula across the edge and release the dosa. Fold it over and serve it immediately.

Notes

  1. Urad dal or black gram dal that is used should be dehusked whole urad dal (Urad Gota). Do not use black whole urad dal. Split urad dal can be used if you have less soaking time.
  2. Adding salt while grinding the batter depends on where you live. If you live in a cold place, add before fermentation but if you are in a warm place, add it after fermentation.
  3. Use non-iodized salt like rock salt or Himalayan salt.
  4. I am using white quinoa in this recipe, You can use Red quinoa in place of white quinoa.
  5. You can use any dals or lentils you have available.
  6. This batter can be fermented or used instantly, both versions are equally great.
  7. It is very important to wipe the pan between dosas.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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