Steel Cut Oats Dosa

A super crisp and delicious dosa or crepe made using steel cut oats.

Dosa is famous internationally, there is absolutely no doubt about that. But our goal in this post is to make it healthier and much better for you. Try it once and you will never go back to a regular rice dosa.

Steel cut oats dosa

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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. May be I will do a series of chutneys next.. something to think about.

What are steel cut Oats and Why use them in a Dosa?

Steel cut oats or pinhead oats are whole oat grains(groats) which have been chopped(cut with steel blades) into two or three pieces. They are high in dietary fiber which lower the blood cholesterol levels and stabilizes the blood sugar levels. They have low glycemic Index and are a good source of Iron. They have this nutty and chewy texture to them and are high in protein as well. They have a soluble fiber which makes it gelatinous when cooked with water. Steel cut oats are the least processed variety of oats available in the market. If I have to choose between rolled, quick or steel cut oats, I would pick these in a heartbeat.

As I said, traditionally a dosa is made with Rice and Urad dal. But now a days. there are several different grains available in the market and this is my way of incorporating oats into our diets. My kids are not big oatmeal eaters, so I sneak it in here. Hey, a mom’s gotta do what she gotta do! Not to mention, Steel cut Oats are so nutritious and healthy for us.

Steel cut oats dosa

How do we make this dosa batter? Which ingredients make the best batter?

My mom makes the best dosas ever. They are paper thin, crispy, big and just awesome! We used to ask for dosas every day instead of idli or upma as we loved them. Now, my kids love love dosa just like me. They like their dosas to be as crisp as possible. I tried it with more oats and no rice at all, somehow it didnt work with them. My kitchen is literally a mad scientist’s workshop. I have tried multiple versions of dosas but the combination of rice, urad dal and steel cut oats in equal proportions has given me the best results yet.

  • Adding a teaspoon of methi/Fenugreek seeds aids in fermentation and gives that awesome red-brown color.
  • Sometimes I add cooked rice/Poha(flattened rice) to get soft dosas as well as that nice red-brown color.
  • 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.
  • White or Brown rice can be used in this batter. Both are awesome and provide different textures to dosa. Rice can be any short grain rice or Sona masoori. It doesn’t have to be parboiled rice and definitely not Basmati rice.
  • Steel cut oats should not be Quick cooking steel cut oats. They should be 100% whole grain Steel cut oats. I sincerely recommend Bob’s Whole grain steel cut oats. I have had best results with it.
  • Adding salt while grinding the batter would be my recommendation but I was told not to do it. 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.
Steel cut oats dosa

Wet Grinder or Blender?

Oh I would definitely say wet grinder, they make the best idlis and dosas ever. But to be honest, I don’t have a grinder and just use my Vitamix for this batter. Trust me, it still gives me very good dosas. My friends in US who have wet grinder recommend Ultra Table top Wet Grinder

What is fermentation and how to get best results?

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.

Batter Fermented in Instant pot.

I struggled a lot during the initial days of Seattle weather to ferment the batter but ever since I got my Magic pot, My Instant pot , I always had the best fermented batter ever! However, keeping in the oven all night with the light on, gives good results too. You can see that your batter is fermented if your dosas have this air holes when making it.

One important thing to remember when fermenting in Instant pot is to not to use the instant pot lid for fermentations if your batter was more than half full. The batter sometimes overflows and the lid might get stuck. Use a regular pan lid or a plate which fits the pot for more than half full pot of batter.

Steel cut oats dosa

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 can too make awesome dosas on a Cast Iron pan.

Lets get to the recipe then… its very easy to make and remember.

Prep Time:10 min
Soaking time:6-8 hours
Fermenting time:8 hours
Cook Time5 min
Dish Type: Breakfast
  • Soak dal, oats and rice and fenugreek seeds together for 6-8 hours.
  • After soaking for 6-8 hours, wash the oats, dal and rice 3-4 times. Its very important to do that. Drain the water and add the dal mixture to the blender.
  • Add salt and Grind the dal mixture with just enough clean water to cover the grains. We might need to add just 1 cup of water. Do not add more than that.
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 more 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 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.
  • Heat the griddle and when it is super hot, add a tsp 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 tsp 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.
Nutrition Facts:Per Serving
Total Fat0.7 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium97.5 mg
Carbohydrates11.9 g
Dietary Fiber0.7 g
Sugar0.2 g
Protein1.4 g

Please go through my post in detail if you need help with the oats selection, Griddle links and fermentation process. I explained the details and if you need help, please leave a message in any of the below social media account and I will answer as soon as possible.

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7 comments on “Steel Cut Oats Dosa

    1. Steel cut oats give a crispy texture to dosa but incase you cannot get these, you can try this dosa with 1/2 cup rolled/old fashioned oats. Soak Dal and rice together for 6-8 hours and soak rolled oats for only 1 hour separately, grind them all together for dosa batter. The dosas will be soft but will taste great.

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