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Quinoa Dosa with Veggie Filling

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I only recently discovered dosa…what a revelation! Here we are trying to come up with healthy gluten-free and vegan alternatives to flatbread and wraps, while it’s being made in India for the past century (I’m guessing here…but basically for much longer than the terms vegan or gluten-free were invented!).
If you’re a dosa newbie like me, let me explain. It’s traditionally made by soaking white rice with lentils, then blending, then ferreting, then baking. Simple ingredients, simple process, you just need some patience. It’s spread out thinly like a crepe in a large frying pan or dosa and baked until golden brown before flipping. You technically don’t need to flip it especially if you plan on filling it like the recipe below. But it’s so good even on it’s own or dipped into something delicious (how about some hummus for some Middle Eastern Indian fusion?).
To increase the nutrient and protein content, I replaced some of the white rice with quinoa. But you can certainly make it with all white rice. Most recipes call for short-grain white rice which is what I used, but long-grain basmati rice works too. I doubt brown rice would work as it would be more difficult to blend even after soaking…if you’ve tried with brown rice, please let us know your results in the comments below.
As for the lentils, you need to use the kind without skin. Again…if you’ve tried with any other kind let us know in the comments.
I’ve included a delicious filling and chili sauce recipe created by, Chef Selven, our head chef at Crumbs that is a must try! For the spicy palate you can certainly increase the green chili in the filling or sauce, and chili flakes will do wonders too.

Quinoa Dosa with Veggie Filling

Cook Time: 0min
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| servings: 0

  • 2 cups white rice (not cooked)
  • 1 cup white quinoa (not cooked)
  • 1 cup lentils (without skin)
Green Chili Sauce:
  • 50g long green chili, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Vegetable Filling:
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced large
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 85ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 150g red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tablespoon long green chili, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon roasted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped

To make the dosa:
  1. Wash the rice, quinoa and lentils and then place in a large bowl and pour over enough water to cover the ingredients by about 1 inch. Cover and set aside for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain the ingredients and then add to a blender with just enough water to help it blend. You want it to the consistency of thick pancake batter. Add salt to your liking, then place in a bowl and cover again and leave it for 10-12 hours to ferment.
  3. Heat a large frying pan or tawa on medium heat, add a little oil followed by a splash of water, and then wipe clean. Spread a ladle full of the batter all over to make a thin crepe, and wait until it browns on the bottom before flipping to finish off the other side.
  4. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  5. Enjoy plain or with a dip. Otherwise fill each dosa with a generous amount of the vegetable filling below and wrap. Serve with the green chili sauce on the side.
To make the sauce:
  1. Place all the chili sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
To make the filling:
  1. Peel the potato, sweet potato and butternut and cut them into 1 inch dice, and chop the  cauliflower into florets the same size as the potato.
  2. Boil them together in a sauce pan with measured water and salt, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until no water is left in the pan.
  3. By now the vegetables will be soft, and you can smash them roughly with the back of a ladle or large spoon.
  4. Heat another pan over medium and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot add the mustard seeds and wait until it crackles, then add the sliced red onion and sauté till translucent.
  5. Next add the ginger, garlic and green chili and sauté them for about 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and mix for 30 seconds.
  6. Now add the cooked and smashed vegetables along with desiccated coconut and cashews, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need.

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  1. Sherrie | 6th May 22

    Would it be possible to sub quinoa for all the rice?

    • Arwa | 23rd Jun 22

      Hi Sherrie!

      Yes it is possible but the result will probably defer (taste, consistency).

      Pls let me know if you try 🙂

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