October 16, 2012

Quinoa Dosa

When I was India, I read a lot about Quinoa. The super faux grain. The perfect replacement for rice. High in protein, low in calories, a good source of calcium and iron. The list was practically endless. But I had no source for it there. A few months ago, I came across a packet in the local supermarket here. I bought it and as with most things I buy, I forgot about it.
This morning, I decided to soak rice and dal for making dosas. I make my dosas with brown rice as I wanted to incorporate it into our cooking. I tried several times to use it in place of regular rice, but it just didn't go down as well in our house. I felt that we had to cut down on white rice usage in more palatable ways. I started making dosas with brown rice in India simply because I had stock that had to be used up in some way. And when my dosas turned out fine, there was no turning back.

At a Chinese vegetarian restaurant here that I have been to a couple of times, I tasted red rice. The chef at the place spoke little English, but was happy to teach me how to cook the rice (with the manager translating) and even showed me a packet of the rice while telling me where to buy it. I ended up buying a bag of Red Cargo rice. I wanted to see how my dosas would turn out with this and so looked into my pantry for the red rice. I then saw the forgotten packet of Quinoa. There was a quick change in plans.

It was an experiment and it worked. That I am posting it here means that it was good. But good doesn't even begin to describe this. Golden brown like the dosas you get a hotel and no one will complain. It may be different, but this different is good.

1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Udad
1 cup Brown Rice
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Wash the urad, quinoa and rice. Add the fenugreek seeds and soak in plenty of water overnight. (At least 4-5 hours). Wash well and grind using a little water. Add salt and water to dilute it as required. (Don't add too much water as the dosas will not turn out well.) If you like, you could allow the batter to ferment overnight. I like dosas made with freshly ground batter. And after I've eaten those, I let the batter ferment overnight.

Heat a tawa and smear a little oil on it. Simmer the flame and pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the tawa. Quickly spread the batter while forming concentric circles (spiral actually!). Add a little oil on the sides and centre. Usually not more than 1 small spoonful (1/4 tsp) per dosa. When crisp, carefully turn the dosa over and allow the other side to cook a little (this is not done in restaurants, but I prefer to turn my dosas and toast them on both sides).

Turn the dosa back and fold in half. Serve with chutney, sambar, or molaga podi or a combination of all these.

Humble dosa at probably its nutritious best. And as a plus, it tastes and looks fantastic. 

I think there is no going back for me.


Chitra said...

i am making this nowadays. love it :)

AJ said...

Delicious! I too use quinoa a lot for dosa, uttapam.

Anita said...

Quinoa dosa! I would have never come up with that! One new way to try it! But, surely, you are still going to go back to a regular dosa!

Unknown said...


Nice recipe for Dosa. But could you please name Quinova in Hindi? I read that Quinova comes in White & Red varieties like Lobia. Does Quinova equate to Lobia?

I am a diabetic and looking for rice substitute. There is too much confusion on the net about Quinova.

Thanks for your time. Dhanyavaad