The Western Dosa – vegan & gluten free

The gluten free dosa is a great bread substitute. Vegan, lectin free and easy to make. It ticks every box.

The Dosa is a flat bread / crepe / wrap made with fermented rice and lentils.   The traditional recipe uses round white rice and  white lentils,  and  feeds millions of people in South India.

The recipe below includes  chickpeas  and olive oil.    The result  is more like a pancake or crepe.

Many thanks to Nitu Chugani‘s cooking classes for introducing me to the Indian dosa, which is more thin and swirly than mine .  see for authentic indian recipes and more.

the dosa


The proportions are 3 rice, 1 lentils, 1 chickpeas

    • 3 cups round bomba rice
    • 1 cup urid dall (pealed white lentils)
    • 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzos)
    • Indian Spices to taste: fenugreek leaves or cumin or coriander OR
    • Western Herbs to taste : mixed herbs or rosemary &/or thyme
    • 3 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 4 cups of water

makes enough for a few days.  It will keep well in the fridge or freezer.


Overall it takes 30 minutes to prepare, then as long as it takes to cook a pancake.   But the process spans 30 hours.


Put the rice,  lentils and Chickpeas to soak for 5 hours or over night


  • Drain and wash the rice mix
  • Add 4 cups of good water.  filtered or bottled.
  • Add the fenugreek leaves and or spices
  • Grind / liquidise the mix with a blender.
  • Put in a large container and leave for 12-24 hours in a warm place to ferment.  the misture expands by 20%+ during fermentation.
  • Do NOT add the salt till after fermentation

In the winter, place the containers in the oven with the light on.  The light will give the right amount of heat for the fermentation.  Thank you to Matt for this tip.


  • Add salt and olive oil to the mixture, and stir well
  • Put a non stick pan, without oil, on  a medium heat
  • Spread a large spoon of the mixture on the pan
  • cook for about 4 minutes at medium heat
  • After a few minutes the dosa will lift, then turn it over

The cooked dosas can be kept in fridge or frozen.     15-30 seconds in the microwave will bring a dosa back to life.  But best eaten straight from the pan, when they are crispy


My favorites are

  • Egg on dosa
  • Dosa wrap with half an avocadoe or asparagus
  • Cheese on dosa (30 seconds in the microwave to melt the cheese)
  • Dosa wrap with sliced tomatoe
  • Dosa with pickle/ curry paste or Pete’s Bean Paté
  • Dosa wrap with a sweet potatoe chana (mild curry)
  • Dosa by itself as a biscuit/bread substitute
  • Dosa pizza.  make a big dosa(s) as normal, then add your pizza topping and cook in a hot oven for 15 minutes approx.

The dosa is vegan and gluten free. The process of fermentation eliminates the lectins in the mix and makes them even better for you.  You could cook with the mix and skip fermentation, but it would not be so good .