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Sunday, 14 June 2020

Onion Rava Dosa

Onion Rava Dosa is a popular South Indian crepe made from semolina and rice flour. With an instant recipe and a handful of ingredients, rava dosa can be easily made at home. It is a good substitute to traditional rice and lentil dosa when pressed for time as making this dosa does not require hours of soaking, grinding, and fermentation. Rava dosa seasoned with onions, green chilies and cilantro is thin, crisp, and lacy and tastes delicious when served hot right from the stove with Coconut Chutney and sambar. Usually, a little quantity of maida is used for binding the semolina and rice flour while making rava dosa. I have used oatmeal instead making it a healthy treat. The recipe is vegan.

What is Dosa?

Dosa is a crispy savory crepe made from fermented rice and lentil (black gram) batter. It is a popular South Indian recipe and a staple food there. Dosa is generally served hot with Coconut Chutney and Sambar. Dosa can be served plain or can be stuffed with a filling of vegetables and podi to make a quick meal. 

There are many variations to the traditional rice and lentil dosa. The most popular version is the masala dosa, with a filling of potato masala. Sada or plain dosa is a simple crepe made without filling. Paper dosa is a thin and crisp version. Adai dosa, a protein-rich thin and crisp dosa made from a mixture of different lentils and rice. Pesarattu, a gluten-free and vegan dosa made from whole mung beans (green gram) and rice. You may want to try out some more varieties from my fellow bloggers like Renu's Neer dosa, a vegan and gluten-free thin crepe made from rice flour. Priya's spongy and fluffy Set Dosa that uses beaten rice and curd along with rice and lentil to make the dosa batter. Priya's Mysore Masala Dosa is a spicier version of the popular masala dosa. You may also want to try out the newer dosa varieties with fusion like Sasmita's Pavbhaji Dosa, an interesting variation to regular masala dosa where bhaji from the pav bhaji dish is stuffed inside the dosa instead of potato masala filling. Then you have healthier dosa varieties using wholesome nutritious ingredients like Archana di's Mixed Millet and Dal Dosa and Swaty's Sprouted Moong and Quinoa Dosa.

Rava Raga @ FoodieMondayBlogHop

Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a gourmet Facebook group where a bunch of talented food bloggers from around the globe share their delicious food recipes every Monday depending upon any one of the chosen themes. All the bloggers take turns to suggest two themes each week and the theme that wins maximum vote is finalized. Last week we celebrated our 250th week on Foodie Monday Blog Hop and all of us made cakes to celebrate the milestone. Aruna suggested the themes for our 251st week and Rava Raga was finalized taking into account the restricted movements and lockdown in most parts of the world owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rava or semolina is a pantry essential in most of the Indian Kitchens and a wide variety of dishes from snacks to breakfasts and bakes to desserts can be made using the humble rava. Aruna suggested that we share any recipe from scratch which uses rava or semolina as a star ingredient. Aruna's blog is home to many traditional south-Indian recipes and i have bookmarked a few to try out like this diabetic-friendly Bitter gourd podi. You may want to try out her healthy Rava Pizza and eggless recipe without the use of refined flour. My contribution towards the theme is this humble Onion Rava Dosa.


What goes into my Onion Rava Dosa?

Onion Rava dosa is a relatively simple dosa variety with an instant recipe. Instant because it does not require hours of soaking, grinding and fermenting the batter. Fine suji or semolina is used in equal proportion with rice flour to make the batter. If you cannot source fine suji, just pulse the coarse variety using a grinder jar. Both suji and rice flour make the dosa crisp. Next, a binding agent like maida is used. Here i have used oatmeal instead. You may use whole wheat flour also. The proportion of oatmeal used is half the measure of the suji and rice flour. To make oatmeal at home you just need to powder the instant oats in a grinder jar. A very thin batter is made using these three ingredients and water. You may replace water with buttermilk, but then the recipe would not be vegan. The batter is seasoned with finely chopped onions, green chilies, curry leaves, coriander, grated ginger, cumin seeds, black peppercorn, and salt. All of these ingredients add flavor to the dosa so try not to skip any. The batter is then allowed to rest for 20-30 minutes before making the dosas. 

Points to remember while making Onion Rava Dosa
  • Onion rava dosa is thin and crisp and has a lacy texture which makes it different from other dosa varieties.
  • The reason behind this is the dosa batter is very thin and watery. After making one or two dosas, the batter tends to become thick so make sure you add little water and pinch of salt after every 2 batches to maintain the watery consistency of the batter.
  •  Fine suji or semolina is used in equal proportion with rice flour to make the batter and oatmeal is taken half the measure of suji.
  • The skillet has to be really hot when you pour the batter. Once the batter is poured the flame is lowered and the dosa is allowed to cook on low flame. Preferably use a seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick tava for making the rava dosa.
  • In the case of regular dosa, we add the batter in the center of the skillet and then spread it in circular motion outwards, but for rava dosa, the batter is poured from a little height at the edges first and then in the center. Once the batter is poured it is not touched with the ladle.
  • The rava dosa is cooked only from one side and is not flipped. 
  • Rava dosa has to be cooked on low to medium flame for a comparatively longer time as compared to the rice and lentil dosa so that it becomes crisp and the onions cook well.
  • Either oil or ghee can be used to drizzle on the dosas as they cook. For a typical restaurant touch use ghee. Since this is a vegan recipe, i have used oil.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 cup semolina/raw
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal 
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoon oil or as required to make the dosas
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a mixing bowl, take suji, rice flour, and oatmeal. Add finely chopped onions, green chilies, cumin seeds, crushed black peppercorn, and salt. Mix well. You may also add the chopped coriander, curry leaves and grated ginger at this stage. I have added it to the batter.

2. Next, add around 1 cup of water in batches and keep stirring to make a thin lump-free batter. If you feel the batter is thick, add more water.

3. Allow the batter to rest for 20-30 minutes. After soaking time, you will see that the rava and rice flour has settled down and a layer of water floats above the batter.

4. Stir the batter and check for consistency, if the batter is thick add more water. Do a taste test at this stage and add seasonings like salt and black pepper powder if required.

5. Heat a non-stick tava on medium flame. Grease it with oil. One the tava is hot, lower the flame and pour the batter using a ladle at the edges of the tava first. Make sure you pour the batter from a height to get that lacy holes. Now, take more batter and pour it in the center of the tava.

6. Drizzle some oil over the dosa and allow it to cook on low flame for a time until the edges of the dosa turn golden brown and crisp. No need to flip the dosa. Remove it from the stove and serve immediately. Make the remaining dosas similarly.

7. Serve the delicious lacy rava dosas hot with coriander chutney and sambar and enjoy with your loved ones! I have served it with tomato chutney, sambar and peanut curd dip.


I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

Check out the following recipe links if you are looking for more Suji/ Semolina recipes


  1. Delicious looking dosas crisp and lacy . Thanks for the mention of set dosas from my blog dear.

    1. Thank you Priya. The lacy rava dosas are crisp and tasty.

  2. I've tried making rava dosa at home a couple of times and gave up as I just couldn't get the lacy effect. Yours have come out so good and besides the watery batter, I like the suggestion that it has to be poured onto the tawa from a height. Will hopefully try your recipe out soon.

    1. Thank you di. The key to lacy rava dosa is runny batter, pouring the batter from a height and hot tawa. I am sure you will get the right texture. Happy cooking !

  3. Onion rava dosa is a big favourite with all of us at home. We often make it at home, and also order it frequently when we are eating breakfast out.

    Your dosas look so crispy, lacy and delicious. Perfectly made. :)

  4. I love rawa dosa so make it often but with rice flour and semolina only. Never used oats. Loved the addition of oats in dosa. Looks so perfectly lacy crisp and delicious. Next time I will make your version.

    1. Thank you di. A small quantity of binding agent give perfect lacy dosas. Here I have replaced refined flour with oatmeal. Do give it a try.

  5. I still can't make good rava dosa. It is called fatka dosa you have done a fab job. Looks awesome I will try following your tips. Thanks.

  6. Love these crisp and delicious instant Onion Rava dosa. So easy to make. Instant version comes in so handy for me.

    1. Absolutely di. This instant version is super easy amd comes to rescue on busy mornings.

  7. Very nicely written and explained the whole process of making Rava dosa as many struggle to get the perfect restaurant style.Loving the texture of rava dosa and the whole platter.. so filling and nutritious.

    1. Thank you Swaty. Glad that you liked the post.

  8. Onion rava dosa looks super crispy, yummy with sambar and chutney Poonam. Adding oatmeal sound interesting will try it .

    1. Thank you Aruna. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

  9. I make Rava dosa often, but a bit different. I love the addition of oats here, would increase the nutritional content. Will try this version next.

    1. Thank you Renu. Here oats is a replacement to refined flour. It acts as a binding agent and also adds to the nutritional content.

  10. This is a favourite snack at my place Poonam, we three love this with some tomato chutney ;) Your looks so crispy, lacy and delicious as well !

    1. Thank you Sasmita. This rava dosa tastes best with tomato chutney.

  11. One of the frequent orders I do when I dine out. Absolute favorite and this looks so delicious with perfect texture. Please pass the plate to me

    1. All yours Narmadha. Thank you for the kind words.