Crispy, lightly spiced Moong Dal Dosa are healthy crepes made from green mung beans or green gram, spices and herbs. These savory delights are also known as Pesarattu and are from the Andhra cuisine. These are delicious to serve for breakfast or snack or brunch with sweet and spicy chutneys.
About Pesarattu Recipe
Pesarattu, which translates roughly to moong dal dosa (or mung lentil crepes), are a classic Andhra breakfast staple. But not just for mornings – these tasty, savory dosa are terrific to enjoy for any meal!
The recipe for homemade moong dal dosa features a simple batter of soaked mung beans and rice ground together with lots of vibrant spices.
This batter is quickly cooked on a hot skillet, like a thin pancake, to create a lovely crispy outer edge and a slightly soft texture throughout.
These dosa aren’t just good tasting – they’re good for you as well! Because they are made with hearty green and/or yellow lentils (whole or split), pesarattu are very rich in protein while also being vegan-friendly. If you skip the asaofetida, it becomes a gluten-free recipe, too.
While it does take some advanced planning to make this dish from scratch, there is still little hands-on effort actually required.
The lentils and rice need to soak for 4 to 6 hours before you blend them with the seasonings, but then the batter can be used right away with no fermenting needed.
How to make Pesarattu
Learn to make crispy and wholesome Pesarattu with my detailed step by step photos listed below.
Make Moong Dal Batter
1. Firstly, rinse ½ cup of whole moong beans and 2 tablespoons of rice a couple of times in water.
Then soak the moong beans and rice for 4 to 6 hours or overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover.
Drain all the water. The photo below shows the soaked moong beans and rice.
2. In a blender or food processor, add the moong beans and rice after draining all the water. You can even rinse the moong beans and rice before grinding.
Add the herbs and spices listed below:
- 1 green chilli (chopped) or ½ to 1 teaspoon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves
- 1 inch of ginger (peeled and chopped)
- ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- salt as per taste
- ⅓ to ½ cup water
Skip the asafoetida for a gluten-free moong dal dosa.
3. Now grind or blend to a smooth and fine batter. The batter consistency should be similar to that of a regular Dosa Batter or a French-style crepe.
Tip 1: If the batter looks thick, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.
Tip 2: If the batter looks thin, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice flour, one tablespoon at a time. You can even add gram flour (besan).
Make Pesarattu or Moong Dal Dosa
4. On a cast iron tawa or large skillet , smear some oil or ghee with a paper towel or with half of an onion. For a non-stick tawa or pan, do not spread oil on it.
With a big spoon or ladle, pour the moong dal dosa batter onto the griddle and use the same spoon for spreading the batter into a round shape.
The photo below shows the circular pattern you should make while spreading the batter.
You want to keep the heat to low or medium-low when spreading the pesarattu batter.
5. Sprinkle some finely chopped onions, chopped green chilies and coriander/cilantro leaves (all optional) onto half of the dosa.
Note: I have not added green chillies and coriander leaves when taking these photos.
Gently press the onions chilies, and coriander leaves into the batter with the back of a spatula so that they stick. Drizzle a bit of oil around the sides and in the center of the pesarattu.
6. Flip the dosa over completely, and cook the second side for about a minute. This will just lightly cook the onions.
7. Fold in half over itself, like a crepe or omelette.
8. Repeat the steps with the remaining batter to make all of the moong dal dosa. Serve warm with upma, which is a basically a savory spiced breakfast preparation of semolina ir cream.
The pesarattu is also delicious with ginger chutney or coconut chutney.
- You can also prepare this dosa with sprouted moong, split green gram with husks or yellow moong. If using yellow moong in this recipe, then ensure soaking it for about 1 to 3 hours.
- In the batter, you can also add 2 to 3 tablespoons rice flour in place of rice grains. You can even make it without rice. But then the dosas won’t be that crispy.
- The batter of this moong dal dosa is similar to that of a classic dosa batter. In case it is thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water. If it is thin, add 1 to 2 tablespoons rice flour.
- Other flour alternatives instead of rice flour include gram flour (besan) or ragi flour, jowar flour or even idli rava.
- To make a gluten free dosa, do not add asafoetida (hing) in the recipe.
- If you are using a non-stick pan to make this dosa, skip spreading oil on it.
- You can relish this moong dal dosa as is with a side of ginger or coconut chutney.
Yes absolutely. Blend 2 to 3 tablespoons of rice flour with the soaked and drained lentils.
Yes, you can use chickpea flour (besan) or any flour like ragi or jowar flour. But note that these flours do have a mild flavor that will affect the taste of the pesarattu.
Rice gives a crispy texture to the pesarattu, so I recommend keeping it in this recipe if you can. However, it is not essential so can be skipped if you don’t have or prefer not to use.
You could skip them completely. Or as one of our readers have suggested – sauté onions until softened or light golden, and add them to the pesarattu once it is cooked. In some hotels, they follow this method and even sauté the onions in ghee (clarified butter).
No, pesarattu recipe cannot be made with cooked moong dal.
Soak the green moong beans for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. The split yellow moong lentils can be soaked for 1 hour to 3 hours. The less time the lentils are soaked the more crispy a texture the moong dal dosa will have.
Yes, you can easily use moong sprouts to make pesarattu. Grind the mung sprouts to a fine batter with the other ingredients mentioned in the recipe.
Yes, you can add cream of rice (idli rava or rice rava) instead of rice flour.
You can refrigerate the batter, but the texture and taste changes when you make pesarattu.
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Pesarattu Recipe | Andhra Style Moong Dal Dosa
For the Pesarattu batter
- ½ cup whole moong beans
- 2 tablespoons rice – optional
- enough water – for soaking
- ⅓ to ½ cup water – for blending
- 1 inch ginger – peeled and chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 green chilli chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves – chopped, (cilantro)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing), optional
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- salt as required
Toppings for Moong Dal Dosa
- 1 green chilli – finely chopped, optional
- ¼ to ⅓ cup onions – finely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coriander leaves – finely chopped, optional
- oil or ghee, as required
- upma – as required, optional
- coconut chutney – as required
- Coriander Chutney – as required
- ginger chutney – as required
Making Pesarratu Batter
- Firstly, pick and rinse the moong beans and rice.
- Then soak the moong beans and rice for 4 to 6 hours or overnight in enough water.
- Drain and add the moong beans and rice together with ginger, green chilies, asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander leaves and salt in a grinder or blender.
- Add water and grind into a fine and smooth batter.
- Remove the batter in a bowl or pan.
- The consistency should be similar to a regular dosa batter.
Making Moong Dal Dosa
- On a skillet or flat pan, spread a little oil or ghee with paper towels.
- With a ladle, pour the pesarattu batter on the skillet and use the same spoon for spreading the batter into a round shape.
- Drizzle some oil on the sides and in the center of the pesarattu dosa.
- Sprinkle the finely chopped onions, green chilies and coriander leaves.
- Press these with the spatula so that they get stuck to the batter which is getting cooked.
- Flip and cook both sides a couple of times till crisp and browned.
- Serve the moong dal dosa or pesarattu hot with upma and coconut chutney.
- This pesarattu recipe can also be made with spilt green gram with husks or sprouted moong or yellow mung lentils.
- If using yellow moong, then you can soak the lentils for 1 to 3 hours.
- Instead of adding rice, you can also add 2 to 3 tablespoons rice flour to the batter.
- The moong dal dosa can be had plain too with a simple coconut chutney or ginger chutney.
- Adjust the spices like ginger and green chilli as needed.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Pesarattu recipe from the archives first published in August 2009 has been updated and republished on February 2023.