Who doesn’t love the dosa – Indian style savory crepes, often served with a spiced potato stuffing. This hotel style Onion Dosa is a variation of the popular Rava Dosa recipe with more onions and some spices & herbs. This is one of the easiest dosa variants to make since no grinding and no fermentation of the batter is required. Make these dosas for a delicious breakfast or brunch. You can also enjoy them for a light lunch or dinner. The Onion Dosa recipe is not just vegetarian, but vegan too.
About Onion Dosa
If you are someone, who really can’t get enough of the Onion Dosa ever, then this recipe is a must try for you! Because with this recipe, you don’t have to head out to a restaurant. Instead, make and enjoy a restaurant style version of the same dosa at the comfort of your home.
Onion Dosa is a super popular South Indian breakfast dish. Not just all-over South India, but even in other regions, this dosa is an all-time favorite with many.
The typical texture of the onion spiked dosa is one of the USPs of the dish. So, not only is it a celebration for the palate, but is appealing to the eyes too. Just make sure to have it as soon as you make it.
This recipe of the Onion Dosa is quite a simple and easy one, where you just have to prepare the batter, temper it and use it to make perfectly golden and crisp dosas. You can opt to use ghee (clarified butter) in place of oil for cooking the dosas.
This hotel style Onion Dosa is best served hot or warm with an earthy coconut chutney, a comforting Sambar or even both. I know people who also eat it with tomato ketchup. You can try it too!
To make this instant Onion Dosa, just mix all the ingredients and allow the batter to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, you are ready to make the dosas. While the batter is resting, you can prepare the Coconut Chutney. The ease of this recipe makes it a good option for breakfast or even brunch.
So, the usual ingredients that go in the batter of this Onion Dosa are onions of course, un-roasted rava or suji (semolina), rice flour, all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, green chilli, ginger, crushed black peppercorns, chopped coriander leaves and salt.
To make the batter, you can use water or buttermilk. Sometimes, I prepare the batter with water and sometimes with buttermilk. Both ways the Onion Dosa tastes good.
The spices, herbs that go into the dosa batter impart their unique flavor too. Not to forget, the presence of onions, adding an element of crunch and some sweetness too.
I have tempered the dosa batter with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. This tempering gives a really nice flavor to the dosa and does not take more than 5 minutes.
How to make Onion Dosa
1. In a mixing bowl, mix the following ingredients with spoon:
- ½ cup fine textured un-roasted rava or suji (semolina flour or cream of wheat)
- ½ cup rice flour
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ or 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies or 1 green chilli
- ½ cup finely chopped onions or about 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or 1 inch, optional
- 9 to 10 black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, optional
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small frying pan. Crackle ½ teaspoon mustard seeds first on low heat.
Then, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 5 to 6 chopped curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds or till the cumin seeds brown and splutter.
3. Add this tempering together with the oil to the other ingredients in the bowl. Also, add salt as required.
4. Pour water or buttermilk as required and make a thin batter without any lumps. Rest the batter for 15 to 20 minutes.
The batter should not be thick or of medium consistency. I added about 2.25 cups water to the batter. If the batter becomes too thin, then add some rice flour to slightly thicken it.
Make Onion Dosa
5. Heat a cast iron skillet, tawa or a non-stick pan. Using a small piece of cotton fabric, paper napkin or half of an onion which has been dipped in oil, grease the pan all over.
6. With a ladle, pour the prepared batter. First, start pouring the batter from the edges. Keep the heat to medium.
7. Then, move pouring the batter towards the center. If there are big gaps, then fill them lightly with the batter.
8. Drizzle ½ teaspoon oil on top. This dosa takes a little longer time to cook than the regular Dosa. The pan has to be really hot before you pour the batter.
9. Let the base becomes golden or crisp. Flip and cook the other side. Usually, I cook both sides. But you can just cook the base and when the top is also cooked, fold the dosa and serve immediately. Prepare all the dosas this way in batches.
Note: The rava and the flours settle down at the bottom of the batter in the bowl. So, you have to stir the batter very well every time you make the dosa. In case the batter becomes thick after making a few dosas, then add some water or buttermilk. Stir and mix again.
10. Serve the hotel style Onion Dosa hot or warm with coconut chutney or vegetable sambar for a comforting breakfast, brunch or lunch.
If you have any leftover dosa batter, then refrigerate it for 1 day. If the batter looks thick, add some water to thin it.
- You can either use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in the batter.
- Ginger, black pepper and coriander leaves in the batter are optional. You can skip these.
- You can adjust the quantity of spices according to your taste. Some finely chopped fresh coconut can also be added to the batter.
- The batter can be prepared with water or buttermilk, whatever you wish to use. Make sure to make a batter, which is thin (not medium or thick) and free of lumps. In case your batter becomes too thin, add some more rice flour and mix.
- Prepare the buttermilk by dissolving 3 to 4 tablespoons curd (yogurt) in 2 cups water. Whisk well before adding to the other ingredients.
- Adjust the heat while cooking the dosa. The heat will depend on the thickness of the pan or skillet you are using. If using a heavy pan, cook on medium high heat. In case the pan is light or thin, then cook on medium-low to medium heat.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make for more servings.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Onion Dosa (Hotel Style Recipe)
- ½ cup rava (sooji or semolina), unroasted and finer textured
- ½ cup Rice Flour
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ to 1 teaspoon green chillies – finely chopped or 1 green chilli
- ½ cup onion – finely chopped or 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 teaspoon ginger – finely chopped or 1 inch ginger, optional
- 2.25 cups water or buttermilk or add as required – I added 2.25 cups water *check notes below on how to make the buttermilk
- 9 to 10 black peppercorns – crushed
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves – chopped, (cilantro), optional
- salt as required
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 to 6 curry leaves – chopped
- oil or ghee as required for roasting the dosa
- Take the rava, rice flour, all-purpose flour, green chillies, ginger, onion, coriander leaves, crushed black pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small frying pan. Crackle the mustard seeds first on low heat. The mustard seeds should pop before you add the cumin seeds.
- Then add the cumin and chopped curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds till the cumin browns and splutters.
- Add this tempering mixture together with the oil to the other ingredients in the bowl. Add salt as required.
- Pour water or buttermilk and make a thin batter without any lumps. Keep the batter to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The batter should not be thick or of medium consistency. If the dosa batter becomes too thin, then add some rice flour to slightly thicken it.
Cooking onion dosa
- Heat a cast iron skillet or tawa or non-stick pan. Smear a bit oil with a slice of onion or a small piece of cotton fabric or paper napkin. Keep the heat to medium.
- With a ladle pour the dosa batter from the edges towards the center.
- Sprinkle ¼ or ½ or 1 teaspoon of oil from the top.
- Let the base becomes golden and crisp. Flip and cook the other side. When both the sides are cooked, remove the dosa from the pan.
- Prepare all the dosas this way in batches.
- While making second dosa stir the batter very well as the rava and the flours settle down at the bottom of the batter in the bowl.
- Serve the hotel style Onion Dosa hot with coconut chutney or vegetable sambar. This dosa has to be served immediately.
- *To make the buttermilk – Mix 3 to 4 tablespoons of curd (yogurt) in 2 cups of water. Whip the buttermilk very well before you add it to the other ingredients.
- The recipe can be scaled to make a larger serving.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste preferences.
- You can skip ginger and black pepper if you want.
- Additionally, you can also add some finely chopped fresh coconut to the batter.
- Cook the dosa on medium to medium high heat depending upon the thickness of the pan. If your pan is not heavy then cook on medium-low to medium heat. For a heavy skillet use medium high heat.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Onion Dosa post from the archives first published in April 2014 has been updated and republished on March 2023.