Thursday, April 8, 2010

Besan Dosa

In Pune you’re never more than a few hundred feet away from a place that serves a hot, crisp dosa. I, like many others I know, grew up getting my daily requirement of dosa from Hotel Vaishali. And for most of us Puneris, Vaishali will always remain the golden standard by which all dosas will be judged. When I returned to India a few years back for a brief visit, a friend of mine wanted to take me to a ‘hip’, new dosa joint, which in itself is an oxymoron. We arrived at a place called Dosa Hut, located on the corner where Bhandarkar Rd meets Jangli Maharaj Rd and housed in what used to be the old Café Sunrise. It had just opened when I first visited. The abmience was a little overwhelming for a restaurant that made it’s living by selling dosas. I kept an open mind; that was until the menu arrived. Veg Jaipuri Dosa, Paneer Bhurji Dosa and the killer, I kid you not, Chicken Manchurian Dosa. I understand the need to be different in a saturated marked, but this was just insane (not to mention 40% more expensive than the best dosa in Pune). I looked at the menu once again, because it deserved a second look. My first question was, “why?” So did you just take the ‘masala out of the dosa and just replace it with generic Punjabi and desi Chinese dishes? Or was this an ill-conceived plot to overthrow the almighty naan? Was there any point to completely ruining two good dishes to create one disastrous hybrid? All for the sake of being different. I can’t really remember what I ordered there and but I do remember leaving the place rather confused. And I am not sure if the restaurant is still there either. If one wishes to go against the grain using the dosa, then why not change the dosa itself? I have seen so many recipes from food bloggers that have completely redefined the dosa using new ingredients from oatmeal to ladyfingers. Here’s one of my favourites.

  • 2 cups of Besan Flour (Chickpea)
  • ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Chili grated
  • ¾ tsp Grated Ginger
  • ½ tsp Cilantro finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

  • In a bowl, mix the flour, cumin, turmeric, chili powder and salt
  • Add water to the mixture and mix till you achieve a dosa batter like consistency
  • Add the remaining herbs and mix thoroughly
  • Heat a skillet or Tawa and pour a ladel of batter on it
  • Spread the dosa thin using a large spoon. (Watch the video below)
  • Serve with fresh coconut chutney


Madhuri said...

Video is fantastic. He is guiness in making dosa I believe.

evolvingtastes said...

Are those olives? Work of art, as always. :)

Srimathi said...


It was very nice reading your post and watching the you tube clip. I like your besan dosai idea. Soes it come out crisp?

Desi Mom, Desi Dad said...

Love the shape! Looks so good, I'll try it for my fussy kids. thanks.

Anonymous said...

The wanna-be hip dosa in Pune is no different than the americanized dosa in NY - have you been to Hampton Chutney? Same idea - ruins the dosa.
Its nice to see the video and the ease with which that man makes dosa - how I wish I could move my wrist that effortlessly while making dosas. My dosas are always disastrous so every so often, i get one at desi restaurants in NYC!

Silver Strands said...

Ooooh! Yum!!! Love the video too ...
Thanks for sharing :)

Sharmilee! :) said...

Sounds new to me...nice video as well!

Anonymous said...

New to your blog and so very happy to meet a fellow Punekar.
I recently went back and had to go and have a kathi kabab roll before I left the city. It took me a while to find the place - the cart is gone and there's a swanky new restaurant in it's place. However glad to report that the huge tava still exists and so does the old menu board. One bite of that chicken roll, I swooned and was transported to food heaven.

I just added your site to my bookmarks and will be checking this regularly. Ciao.

Anonymous said...

We came across your blog and we think what we are doing would really interest you.
Your blog is very interesting and a we are making a show on the same line. Its a FOOD TALENT SHOW which will be on air soon on a LEADING ENTERTAINMENT CHANNEL .
Contact us at :
Phone no: +91 – 9820125231
Other Link :!/event.php?eid=124273537604079&index=1

Anonymous said...

Me from Pune too !!
First time on ur blog, liked it
Man! you have an eye for beauty !
loved the way you garnish your dishes
i have always found we maharashtrians dont present our dishes as well as we could,but you are a class apart

Ramya said...

I somehow managed to come to ur blogspace and it was a great reminiscence. I lived in pune for great 2 yrs, and could assocaite to Vaishali, Rangoli, KB, Dorabjee's, FC road etc. It was a fantastic feeling down the memory lane. And the recipes are just mouth watering. I'm sure your wifey is having a wonderful time eating them down. Take time to have a look at my blog.


Preeti said...

Hi nice to see a fellow Punekar's blog. It's is indeed nostalgic to through your blog as it reminds me of good old days. Sad, to know that Cafe Sunrise isn't there anymore...gosh that was our college group adda!! Hop on to my newly set blog.

akshay said...

Haven't you been cooking/writing lately? Its been a while. Go ahead.. make my day!

Anonymous said...

Just saw your blog and was wondering if you would like to write for a magazine?
Jo Sawant

Submit your articles to
Visit here for more details:

Wandering Mind..! said...

Excellent video..! I think the besan dosa is much like tomato omelet.

Priya said...

I don't think Dosa Hut made it there for very long. Last time I checked, Dosa Hut was gone and Sunrise was back. But the interior decor and furniture was still from Dosa Hut, which didn't suit the Sunrise culture at all. This was at least 3 years ago. Not sure if Sunrise is still there.

Nice blog, btw :)

Shanthi said...

Fantastic and well presented.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

Hey, love your blog's name and everything in it! Also, that's a very professionally presented dosa!

Hema said...

Nice dosa.. guess you must be inspired by the video too.. Lovely presentation

Miss Divine said...

Hey Chanchu, nice blog, I'm enjoying thoroughly :) I'm gonna try this recipe for my baby :) The video is really good! The man doesn't even look at the tava!
Yes I've seen shops in mumbai selling Chinese Pani puri, and guess wot? American Hot Dog! Yeah that's the name, probably they have Jain Hot dog so they have to specifically mention lol

Anonymous said...

Was wondering why you have not blogged since a long time. Please blog regularly. I love your recipes.

Anonymous said...

Not a huge fan of Vaishali - something about their sambar does not seem right to me! They seem to be a favourite of FC alumni though, maybe they have just gone downhill in recent years? I am willing to believe they used to be the best ;)

This besan dosa sounds a bit like pudla/poora, but thinner. I love besan and am always looking for new dosa recipes, so I will definitely be trying this.

Bagel Boss Catering said...

Thanks for the recipe. It's easy, nutritious and most all, it's so simple.

Ashish said...

Dosas have been always a top priorty on an Indian breakfast table. enjoy more at Moti Mahal Deluxe Tandoori Trail, Gurgaon.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your making the effort to go over this, Personally i think clearly about this as well as really like understanding read more about this particular subject. Whenever possible, while you acquire know-how, could you thoughts upgrading your website with more details? It is rather great for me personally.

Flight Simulator Games

Ain said...

wow..sounds scrumptiously tasty..
first time here your space..
awesome presentation with nice recipes..Superb methods.
Am your happy follower now..:)
do stop by mine sometime..

facebook covers said...

great recipes nice explanation thanks for shring....:)

visau said...

besan dosa sound nice..i love coconut chutney if possible please post the coconut chutney recipe..

Sardar said...

not bad

sanjana reddy said...

dosa is looking too good. this viedo helps in preparing the recipe easily. thanks a lot. for more recipes check

Easy Recipes said...

I'd like to invite you to join our site . I really enjoy your blog and recipes and I think the over 8,000 unique daily visitors to Easy Recipes will too.
By joining Easy Recipes, we will provide the Nutrition Facts for every recipe you post in which you could customize and add to your blog. Viewers need and love to know the nutritional facts. Its a free service that we offer to blogs and recipes we really love. It looks professional and your members will love it.
Simply visit or contact me at We look forward having you in our network!

Randhir Kumar said...

nice info collection. post more information. if you people want to purchase/buy , sony pendrive , sandisk pendrive ,toshiba pendrive with free home delivery, visit this store

yumfranchise said...

Fantastic and well presented. Dosas have been always a top priorty on an Indian breakfast table.

Pune Diaries said...

Hey that was extremely informative! Check out our feature on Pune's one of best eateries

Sindhi Khaana said...

Thanks for the recipe. It is easy, nutritious and most of all, it's so simple.