I've been making dosa lately and was wondering if you could make the batter using only soaked urad dal (black lentils)? Or, do you have to include soaked rice, as well?

I am diabetic, so I am trying to make dosa batter more "diabetic-friendly," because I love them so much!

If not, what's the smallest amount of rice you can use?

Currently, I use 3 cups rice and 1 cup urad dal. I am using brown basmati rice, because it's a little better, carb-wise.

Thanks in advance for answers!

  • From a diabetic view, any ground carbo is a problem, not just rice
    – TFD
    Jul 28, 2013 at 22:29
  • Good Indian green grocers should sell diabetic rice. I have seen them in my local shop although Im not sure what exactly diabetic rice is.
    – Neil Meyer
    Aug 18, 2022 at 17:00

4 Answers 4


Main ingredient for making a traditional dosa is rice. Rice can't be substituted. Although you can definitely reduce the amount of rice you are using.

From what you've mentioned, you are using 3:1 rice to black lentil ratio. Using 2:1 rice to lentil ratio can also yield you similar batter without compromising the crispiness.

I am assuming that you only use rice and black lentils. You can try adding more types of lentils like Moong (Split Green Gram lentil with skin removed) or Toor Daal. The point here is to reduce the amount of rice in per serving by adding lentil. I usually follow 4:2:1 rice to black lentil to Moong Daal ratio.

If you completely cut out rice, you can still get similar crepes using substitutes but they won't be authentic dosa. You can try Rava Dosa (Semolina Crepe) or many other substitutes mentioned here


Yes, you can make dosa without rice! I am very health-conscious and one day tried making dosa without rice and it worked very well. Moreover, this doesn't even require fermentation. Just soak urad dal for couple of hours and grind it into a smooth paste. Make the batter as thin as regular dosa batter and enjoy :)

  • How does this work? The fermentation is a main part of the taste and texture of the dosa? It not a just a flour pancake!
    – TFD
    Jul 28, 2013 at 22:28
  • @TFD: In this recipe, fermentation isn't necessary: vegrecipesofindia.com/urad-dal-dosa-recipe
    – Nav
    Aug 7, 2022 at 8:23

I don't know if you can make it with only dal but I made a dosa with masoor dal and rice. 2 :1 ratio. Ie more dal than rice. It turned out perfect and tasted just like a normal dosa. Rest of the steps are same. I added some methi seeds to aid fermentation


Yes, urad dal can be used for making dosa, and fermentation is not necessary [source]. Moreover, there are many other no-rice dosas, which use:

  • Rava
  • Grated cucumber
  • Oats
  • Jowar
  • Moong
  • Masoor dal
  • Ragi
  • Bajra
  • Wheat
  • Barley

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