Surnali Dosa is a soft and spongy Indian pancake recipe that requires just 3 simple ingredients. This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
Surnali Dosa / Vegan Gluten free pancakeDosas are popular breakfast choice, specially in South India as they are nutritious, good source of carbohydrates, easy to digest and low in fat. My family loves to have dosas for breakfast and therefore I generally prepare a big batch of batter and keep it in the fridge so that I don’t have to rush in the morning. Having the batter ready also allows me to prepare something quickly when anyone is hungry at home or when guests show up unannounced. Plus, by making small improvisations with the batter one can prepare different varieties of dosas.

Surnali is a very popular breakfast item in konkani cuisine. As far as I know there are 3 versions of this dosa. The savory, sweet and the one soaked in flavored coconut milk. I love all the three versions and prepare it often. Today, I am going to share a simple savory version. Traditionally surnali dosa is thicker than other South Indian dosas and is cooked only on one side. This dosa is similar to mushti dosa. A perfect surnali should have lot of holes on its surface. The addition of coconut and poha when grinding the batter makes this dosa extremely soft and airy. I generally prefer non-stick pan to cook my dosa, as I can make it oil free and thus more healthier.

This dosa can be served with green coconut chutney, hing chutney, vegetable stew, butter chicken, shrimp curry or any gravy of your choice. I have served it with a very simple onion gravy and will soon share the recipe for the same. You can also check different varieties of dosa / pancake recipes here.

And don’t forget this delicious dosa / pancake can be prepared as a breakfast/dinner/snack item for your upcoming tailgating events or game nights or potluck or Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holiday parties!

Surnali Dosa / Vegan Gluten free pancakePreparation time : 20 minutes
Serves :  15 dosas
Fermentation time : Overnight

Ingredients for Surnali Dosa

Raw rice – 2 cups
Thick poha / Flattened rice flakes – 1 cup
Grated coconut (fresh / dried) – 1 cup
Salt – to taste

Steps to prepare Surnali Dosa

Step I

  • Wash and soak rice for 4 hours and drain them. (check the tip section below)
  • Wash the poha or beaten rice just before grinding the dosa batter.
  • Now grind together the soaked rice along with poha and grated coconut by adding water little by little to form a smooth batter.
  • Transfer this to a big bowl and allow it to ferment overnight.

Step II

  • Next morning, add salt to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat the non-stick tava / pan on medium heat. If you are using a cast iron tava then lightly grease with oil.
  • Once the tava is hot and on a medium flame, pour a laddle full of batter and allow it to spread by itself. Drizzle oil around the edges only if desired. You will see the holes appearing on the top surface.
  • Just cover it with a lid and cook for 2 minutes or until the dosa develops a light golden color at the bottom or until it is done.
  • Repeat the process for remaining batter.
  • Surnali Dosa is now ready. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or curry, and enjoy.


  • I use long grain rice for all of my dosa recipes.
  • You can use dry or fresh grated coconut. I have used the dry coconut flakes.
  • Because you are adding poha, dosa may turn black soon if cooked in high flame.
  • If the weather is cold, then grind the batter using warm water or preheat the oven to 150 degree F, switch off the oven and rest the batter overnight.
  • As this is traditionally prepared as a thick dosa, do not spread the batter once you pour on a hot tava – like you would generally do with other dosas.
  • I have cooked this dosa on both non-stick and cast iron tavas. If the batter is prepared as instructed, these dosas are very easy to handle.

Surnali Dosa / Vegan Gluten free pancake

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surnali dosa / pancake

53 Responses

  1. The texture of those looks wonderful, I love Indian food but tend not too cook breakfasts very often but I bet these would be a great accompaniment to a lunch too!

  2. never heard about this…but looks soft and best part only few ingredients…

  3. The thought of making these always scared me a little, they just look like they would be hard to make. Yours look sensation and you have given me a big dose of encouragement to try and make them at home.

  4. I haven’t heard of these before, but I love how they can be made with only a few ingredients.

  5. We also have something similar to the dosa , it’s called injera, they look so similar but very different ingredients. So interesting how different culture’s foods intertwine like this, now am curious to know how this one tastes

  6. I’ve never heard of these before. They look awesome! Love how there’s only 3 ingredients. Bet they would be lovely with butter chicken! Yum!!

  7. I’ve heard about dosas before, but I’ve never had them. They look super easy to make…and I love that you can make the batter ahead of time. Sounds delicious, Kushi…thank you!

  8. Really nice Kushi, lovely name too! :)

  9. Bookmarked this. The very sight of these Dosas are making me want to try them. Made perfectly they look so delicious with a beautiful texture. I love that coconut is used in the batter. Yummy.

  10. The dosas look awesome, so perfect..

  11. Looks very similar to a French crepe. The photo in the recipe doesn’t look golden, looks very pale. Should we just cook until done or golden?

    • Thank you so much. The bottom will be light golden in color the time it’s done. It depends on the heat of the flame you cook.

  12. Dear Kushi, if using dry desiccated coconut, what would be the quantity? Thanks.

    • you can use the same measurement as I have used the dried coconut flakes.

  13. Lovely dosa …. love to have it any time.

  14. What a great idea to keep a big batch of the batter in the fridge. This little pancakes look very delicate.

  15. I am yet to try your water melon dosa and now adding this too. The addition of coconut reminds me of the appam batter. Great share.

  16. I’ve never met a dosa I didn’t like! Love their flavor and texture. Never made them myself, though — always seemed too complicated. But they’re easy! I really need to do this — thanks!

  17. Lovely – this dosa will definitely be my hub”s fav.

  18. Can we make appams with this batter.

  19. I have made it today , good and easy way 4 the batter really testy
    Thanks mam

  20. where can i find poha?

  21. so soft and flavourful dosa

  22. Looks nice. I make surnalis without any coconut. I add a spoon of yogurt the previous night and it turns out equally good.

  23. Katherine Edwards

    Can you use brown rice for these?

    • I have never tried brown rice for making dosa pancake. I have feeling that taste, texture might vary completely. If I try I will let you know. Do share your feedback.

    • Hi, I tried it with brown rice today and it tastes equally good. So you can use brown rice in the recipe :-)

  24. Hi
    Can I use Rice flour instead of Whole rice.. Love the look of these dosas plus you have managed to get real round ones…

    • Thank you Mahek :-) This is one of my favorite. But I would not recommend adding rice flour as the taste and texture will vary accordingly.

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