Instant Ragi Onion Dosa| Finger Millet Savoury Pancakes

I am consciously looking for ways to include more millets in our diet, and have been experimenting quite a bit with them. Ragi or finger millet is one of my most favourite types of millets – I love its rustic, earthy taste. I often use ragi in rotis, savoury kuzhi paniyaram and in the form of vermicelli. Today, I am going to share with you all my recipe for Ragi Onion Dosa, another much-loved way of consuming finger millet in my family.

These crispy Ragi Onion Dosa are absolutely delicious, and a breeze to prepare too. They can be made instantly, and do not require any prior soaking or fermentation.

We prefer having these for breakfast, a nice change from the rice-based idlis and dosas, upma and poha we usually have. Any leftover batter is converted into more dosas for an evening snack, within a day or two.

What goes into these Ragi Onion Dosas?

These dosas are made using ragi or finger millet flour, which I pick up on our grocery shopping runs. I add in some rice flour, which gives them a wonderful crispy texture. Some curd, finely chopped onion, curry leaves and green chillies add a burst of flavour to the dosas. I also add in a simple tempering to the batter, which elevates the taste of the dosas by several notches.

Much has been written already about the many health benefits of millets. I have too, and I won’t repeat the same here. I’ll just say that these dosas are a delectable way of getting more millets into your system.

How to make Ragi Onion Dosas

Here is how I go about it.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 dosas):

  1. 1 cup ragi flour
  2. 1/2 cup rice flour
  3. 1 cup semi-thick curd
  4. 1-1/2 to 2 cups water
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  7. 2-3 green chillies
  8. 1 big onion
  9. 1/2 tablespoon oil + more to make the dosas
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  11. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  12. 2 pinches of asafoetida


1. Take the ragi flour and rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in salt to taste.

2. Add in the curd. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.

3. Add in 1-1/2 to 2 cups of water to bring the batter to a watery consistency. Mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps.

4. Chop the curry leaves and green chillies very finely. Add to the batter.

5. Chop the onion finely. Add to the batter too.

6. Heat the oil for tempering in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Now, switch off gas and add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Let them be in the hot oil for a few seconds. Then, pour this tempering onto the batter.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Steps 5 and 6

7. Mix the batter well. The consistency should be runny, as shown in the video below. Now, allow the batter to rest till you get a dosa pan nice and hot.

8. When the dosa pan is hot, turn the flame down to medium. Pour a ladleful of the batter roughly over the pan, then take some more batter and, sort of, fill in the gaps. The video below will explain this step better.

9. Let the dosa cook on medium flame till the bottom part starts getting crispy, 1-2 minutes. Then, carefully loosen the dosa and flip it over to the other side. Now, cook for a minute or so on the other side. Transfer the prepared Ragi Onion Dosa to a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Are these dosas vegan and gluten-free?

These Ragi Onion Dosas are completely vegetarian, but NOT vegan or plant-based because of the addition of curd.

They can easily be made gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercial brands of asafoetida available in India contain wheat flour, to a greater or lesser extent, and are therefore best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use slightly sour curd for best results. I have used home-made curd which was thick, but not overly so. You can use store-bought curd too.

2. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of batter that you require.

3. For crisp and lovely Ragi Onion Dosa, the batter should be thin and runny. I add about 2 cups of water to achieve that consistency.

4. If too watery batter is difficult to manage for you, you could add in less water and keep the batter thick. Practise making dosas with this thicker batter and you can then increase the amount of water, once you get the hang of it.

5. A non-stick pan works best for making these Ragi Onion Dosas.

6. Be careful when you flip over the dosas. Ensure that you loosen them gently from the bottom, using a spatula first, then slowly flip over.

7. The ragi flour and rice flour I have used here are store-bought.

8. Making these dosas needs a bit of practice. However, it’s not a very difficult art to master. Please don’t get disheartened if you don’t get it right in the first few tries.

9. You may skip using the onion if you don’t want to.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

10 thoughts on “Instant Ragi Onion Dosa| Finger Millet Savoury Pancakes

  1. I love these ragi dosas . I too make the instant version which is always a super hit … your chutney looks fab and I can have chutney with dosa instead of vice versa 😃😃


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