London: Chennai Dosa


Dosas, for those of you who do not know about them, are a South Indian pancake made from ground lentil flour and rice flour which are left to ferment over night. The following day the dough is cooked into a very thin and crispy pancake. Dosas normally come with a filling and are served with various chutneys and sambals.


My dosa of choice is the masala dosa which comes with a spiced potato filling (it reminds me slightly of the potatoes my grandmother used to cook me) a tomato and onion chutney, a coconut chutney, a sambar (like dhal). You can get various fillings. I really enjoy them and whenever I am able to I do like to head over to my nearest dosa shop for one. The best thing about knowing about dosa is that you can find them quite literally anywhere in the world. While in Malaysia a few years ago it was great to see them around.


NOTE, dosas are generally gluten free however please make sure that the one you order has gluten free flours in it eg rice flour, lentil flour, urad dhal etc in the dough. Most dosa places probably won’t be gluten free aware so to ask is the flour is gluten free will probably result in nothing, however to ask what flours are used in the dosa will probably be more revealing.  Do NOT under any circumstances let anyone convince you that a rava dosa is gluten free. It is not as it is made from semolina.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to have a slight rant about celebrity chefs changing  perfectly good recipes of dosas to make them easier to make at home.  Surely the gluten-munchers could eat the rava dosa you just explained above, I hear you say! Exactly, and that is my point. Why make dosas made with gram flour (chick pea flour) and wheat flour but insist on calling it a dosa? Why not just use the normal wheat flour dosa recipe (it doesn’t have gram flour in)? Also if you want to make a gram flour pancake, why not make a perfectly normal (and gluten free) gram flour pancake? End of rant.

Anyway if you would like to know more about dosas have a look at their wiki page :

Alternatively if you would like to go for a dosa my advice would be to look out for a South Indian restaurant alternatively Chennai Dosa have various branches around the country. I went to the one in Tooting SW17.

4 responses to “London: Chennai Dosa

  1. Hi
    Thank you for the great post. Can you find out if they use “Asafoetida” and is it a gluten free one? This because in our Indian cooking we use this in vegetarian cooking a lot and the common one has wheat flour in it but the one better suited for Coeliacs has rice flour in it.

    Cambriodgeshire Coeliac Group Organiser

    • Hi Prakash, as far as I can tell, I don’t think they do as there are obvious onion/ginger/garlic bits in the food. So I am assuming they are not Jain. Also the branch I go to isn’t in the “strict/pure vegetarian” category as they sell meat. Will send you a link via facebook to the gluten free asafoetida.

      Thank you for reading my blog. Enjoy.

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