Kurunai Dosai

"Kurunai Dosai" table of contents

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A majority of my ancestors were farmers, my maternal grandfather became the last agriculturist of our family due to several reasons. They mostly grew rice & lentil crops in their farmland. There were large amounts of nutrient-rich broken rice and broken lentils kept inside kudhil (a gigantic earthenware used to store foodgrains) in my grandfather’s house. Since those small uneven particles of rice & lentil (kurunai) could not be sold in the market, they were used by our grandmother for making upma, payasam, kanji, kurunai dosai, etc.

kd-4 Kurunai Dosai
Kurunai Dosai

Kurunai Dosai

It is a traditional savory crepe prepared using the batter made of broken rice and broken black gram. Nowadays it is almost impossible to get those broken rice & broken lentils, so we are using regular rice & black gram lentils for making kurunai dosai. Black gram is beneficial to women’s health particularly to strengthen their hip bones, so it is often served to young girls & pregnant women along with the sweet (ulundhu kali) made of black gram & palm jaggery.

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Breakfast with Kurunai dosai & ulundhang kali

Since this dosai goes well with spicy chutney, it is usually served with hotter chutney made of red chillies & raw shallots (pacha vengaya chutney) mixed with copious amounts of cold-pressed sesame oil (chekku ennai).

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Kurunai dosai with Chinna vengaya chutney

Instead of adding sesame oil into the chutney, some like to take this chutney along with curd (yogurt).

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Kurunai dosai with kara chutney & curd

For people or children who can not withstand the heat of this spicy chutney we can serve with coconut chutney & garlic-chilli powder (poondu milagai podi).

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Kurunai dosai with spicy coconut chutney & poondu milagai podi

Kurunai dosai is a specialty dosa prepared in every household in Tirunelveli & Kanyakumari districts. It is one of the most favored breakfast for our family due to its unique aroma and is more delicious & flavorful when served hot.


For batter:
Idli rice4 cups (approx. 800 g)
Black gram (whole/split)1 cup (200g)
Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam)1 tbsp
Salt2 tbsp
For making dosa:
Sesame oil (nallennai)as needed
kurunai-dosai-maavu-ingredients Kurunai Dosai

Dosai batter:

First we need to soak the rice for 4 hours, and lentils & fenugreek seeds for 1 hour. Then grind them separately in a wetgrinder, mix both the batter along with salt and allow it to ferment for 8 hours. You may refer here for some essential tips for preparing perfect batter for idli/dosa.

kurunai-dosa-batter Kurunai Dosai
Kurunai dosai maavu

Dosai making:

With this batter we can make both spongy dosa (uthappam/ pancake) and crispy dosa (crepe) as shown below. You can also refer the dosa making tips here.

kurunai-dosai Kurunai Dosai
Kurunai dosai (crispy or spongy)

Any spicy tangy chutney or kuzhambu goes well with kurunai dosai, so we can use kara chutney, pulikuzhambu, sambar, or idli powder as accompaniments. You can check out the recipes of commonly served accompaniments for kurunai dosai like spicy shallot chutney & flavorful garlic-chilli powder in the next page.

kurunai-dosai-side-dish Kurunai Dosai
Side dish for Kurunai Dosai

"Kurunai Dosai" table of contents

  1. Kurunai Dosai
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  1. Megala. I enjoyed reading the post about your family. This is another healthy and yummy dosa recipe.

  2. It seems heartbreaking that even Indians are on the verge of loosing their entire Food Culture and heritage to the so called ‘Advancement of life’. But then in midst of that –by seeing posts like yours gives me hope that there are people who will carry the heritage and knowledge of our country ahead and give to our younger generation to pursue. Keep sharing your knowledge about food. Good Day

    1. I’m so delighted to find your comment resonating my thoughts. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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