Multigrain Dosas With Chettinad-Style Garlic & Onion Kaara Kozhambu

I am always on the lookout for different kinds of dishes that I can make for breakfast. We like a different breakfast every day, you see? So, when, on one of the foodie Facebook groups that I am part of, a lady talked about how she makes dosas using a mix of different kinds of flours for her family, my ears perked up. Inspired, I thought of trying out similar, multigrain dosas, using a variety of flours, for breakfast yesterday. The end result was lovely!

I served the dosas with a Chettinad-style Garlic & Onion Kaara Kozhambu, something I am a huge fan of and often make at home. After I saw Chef Tamil of Anjappar demonstrating a similar kaara kozhambu recently, at the Diabetic Masterclass, I absolutely had to go ahead and make it, too.

The dosas go wonderfully well with the tangy, spicy-sweet kaara kozambu – a match made in heaven, for sure!


Let’s learn how to make the dosas and the kozhambu now, shall we?

For the dosas (yields about 10 dosas):

  1. 1 cup ragi flour (home-made)
  2. 1/2 cup wheat flour (ground the old-fashioned way in a flour mill)
  3. 1/2 cup bajra flour (store-bought)
  4. 1/2 cup rice flour (store-bought)
  5. Salt, to taste
  6. A pinch of asafoetida
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  8. A few fresh curry leaves
  9. 2 green chillies, very finely chopped
  10. 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  11. 1 tablespoon oil
  12. 1 cup sour curd (not too thick, not too watery either)


  1. Take all of the above ingredients, except the mustard seeds and the oil, in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop.
  3. Add the mustard seeds-oil tadka to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add as much water as required to make a batter that is neither too thick nor too runny.
  5. Get a dosa pan nice and hot, and pour a ladleful of the batter on it. Spread it out and pour a teaspoon of oil all around the dosa. When the dosa is cooked on one side, flip it to the other side. Let it cook on the other side too.
  6. Make dosas out of the remaining batter, in a similar fashion. Serve hot, with chutney of your choice or a Chettinad-style garlic and onion kozhambu.


  1. You can even add grated/finely chopped veggies to the dosa batter – onion, for instance, or carrot.

For the Chettinad-style garlic and onion kaara kozhambu

Ingredients (yields a large bowl):

  1. 8-10 small onions or shallots, peeled and chopped
  2. 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
  5. A few fresh curry leaves
  6. Tamarind, the size of a gooseberry
  7. Salt, to taste
  8. Red chilli powder, to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 2 dried red chillies
  11. 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
  12. 2 tablespoons oil (preferably gingelly oil)
  13. 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  14. 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (sombu)
  15. A pinch of asafoetida
  16. 2 tablespoons powdered jaggery
  17. 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  18. 2 tablespoons sambar powder (store-bought – I use the one from Adayar Ananda Bhavan)
  19. 1 tablespoon rice flour


  1. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then, extract a thick juice out of the tamarind, adding a little more water at a time. Keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add the mustard seeds. Let them pop. Add the asafoetida and the dry red chillies and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  3. Add the slit green chillies, chopped shallots, garlic cloves and chopped big onions. Cook till the onions start turning brown.
  4. Now, add the chopped tomato. Cook till they turn mushy.
  5. Now, add the tamarind extract to the pan, along with salt, red chilli powder, and turmeric. Cook on a medium flame, till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
  6. Add the curry leaves, sambar powder, powdered jaggery and coriander powder. Mix well. Cook on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the raw smell of the masala powders disappears.
  7. In a cup, mix the rice flour with a couple of tablespoons of water, ensuring that no lumps remain. Pour this paste into the pan. Mix well.
  8. Add the fennel seeds to the pan.
  9. Cook on a medium flame till the kozhambu thickens a bit, stirring intermittently.
  10. Serve hot or after cooling down, with rice or dosas.


  1. Traditionally, the fennel seeds are added to the pan right at the beginning, when you add the mustard seeds. I find that the fennel seeds lose their flavour when added that way, so I prefer adding them at the end.
  2. I like the addition of jaggery powder in this dish, but you may skip it if you aren’t too fond of a sweetish taste in your food.
  3. You could even garnish the dish with a little finely chopped fresh coriander, if you want to. I usually skip the coriander in a Chettinad-style kaara kozhambu like this.
  4. You could make the kozhambu using other vegetables like bitter gourd, brinjal or okra, too. Whatever vegetable you are using, just add them in after the onions turn brown, before adding the chopped tomatoes. If you don’t want to use onions, just add the vegetables of your choice (chopped) after the mustard seeds have popped.
  5. If you are using bitter gourd (parikkai) to make this kaara kozhambu, cut it into pieces after de-seeding, rub the pieces with some salt and let them sit for about 10 minutes before adding them to the pan. This prevents the dish from becoming overly bitter. Alternatively, you could deep fry the salted pieces of bitter gourd before adding them to the pan. This gives the kozhambu a beautiful flavour.
  6. Usually, a whole lot of oil is added to this dish, but I have added just 2 tablespoons, to keep it healthier.
  7. Do not skimp on the quantity of garlic you use in this dish, I would say. You can make the kozhambu using just 6-7 cloves of garlic too, but using about 1/2 cup gives it a flavour that is just perfect, I think.
  8. I learnt the recipe for the kozhambu from different blogs, and perfected it over a period of time through trial and error. At the recent Diabetic Masterclass, the kaara kozhambu that Chef Tamil used followed the same recipe as I usually do, except te added bitter gourd, used more oil, skipped adding jaggery, and added the fennel seeds right at the start, after adding the mustard seeds.

You like? I hope you will try this out at home too! 🙂

14 thoughts on “Multigrain Dosas With Chettinad-Style Garlic & Onion Kaara Kozhambu

  1. Thanks, Girl Next Door 🙂 This is very helpful. We will probably be squeezed for time, so knowing exactly where it is is most helpful. I am sure I’ll enjoy browsing in the shop. We will keep our eyes peeled for Mr. Modi’s twin. If the trip works out (fingers crossed) it’ll be more than a decade after our last trip. I am sure things have changed dramatically. My first visit was in 1977. We scooped the sacred ash into one of my school lunch boxes gleefully, because that’s how it was. Pretty sure I can’t do that now 🙂 Thanks again.


      1. We’re making this for dinner tonight. I will most certainly update you.
        The only one change I’ll be making is skipping the jaggery in the kozhambu. Nobody at home is too fond of the mild sweetness in savory food. But other than that, I think the dosa and kozhambu will be such a winner for us!


  2. Looks delicious 😀 I have a favour to ask, Girl Next Door; we are planning a trip to Shirdi early next year. I’m very keen to visit Sai Manas Textiles, I love sarees. Can you please tell me (roughly) where they are located, and how far away from the temple complex? Much appreciated, thank you 🙂🙂


    1. @Monisha Ravindra

      Hey there!

      Good luck with your trip to Shirdi. 🙂

      Sai Manas Textiles is bang opposite Sai Ashram, the subsidised living facilities provided by the Shirdi Saibaba Trust. Everyone in Shirdi would know where Sai Ashram is, I think. It is the only place belonging to the Trust itself, providing living facilities, as far as I remember.

      Also, I must tell you that Sai Manas Textiles isn’t a huge showroom or anything – it is just a small shop. I haven’t really worn the sarees I picked up there, so can’t say anything about the quality. They do have a good selection of sarees, though. Do take a look at their sugarcane fabric sarees. BTW, there is a guy who has set up a shoe shop right outside Sai Manas, who looks exactly like Narendra Modi. So similar that we almost mistook him for Modi. 🙂 I regret I didn’t take a picture of him.

      Hope this helps! Do feel free to ask any more questions that you might have.


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