Varai Dosa | Barnyard Millet Dosa | No Rice dosa

I have mentioned in my earlier posts that I have started introducing various millets in our diet due to their high nutritional value. After starting with Finger millet or Ragi, I moved on to Pearl millet or Bajra. All three recipes of Instant Ragi Idli , Ragi Chocolate Cake and Whole Bajra Dosa were loved by my family and has become a regular at our place.

Last week I was talking to my aunt Shobha Shenoy who is a great cook and our own masterchef in the family. She drew my attention to her Varai dosa which she had made with my 10 min Restaurant style Vegetable Kurma. I was new to this ingredient called Varai and asked her what it was. She said it is Barnyard millet but available as Samu in the middle east grocery stores. She was also kind enough to send a picture of the millet. The word ‘millet’ made me super excited and I bought it during my next grocery shopping.

Another thing that excited me was that there was no rice in the dosa. So this dosa was ideal for those who want to avoid rice in their diet. And how beautiful did the dosas turn out to be! Pretty, soft and delicious, they come out as good as the restaurant Set dosas but without rice and with the goodness of millets. Now isn’t that wonderful! 

My 2 year old who loves soft dosas more than crisp ones simply loved this one. She made a flower dosa for herself. Here is a picture of her dosa. She could not help admiring it. 

So do try this dosa for a change from your regular dosa. I have attached a picture of the millet in the notes below the recipe. Hope you all make and enjoy Varai dosa too. A huge thanks to my aunt Shobha Shenoy for her recipe and her encouragement always. Happy and Healthy cooking!

Heath benefits of Barnyard Millet: Rich in Iron and dietary fiber, good source of protein, low in calories, gluten free and low in carbs. This millet is ideal for diabetic patients.

A picture of Barnyard millet: 


Ingredients: {Makes around 22 to 24 dosas}

  • 1 1/2 Cups Varai/ Samu/Samo/ Sama ke chawal/ Barnyard Millet
  • 1 Cup whole skinned Urad dal/ Black gram
  • Salt to taste

Step by Step recipe:

  1. Wash well and soak the urad dal in enough water for 4 to 5 hours. 
  2. Wash well and soak the Varai for 30 mins. 
  3. Grind the urad dal with little water in the mixer to a smooth paste. 
  4. Remove in a large bowl/ vessel.
  5. Now add the soaked and drained varai with no water in the mixer and grind to a slightly coarse paste. 
  6. Add this paste to the urad dal paste. Also add salt and mix well using hands to kick start fermentation. 
  7. Keep this batter covered in a warm place overnight or for 8 hours. 
  8. While making dosas, mix the batter well with a ladle. Heat the dosa griddle and pour a ladle full of the batter in the center of the pan. I made soft and thick dosas, so did not spread. If you like thin and crisp dosas, you can spread it like regular dosas (in clockwise direction using the back of the ladle). 
  9. Cover and cook for few seconds till the top surface looks cooked. 
  10. Remove and serve hot with chutney or sambar.


  • I did a research on Varai (as is called in Konkani) on its different names. We get it as Samu here in the middle east. It is called Sama ke chawal in North India and is using during fasting or vrat. In Tamil, it is called Kuthiraivali and Moraiyo in some parts of India. Here is a picture of the millet: 
  • You can make both thick and thin dosas with this batter. Just spread like regular dosas if you like them thin and crisp.
  • Keep the leftover batter in the refrigerator and make dosas the next day.
  • This dosa is an excellent idea for those who want to avoid rice but love dosas. Barnyard millet substitutes rice beautifully in this dosa and it tastes exactly like the ones made with rice and urad dal. Also a great option during fasting or vrat days where rice is avoided.
Hello, I am Mitha.Join me in my journey of healthy eating with my foodie of a husband and an equally foodie toddler. This site is a collection of recipes that we loved so much that we had to share it. Enjoy cooking with these healthy-easy-delicious recipes!

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