Spicy Rice Toor Daal Cabbage Onion Dosa (Sanna Polo)

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This is a specialty in our Konkani (predominantly South Kanara) cooking. There is no good way of naming this recipe; the name that I have used is actually the description of this ‘Polo’. Even though I call it a Dosa, it is not the usual Dosa with urad daal and rice that we are used to. This is not eaten a main dish either, instead this is eaten as a side dish along with rice and plain daal during lunch/dinner. No other subzi, salad is required to go along with this as the taste of the “sanna polo” is predominant and forms a flavorful accompaniment with yogurt or daal rice.

Traditionally this is prepared using freshly available coconut and that forms the crux of this recipe. Coconut is available in abundance in the Kanara region and also readily available at most homes. The coconuts turn bad pretty fast and so there is always a need to come up with something that uses lots of coconut. But now that there is so much concern about coconut and its impact on health; my MIL has modified this to use more rice and Toor Daal. I do have to admit that this taste best when lots of coconut is used.

Konkani people swear by this and consider it a small ‘parab’ (festival) whenever this is prepared at home.


  • ½ cup toor daal  
  • ¼ cup rice (regular sona masoori rice)
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • ½ cup finely chopped cabbage
  •  ½ cup shredded coconut
  •  5-6 redchillies
  • 3 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • Jaggery
  • Salt
  • oil

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  • Soak the rice and Toor Daal separately in enough water for about 5-6 hours.
  • After they are soaked, drain the water completely from the rice and toor daal.
  • Chop the onions and cabbage finely and keep aside.
  • First grind the coconut along with soaked red chillies, Toor Daal, tamarind and salt. Make sure that the paste is coarse. There is no need to water while grinding.
  • Add the rice, jaggery more salt and grind again. The mixture should be coarse and not a smooth paste.
  • Check for taste. Please note: At this point the taste of the mixture is not at all appealing. Make sure that when you taste that salt, jaggery, tamarind and spice (chilli) level is all above average (don’t hesitate to kick up a notch as once the cabbage, onions are added and cooked the taste tends to go bland).
  • I have consistently found that the salt and jaggery have to be added very liberally and periodically to get the seasonings right.


  • Add the chopped onions and cabbage to the mixture and mix well. The mixture is very thick and coarse and there is no need to add extra water.
  • Heat a dosa/chapathi tava. Take lemon sized ball of mixture and place it on the hot tava. Pat it using the tip of hands and make it into circle.
  • The moment the mixture hits the heat, the cabbage, onion and coconut
  • Proceed with the step above and place as many dosas possible on the Tava.
  • Add oil to each one of them and cover that tava with a lid. The dosas cook up very fast and also brown fast. Keep a close watch.
  • After they are browned on one side, let it cook on another side.
  • Please note: It is best to use up all the batter/mixture in one go. If kept for a long time, the raw onions in the mixture begin to smell. The ‘polo’ can be made in batches and ahead of time. They store well when kept covered and in cool palce.


Cucumber Dosa/Taushe Polo

Cucumber Dosa

After getting married, I was introduced to many new, delicious and interesting dishes hitherto unknown to me. Even though both of us are Konkanis, vegetarians, share the same background and culture yet each of our families have different style and combination of cooking. My MIL has over the years graciously taught me their style of cooking.

One such new, easy and tasty dish is the Cucumber dosa (savory Indian pancake)  . This has only 2 ingredients cucumber, idli rava and can be made in a jiffy. The end product is truly amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with golden hue to it. Unlike a regular urad dosa tears easily and simply melts in the mouth. And this does not need any fermentation!

Please note that even though this is caleld Dosa, the prepared batter is patted on the stove directly like a Thalipeeth.



  • 2 medium size cucmbers
  • 1.5 cups of idli rava
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • oil, salt
  • coriander leaves chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut(optional)


  • Peel the cucumbers and grate them. Retain the seeds of the cucumber but drain the cucumber water as much as possible.
  • Chop up the green chilies very finely.
  • Add the idli rava, green chilies, shredded coconut, coriander leaves to grated cucumber and mix well. Add salt as required
  • Let this whole thing rest for about 30 minutes. Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and not “gooey” or watery like a dosa batter.
  • Note: Even if it becomes watery, do not discard the water but retain it and mix it well.


  • Heat a tava and grease it a little bit. When the tava is hot, take a handful of the cucumber mixture and place at the center.
  •  Pat the mixture using finger tips and spread it around starting from the center to form a circle.
  •  Use little water to spread this out if it becomes hot to handle.

  •  This spreading should not be either too thick or thin, make it as even as possible.
  •  Make about 4-5 small holes around the periphery and center of the circle using a spatula.
  •  Put about 1 tsp of oil around the dosa and also 1 tsp into the small holes.
  •  Cover this with a lid and let it stay for a minute or so on high heat.
  • After a minute take a peek and check to see if the backside of the dosa has a brown color.
  •  If it has not, then let it stay for a while or the dosa will break when trying to turn it around.
  •  If it has browned then, turn the dosa around, put some more oil around it and let it cook for a while.

 This can be eaten as is or with little ghee or coconut oil.