Pesarattu | Moong Dal Dosa | A healthy breakfast dish with just 4 ingredients!

Pesarattu is a healthy dosa made with green moong dal and served along with upma and a spicy ginger chutney.

What is Pesarattu?

Pesarattu is a protein packed dosa variety from the state of Andhra Pradesh made using whole moong dal. It also goes by the name of Pesara Dose or even Upma Pesarattu. It hails from the Guntur region of Andhra, which is known for its spicy cuisine.

We soak whole moong dal with the skin for 4-5 hours and grind it up with green chillies, cumin, ginger, and curry leaves, giving it that distinct green color.

The best side dish for Andhra Pesarattu is a ginger chutney called Allam chutney or even a tangy tomato chutney.


The use of green moong dal in the preparation adds protein to the dish, making it an excellent choice for an early dinner.

I learnt about the dish just a few years ago when I started my cooking journey. It has been a lifesaving dish for breakfast because it does not involve the process of fermentation. You can just soak the dal over night and grind in the morning along with the herbs and spices. You can eat it with any chutney or some days we just pair it with some butter or Chutney Podi.

A brief note about the dosa

Pesarattu means “Moong dal dosa”. The meaning of pesarattu can be explained in the Telugu language. “Pesara” means “Moong Dal” and “Attu” means “dosa”, hence the name Pesarattu.

Pesarattu also has a variation known by the name of MLA pesarattu which has a stuffing of Upma, raw onions and a side of chutney making it a whole meal. People call it MLA pesarattu because it was initially served in the canteens of the state legislative assembly in Hyderabad to the MLAs who wanted to scoop out the potatoes and replace them with upma.

Like its cousin Adai, from another South Indian state, pesarattu is only made at home and never found on restaurant menus. I really don’t know why, but it should be!

Pesarattu and Adai differ only in the fact that people use whole moong dal to make pesarattu, while they use either channa dal or black urad dal to make adai.

Find both varieties of Adai here – Adai & Palakkad Adai

Ingredients for Pesarattu

The chief ingredient is unskinned moong dal which is green, also goes by the name of green moong dal or green mung beans.

Adding the other ingredients gives flavor to the dosa itself. In the batter that I make, I add green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves. You can choose to add one or all of these ingredients to the batter.

Adding rice to prepare the batter is a matter of how it is being done in each household. I have never found the need to add rice, but adding a little rice while soaking the dal will add to a crispier texture. If you are adding, add only 2 tablespoons of raw rice.

How to make Pesaru Dosa at home?

Prep Work

Soak 2 cups of green moong dal for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Drain the water after soaking and rinse the moong dal a couple of times with fresh water. If you are using rice, you can rinse and soak the rice separately.

Once soaked, rinse out the green moong dal with fresh water and add it to the mixer for grinding. Grind the soaked moong dal (and rice) along with green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and curry leaves.

Make it into a smooth batter, add a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder and keep aside for frying.

You do not need to ferment the batter. It’s one of those dosas that you can prepare with just overnight soaking.

Frying the dosas

Place a cast iron dosa pan or griddle on a medium-high flame. Once the griddle is warm, sprinkle some water on top of it to sizzle. If it does not sizzle, then the tawa is not hot enough. Once the tawa is sufficiently hot, drizzle a few drops of oil and spread it with the help of a cloth or half of an onion. Your griddle is ready,

Take a ladle full of the batter and spread it like a dosa. Allow the spread out batter to cook, drizzle some oil at the edges of the moong dal dosa. With the help of a spatula, slowly release the edges of the dosa, working your way towards the center.

Flip the dosa and allow it to cook for 20 seconds. Remove the dosa from the flame and serve it hot.

If you are making it a special breakfast by making it an MLA pesarattu, flip the dosa back and add the Upma to the center of the dosa and top it up with some finely chopped raw onions. Close the dosa and serve it hot with some allam chutney or any chutney of your choice.

A few tips

  • Do not over soak the green moong dal. Just about 4 hours is enough. This will help in attaining a crispy texture. If you have soaked it overnight, rise the dal thoroughly and add about 1/4 cup of rice flour to help with the crisp texture of the dosa.
  • If you want to make a quick version of this dish, you can soak yellow moong dal for about an hour and grind it with the same ingredients. This dish will have cheela like taste and will not have the same flavour, but it’s delicious, nonetheless.
  • It is always better to leave the batter out at room temperature in order to avoid dosa breakages.
  • If you do not like raw onions on top of the dosa, you can slightly saute the onions separately and garnish of top of the dosa. Or you can add it top of the dosa before flipping and allow the onions to steam cook under the dosa. Flip it again and you will have a few onions pieces sticking in the dosa directly. This will look similar to onion dosa with its half cooked onions sticking into the dosa directly.
  • If you wish to make an instant variety of this dosa, you can dry roast the green gram (and rice if using) on a low flame. Allow it to cool down and grind it into a fine powder. You can make a paste of green chillies, curry leaves and ginger and add it to the flour along with some water to make instant Pesara dosa.

Storage and Shelf Life

The batter stores well in the fridge for up to 2 days. After two days, the batter will start to ferment, at which stage the dosa will not taste that great.

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Pesarattu is a dosa made with whole green moong dal served along with upma and a spicy chutney.
Prep Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Andhra, South Indian
Servings 10 dosas


  • 2 cups Green moong dal (360g-400g)
  • 2-3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 inches Ginger
  • 2-3 Curry Leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp Salt (adjust according to taste)
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida powder (optional)
  • Cooking oil for frying the dosas


  • Wash and soak the green moong dal in water for five hours or more. The water level should be 2 inches above the soaked dal. This gives the dal space to expand.
  • Prep the ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and keep them handy.
    Drain the water and rinse the moong dal thoroughly.
  • Add it to the mixer along with the chopped ginger, green chillies, cumin and curry leaves. Grind it to a smooth batter. Add salt and asafoetida powder and adjust according to taste.
  • Place a dosa tawa on a medium-high flame. Once the tawa is hot, lower the flame and drizzle some water and see the water sizzle. If the water does not sizzle, it means the tawa is not hot enough. Once the tawa is hot, add a drop of oil and spread it with the help of a cloth/tissue or an onion.
  • Pour a large ladle of pesarattu batter and spread it thin. Once the batter is dried out, with the help of a spatula or a dosa turner, flip the dosa and allow it to cook on the other side. Drizzle some oil to the edges of the dosa.
  • Leave it for 20-30 seconds and flip it back. Fold the pesarattu in half and serve it hot with some chutney.
    If you are making MLA pesarattu, before folding the dosa, add a large scoop of upma and close the dosa. Garnish the dosa with the finely chopped raw onions on top.
Keyword Dosa Recipe, Moond Dal Recipes

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