Sweet Fenugreek Pancakes (Surnali, godu polo)

Fenugreek is a spice that can be found in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is commonly used to flavor breads, pastries, and soups. The leaves of the fenugreek plant are also used as a vegetable.

Sweet Fenugreek Pancakes are a traditional breakfast food from the Indian subcontinent. They are typically made with flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and fenugreek seeds.


Since I was a kid, these delicious dosas have been my favorite. A light, fluffy dosa with a touch of fenugreek, slathered with handmade ghee all over. Ghee dripping down through the dosa’s pores. On top of the dosa, a coating of sugar. The crunch of sugar against the soft, fluffy dosas, along with the divine flavor of ghee, is pure culinary bliss! Give it a go and I’m sure you’ll agree with me. 🙂 

Surnali/godu polo is the Konkani name for these rice-based, sweet fenugreek dosas. In Konkani, godu means sweet and polo signifies dosa. Breakfast is a popular Konkani dish. People who don’t like sugary breakfasts may make the dosas less sweet by omitting the sugar on top and serving them with a spicy coconut chutney. 

Make little dosas for your children; I’m sure they’ll like them with butter or ghee. You may also create wonderful puff pancakes/sweet appe by cooking them in an appe/paniyaram pan.

If you don’t like sweet dosas, you may decrease the quantity of jaggery in the dosa or prepare these dosas without it. In Konkani, they are known as chappe surnali.

These dosas are also known as menthe dosage in Kannada, with menthe referring to fenugreek. They’re also known as sweet fenugreek pancakes.

Because the batter for these dosas tastes best after it has been fermented for 8-9 hours, mill the batter 8-9 hours before preparing the dosas. If the temperature is chilly, ferment them for a longer period of time, around 10-15 hours. If you reside in a chilly climate, check for fermenting suggestions below.

You can surnali in a variety of ways. I’ll show you how I make them at home. My mother-in-recipe law’s has never failed me. P.S. If you follow the proportions exactly, you’ll get a perfect surnali that’s tasty, soft, and fluffy.

You can enjoy a worry-free breakfast the following morning after 15 minutes of preparation the day before.


1 cup rice with a medium grain (dosa rice, sona masuri) 2 tablespoons rice, beaten 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds or 2 teaspoons fenugreek powder 2 tablespoons rice (cooked) (if available) Depending on how sweet you want your dosas, 1/4 to 1/3 cup powdered jaggery season with salt to taste turmeric powder, a pinch

Dosas are fried in oil.

Serves: 2

15-minute prep time

Time to cook: 10-12 minutes

To make the batter, follow these steps:

1. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes. The rice should next be thoroughly washed and drained.

If you’re using fenugreek seeds instead of powder, soak them in water with the rice.

2. Grind the rice (along with the fenugreek seeds, if used) into a smooth paste using as little water as possible, since the batter should be thick.

3. When the rice grains are nearly crushed, add the fenugreek powder (if you didn’t use fenugreek seeds), cooked rice, beaten rice, jaggery, salt, and turmeric powder and pulse until a smooth paste is obtained. Add jaggery to taste, depending on how sweet you want your dosas to be.

4. Pour the ground batter into a container. Check and adjust the salt, as well as the batter’s sweetness. Allow at least 6 to 8 hours for the batter to rest.

5. Because the batter rises overnight, use a larger pot to store it. Fermentation occurs during the resting period. To create wonderful, soft, fluffy dosas, the proper quantity of fermentation is required. It won’t make soft, fluffy dosas if it ferments too slowly. If you leave it to ferment for too long, you’ll end up with a bitter batter and bitter dosas. 

Is it chilly outside? Below, you’ll find additional information about fermentation time and fermentation recommendations.

When salt is introduced, fermentation during the resting time is accelerated.

6. After overnight fermentation, the batter becomes frothy and light. You’re all set to create fluffy, silky dosas.

7. If the batter is too thick and won’t come off the ladle, add approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and stir well.

8. Making dosas Preheat a frying pan and coat the cast iron pan with enough oil to prevent dosas from sticking. You may skip the greasing step if you’re using a non-stick pan.

9. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the heated pan and spread it out into a circle using the back of the ladle.


It swells up as it cooks.


10. Keep the dosa thickness consistent with how you want your dosas to be. Keep the dosas a bit thicker if you want soft, fluffy dosas. Your dosas will be thinner if you stretch them out more with your laddle.

11. Close the dosas and cook them over medium heat. When the bottom of the dosa is fully cooked, the top portion of the dosa takes on a totally different color. It’s time to flip the dosas at this point.



11. Drizzle a little oil on top of the dosa before flipping it.


12. Continue to cook on the other side over medium heat until golden brown. 

Some men do not turn these dosas, instead cooking them on one side until they are fully done. However, I like mine cooked on both sides.

13. Serve hot dosas topped with ghee and a spicy coconut chutney. Alternatively, serve hot dosas with ghee and sugar on top. You may also use butter instead of ghee to make these dosas.


Surnali-making tips and precautions include: 

1. Keep any leftover batter in the fridge and use it the following day. After that, dosas aren’t as tasty. They have a tendency to get irritable.

2. Avoid using too much turmeric powder or fenugreek powder since it may alter the flavor of the dosas and make them bitter. 

3. If you add too much water to the batter, the dosas will cling to the pan and fall apart. 

4. These dosas are soft because they are made with beaten rice and cooked rice. 

5. For additional softness, you may add shredded coconut to the batter of these dosas. 

6. When you add jaggery to the batter, it dilutes it, so use caution. Don’t start with a lot of water. 

If you reside in a chilly climate, keep in mind the following while fermenting the batter:

Warm temperatures are required for fermentation. So, in the heat, the batter ferments quickly and doubles in size in only a few hours (5-8 hours). You’d have to ferment them for longer because of the decrease in temperature (10-15 hours). 

However, if the temperature is too cold, the batter must be kept warm in order to ferment. If your oven has a light, turn it on for a few hours while the batter is baking. Turn off the light after the oven is heated and let the batter to ferment.

If your oven does not have a light, preheat it to warm and then turn it off. The batter should then be kept in the oven to ferment.

You’ll have to experiment and keep an eye on the temperature in your area to obtain the appropriate quantity of fermented batter.

Fenugreek dosas with a savory kick (Chappe surnali in Konkani)

Surnalis are prepared in two ways: sweet godu surnali (godu polo) and non-sweet chappe surnali in Konkani. If you leave out the jaggery in the preceding recipe, you’ll get chappe surnali, or non-sweet dosas. If you don’t like sweet dosas, make savory dosas without the jaggery and serve them with a spicy coconut chutney.

Who doesn’t like these fluffy, silky dosas?


Godu Appo

Using this mixture and this appe pan or paniyaram pan, create puff pancakes. Make these for your children, and I’m certain they’ll like them. 

Sweet appe, also known as godu appo in Konkani and sweet kozhi paniyaram in South India, is also known as paddu or guliappa in Kannada. 

Other Konkani cuisine dosas should be tried as well. 

Liked surnali? You may also be interested in:

Dosa de Watermelon (Kalingana Polo)

Dosa de Cucumber (Thousali)

Cucumber Dosa from Mangalore (Magge Polo)

Cucumber pancakes (Thoushe Doddak/Thoushe bakri/Rotti)

Pancakes made with sweet semolina and bananas (Kelle Rulava Doddak)

Tags: breakfast, snacks, Konkani recipe, Konkani meal, Konkani culture, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, godu polo, cheppe surnali, godu surnali, menthe dose, kids breakfast

Takka surnali is a sweet fenugreek pancake dish from the Indian state of Kerala. It is made with wheat flour, sugar, cardamom powder, ghee, and coconut milk. Reference: takka surnali.

Related Tags

  • surnali recipe lakshmi canteen
  • konkani mushti polo
  • konkani breakfast recipes
  • konkani sweet dish
  • goan rice pancakes recipe

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.