Dosa recipe, Learn to make dosa batter at home. A popular South Indian thin crepe that is made of fermented rice and lentil batter. History of dosa says that they were made using only rice but with the passage of time, people started to add urad dal / black lentils to give texture and taste. Dosas became very popular with the rise of udupi restaurants which serve the best dosa varieties – plain, set and masala dosa.
Idli and dosas are made regularly at my home for breakfast and sometimes even for dinner. There are so many kinds of dosas one get to find on a tiffin or a fast food center menu. Dosas can be made with so many different ratios of rice and urad dal. I am sharing a 4 recipes here on this post which I follow. You may experiment with any of these dosa recipes to suit your taste or need.
Urad dal is high in protein & calcium and makes a great food to start our day. I consider it to be one of the best health foods that can nourish our body so I try to keep the ratio of urad dal more & rice to minimum or only as needed without compromising the taste and crispness.
Mixer or a wet grinder – which is better?
I do not use a wet grinder though I have one since I personally do not prefer the cleaning and lifting the stone works. Years ago We used to have frequent guests home from India, So we used to make batter once in a week. It is a good deal to have and use a wet grinder if you have many people at home to eat idli dosa frequently. For the past 3 years I am happy with my mixer grinder though we are a family of 4 and make dosas at least 3 times a week. The batter rises very well even when ground in the mixer if it is a good one and doesn’t make your batter warm while grinding. However I have shared making batter in a wet grinder and also in a mixer. All the ratios shared in dosa recipe post will work even if making batter in a wet grinder.
Which kind of rice is suitable?
There are many kinds of rice available in the market. All the recipes posted here have been tried with idli rice and parboiled rice. Please note that all parboiled rice are not suitable, only short grain like ponni or sona masuri etc are suitable.
When to add salt?
When to add salt to dosa batter? while grinding, before fermenting or after fermenting is one of the most common question. This you will have to experiment and check what works good for you since this depends on the climatic conditions and the water used to blend the batter. In cool places, batter takes long hours to ferment without the addition of salt. When kept for long hours the batter may turn smelly. So to avoid the smell it is good to add salt before fermentation as it assists in quick fermentation. But in hot places and hot season, it is good to add salt just before making the dosas i.e after fermentation else the batter turns sour and smelly. In India most people add salt after fermentation unless living in cool places like Bangalore. Taste wise yes there is a difference in adding before and after. So please experiment what works good for you.
Recipe 1 – Crispy masala dosa recipe
This recipe yields one of the best tasting brown & crispy dosa. This batter can be used to make masala dosa, crispy plain dosas, uttapam, masala paniyaram and sweet paniyaram. I follow this recipe the most for my regular breakfast. The masala dosa shown in the first pic is made using this recipe. It can be enjoyed with any chutney, tiffin sambar or with a stuffing like potato masala. Typically most proportions yield red to brown color dosa only when made on cast iron tawa, but this dosa recipe yields brown crispy dosas even when made on non stick. You can find the step by step pictures below along with the link to potato curry recipe and the detailed recipe in the recipe card.
Recipe 2 – Restaurant style crispy flavorful masala dosa recipe
If you have ever wondered how dosas made in restaurant or tiffin centers turn out so flavorful, crisp and delicious, then you will have to put in little more effort and try this karnataka restaurant style masala dosa. These are very aromatic and unique.
Recipe 3 – Soft idli & crispy dosa batter recipe. 2-in-1 batter
These ratios yield good crispy as well as soft dosas and can be used to make soft idlis as well. Just mixing the batter matters. A runny batter yields soft dosas. Making with moderately thick batter, but of spreadable consistency yield crispy dosas. This can also be used to make masala dosa, paniyaram, uttapam and also soft idli. The only difference from the first recipe is the color. These do not turn as red or brown like the other one but will be golden. If you like to make your idli and dosa batter in one go in the same blender or wet grinder, then this may be for you.
½ cup whole skinned urad dal
1 ½ cups parboiled or idly rice for mixie – 2 cups for wet grinder
¼ tsp methi
2 tbsp poha / avalakki
Non iodized Salt as needed
Recipe 4 – Sada dosa recipe – can also use the batter for idli if the quality of dal is very good
These ratios yield good crispy as well as soft dosas. Just mixing the batter matters here as well. A runny batter yields soft dosas. Making with moderately thick batter, but of spreadable consistency yield crispy dosas. This can also be used to make idli, paniyaram, uttapam. This dosa batter recipe needs just 3 ingredients
½ cup whole urad dal
1 ½ cup parboiled or idly rice
Non-iodized or crystal salt as needed
Recipe 5 – Healthy plain dosa recipe
Healthy, high protein and high calcium dosa. These are made in some telugu speaking homes. Great food to all, including folks recovering from illness, kids and babies above 9 months and even for under nourished. I make this sometimes when the hubby asks for it since he loves the flavor. These have a unique flavor & taste of urad dal and if you like it, you may not look for any other recipe. They must be served right out of the pan as they turn lightly crisp, not as crisp as the other recipes I have shared in this post. I highly recommend this, If you have babies & kids at home (especially underweight kids). Also good for those looking for high calcium foods and even for breastfeeding mothers.
Half cup whole urad dal
1 cup parboiled rice or idli rice
South Indian dosa recipe
- ½ cup whole skinned urad dal
- 1 ½ cups par boiled rice or idly rice (can use 2 cups if making in wet grinder)
- 1 tbsp. chana dal
- ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
- 2 tbsp. poha / attukulu/ beaten rice
- non iodized salt or crystal as needed
- fresh water as needed (do not use lentil soaked water)
- ½ cup whole urad dal
- 1 ½ cup parboiled or idly rice
- Non-iodized or crystal salt as needed
- Wash urad dal, chana dal, methi seeds several times and soak them together in enough water for 4 hours.
- Wash rice until water runs clear. Soak separately in ample water for 4 hours.
- Wash and soak poha just 30 mins before grinding.
- Add the dals, methi and poha along with salt. Pour water just as needed. Grind to a smooth paste until bubbly or frothy. You can skip using salt during summer. Add it just before you make dosa.
- Transfer this to a large pot if using a mixer. If using a wet grinder, you can just keep the urad dal batter in the container if making in small quantity as much mentioned in the recipe.
- Add rice to the jar and then very little water. Blend to a thick paste.
- Add this to the urad dal batter and mix. Check the consistency, it must not be very thick or very thin else the batter will not ferment well. Check the salt as well and adjust.
- Keep this in a warm place until fermented. It may from 5 to 16 hours depending on the temperature.
- Next morning gently stir the batter once. Add water enough to thin it down to make it of a pouring consistency.
- If making masala dosa, you will have to make potato masala from the link mentioned in step by step photos (step 15).
- Grease a dosa pan/ tawa with few drops of oil. If using a iron tawa, grease tawa with oil and a slice of onion.
- Heat it until hot enough. Pour a ladle full of batter on the tawa center and spread it evenly in a circular shape.
- Drizzle oil and allow to cook on a medium high heat until red or golden.
- Flip it when the edges begin to rise from the pan.
- Cook on both the sides if you desire.
- Repeat making more on the hot tawa.
- Serve with chutney, potato masala.
How to make dosa batter for crispy dosa recipe
1. Add urad dal, chana dal and methi to a large pot.
2. Add rice to another pot. I use par boiled rice, you can also use idly rice.
3. Wash dals thoroughly a few times and soak in ample water for 4 hours. During cold weather they can be soaked up to 6 hours.
4. Wash rice too a few times until the water runs clear. Soak in enough water for 4 hours.
5. Wash and soak poha for 30 mins before grinding.
6. Add poha to the grinder jar or container. Drain the water completely from dals and add them along with salt and little water. You can also try skipping salt during summer, add it the next morning when you are about to make dosas. It will still ferment well without salt. I use salt when I grind the dal otherwise my batter doesn’t ferment well. Using dal soaked water turns my batter very sour, so i do not use.
7. Blend until smooth, frothy and bubbly. If needed add more water. But do not make it thin it must be a thick batter. If making in a mixer like me, then transfer this to a large pot. If using a wet grinder, you can just keep it in the container and continue.
8. Drain rice and add to the jar. Add just little water.
9. Blend to a smooth paste.
10. Add the ground rice and mix well.
11. Cover the pot and ferment it for 5 to 16 hours depending on the climate. During hot summers it may rise in just 4 to 5 hours during winters it may need up to 16 hours. When I grind more batter, I use 2 ceramic pots to ferment and refrigerate. I divide and distribute the batter to 2 pots. Undisturbed batter stays good in refrigerator for few more days without going sour.
12. When i made this, I had to ferment for 16 hours. Singapore is hot most times, but still it takes very long to ferment the batter in my home. During summers do not allow to ferment too much as it leaves a sour smell & taste. You can refrigerate when it rises a bit. For a good fermentation 4 things matter the most – quality of dal, non iodized salt, temperature and the consistency of the batter. You can find the details of these on the soft idli post which i shared before.
13. Add few drops of oil to a tawa / pan. Rub well with a kitchen tissue or cloth until the oil is absorbed. Make sure there is no excess oil on the pan. You can also use a slice of onion to rub the oil. If using a cast iron or a iron tawa then you will have to season it the previous night for best results. Dilute the batter by adding little water as needed to make it of a pourable and spreading consistency. You can sprinkle few drops of water and check if it is ready. It begins to sizzle. Do not sprinkle water often on a hot non stick tawa that’s going to wear out even the best non stick coating. When the pan is hot enough, pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the pan.
14. Spread it evenly in a circular way to make a thin crepe. Add oil or butter towards the edges.
15. When it turns golden or brown , flip it and cook if you like. Not all dosas require cooking on the other side, if needed you can cook. Since i made the masala dosa, i used this potato masala for filling. It is most commonly served with coconut chutney.