Dosa Recipe- Learn to make best crispy dosa recipe at home with this detailed step by step photos. I have included all the tips for fermenting batter & troubleshooting to make perfect dosas at home. In this post I am also sharing a very detailed homemade dosa batter recipe without wet grinder.
Dosa or south Indian rice and lentil crepes do not need much introduction I suppose. These crispy, golden and delicious crepes are loved by everyone and very popular outside India too. It is the most popular breakfast recipe from south Indian cuisine.
If you love dosa but have never tried making it at home or a beginner trying to make good dosas, this post is for you. Follow it to T and I am sure you will be able to make amazing dosas at home and enjoy!
Idli dosa are our staple breakfast just like every south Indian home. I usually make a basic batter and use the same batter prepare idli, dose and uthappam. Read on to know more about this dish along with detailed step by step photos.
What Is Dosa?
Dosa is the popular south Indian breakfast with fermented rice and lentil batter similar to idli. It is a thin crepe made of fermented batter served with chutney and sambar.
This dish is a favorite among the Indians and there are literally 100 of varieties in tiffin centers and restaurants.
During ancient times dosa was made with fermented rice batter only, lentils were added later on. In south India, chain of Udupi restaurants is popular for varieties of dosas like sponge dosa, set dosa, masala dosa.
In Tamilnadu this is called dosai and is all time favorite breakfast among many. This crepe is made paper thin, crispy and golden brown In Tamilnadu restaurants, t. One more popular variation is ghee roast, where the batter is spread super thin, cooked in ghee until crispy and rolled like cone. It is a superhit with kids.
To make good dosa you will first need a perfectly made batter. Most of the south Indian homes make their own batter and store for 3-4 days. It is served with coconut chutney and sambar in most restaurants & homes.
You will need good quality idli rice, urad dal, fenugreek seeds or methi seeds, salt and water to make a basic dosa batter. You can also add few more ingredients to enhance the taste and flavor, I am discussing them in the recipe.
How Do You Make Dosa?
The basic recipe of making dosa can be divided into three steps
- Soaking rice & lentils
- Grinding to a smooth batter and fermenting it
- Making dosas.
A well made Indian dosa is crisp, delicious and flavorful. You have to make the batter with correct ratio of rice to lentils. The batter has to be fermented overnight for correct texture and a mild sour taste.
Once you master the recipe for batter, you can enjoy this traditional vegetarian breakfast for many days with variety of side dish options like spicy potato filling, chutney, sambar.
Why This Recipe Works?
This recipe of dosa batter and dosa is the simplest one that you can make very easily. The first reason why you should try this recipe is for its taste and flavor.
This recipe yields super crispy, golden, delicious and amazingly flavorful dosas just like the ones from south Indian restaurants.
The proportion of rice and lentils used here is perfect for making crispy golden dosas easily at home. I have tried out various proportions and arrived at this recipe.
Along with rice and urad dal I have also added some poha or rice flakes or flattened rice and chana dal in this recipe. Poha makes the dosa very crispy, delicious & chana dal lends that wonderful golden brown color very similar to restaurant dosai.
The basic simple crepe made with fermented dosa batter is called sada dosa recipe meaning plain dosa. It is served with chutney, sambar.
This is one dosa batter recipe by mastering which you can make so many variations of dosa recipes like masala dosa, paneer dosa, benne dosa, pav bhaji dose etc.
This batter is made in mixer grinder and you do not need a wet grinder for my recipe. If you live outside India you can easily make this batter using a high power blender like vitamix blender.
Usually for idli, we will soak lentils and rice separately but for this easy dosa batter we can soak everything together and grind in a jiffy.
In this post I am also sharing tips for fermenting dosa batter in winters and also in places with cold weather.
Do try out this easy recipe and you will amazed with your homemade crispy dosa. It is
super straight forward recipe
Made with easily available ingredients
vegan and gluten free (batter)
just like the dosas from south Indian restaurants
Ingredients For Batter
You will need two types of shore grained rice for making this batter.
- Regular raw rice like ponni, sona masoori or parmal rice
- parboiled rice or idli rice
There is one more variety of rice called dosa rice, you can use that too instead of idli rice if avaialble.
Raw rice lends a wonderful crispy texture and idli rice or parboiled rice gives the required softness to the dosa.
While some recipes call only for raw rice, I feel dosai made with them is a bit dry and hard rather than being crispy.
In the same way if you use only parboiled rice, it takes some expertise to thin down the batter perfectly to make crispy dosa.
So if you are a beginner or making the batter in mixer grinder, I suggest you use a combination of raw rice & idli rice as mentioned in the recipe.
Both the raw rice and idli rice or parboiled rice should be short grain rice only. Long grained rice like basmati rice is not suitable for this recipe.
Husked black gram is called urad dal in India. There two versions of this available in grocery stores, whole urad dal (gota) or split urad dal (dhuli). While you can use any one of them, south Indian homes only use whole urad dal for idli dosa.
Again with whole urad dal you will unpolished ones that look matt and dry. Polished urad dal is called nylon urad dal and it is not suitable for making this dish. For any dish that uses urad dal batter like dosa, vada, uthappam do use only whole unpolished urad dal.
If you want to make restaurant style dosa that is golden and very crispy, add 2 tablespoons chana dal or split chickpea (bengal gram) along with urad dal.
Few people do not like the flavor of this & it is optional.
I always add 1/4 cup flattened rice or poha to my dosa batter. It lends a very nice crispy yet soft texture and also adds good flavor.
You can also use sabudana or sago pearls.
Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
An optional ingredient that you will find being used religiously in all south Indian homes 🙂 A small amount of methi seeds lends a wonderful flavor, aids in fermentation and increases the texture of dosa.
How To Make Dosa Recipe
Soaking Rice and Urad dal
Measure and wash 1 cup raw rice, 1 cup idli rice, 3/4 cup urad dal, 2 tablespoons chana dal and 1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds. Rinse 1/4 cup poha/aval well.
2. Mix everything together and soak in enough water for 3-4 hours.
Making Dosa Batter
3. Drain the soaked rice & lentils to a mixer jar and retain the soaked water seperately. Do not add more than 1/2 of the jar. If you have a small jar grind in batches. I have used an Indian mixer grinder but you can also use a high power blender.
4. Add little water and grind urad dal and rice to a very smooth batter. Add 1/4 cup reserved water at a time and grind. You will need about 3/4 cup water for this quantity.
5. Take the ground batter in a deep bowl. Add salt and mix well. More notes on adding salt in the tips section. Choose a large bowl so that there is enough space for fermentation. The batter should be thick.
6. Let the batter ferment for 8-14 hours depending on the weather in a warm place. See notes for more fermentation tips. I use a very big vessel so that the batter does not overflow and get wasted. You will have nice fluffy batter after fermentation.
7. After fermenting the batter, keep it in fridge. Remove the batter from fridge and rest in room temperature at least 1 hour before making dosas.
Well fermented batter will be double in volume, has faint sour flavor and looks very porous and light.
After fermenting the batter keep it in the refrigerator. Remove the required amount of batter for making dosa 2 hours before and bring it to room temperature. For crispy dosa the batter should be slightly thin.
If you batter is very thick add 1/2 cup water for 2.5 cups batter and mix very well before making dosa.
Making Crispy Dosa
8. Heat a cast iron pan. If you have dosa tawa or dosa pan do use it, else any flat pan or skillet can be used. We always use a well seasoned cast iron tawa for making dosas. If you are a beginner you can use non stick pan too. Cast iron tawa makes dosa crispy. Most of the south Indian homes maintain a separate tawa to make dosa.
Once the tawa is hot, sprinkle few drops of water, if it sizzles immediately the tawa is in correct temperature. Lower the flame now. Add few drops of oil and spread well. We usually use a potato or onion cut into half to spread the oil. You also get small wooden oil spreader these days in shops. Pour a ladle full of prepared batter.
9. Swiftly spread the batter as thin dosa as you want. Now higher the flame. You can also make dosa thick and spongy. Spread the batter in one direction and do keep spreading in the same place. Spread the batter in such a way that it has uniform thickness.
10. let it cook for 1-2 minutes in medium high heat. Add oil in the edges. Do not cover the pan, it will make the dosa soggy. The edges will start to brown and rise slightly. At this point of time you can flip. Use a flat metal spatula to flip the dosa. if you spread the dosa very thin you don’t have to flip, it will get cooked from both sides very easily in minutes.
11. Flip and cook the other side adding few drops of oil. Remove to a plate. To make next dosa, lower the flame adjust the temperature. Prepare as many as required. Serve immediately with chutney, sambar or potato masala.
Making Cone Dosa
You can shape the cooked dosa into a cone and serve. Kids love this dosa. Once the dosa has well cooked, make a slit from the center to one end.
Using the same spatula or your fingers, quickly roll and shape it into a cone.
Do note that only very crispy and thin dosas will hold up this shape.
You can serve crispy dosas with any type of chutney. While coconut chutney for dosa is very popular you can also serve with tomato chutney, pudina chutney. You can also serve dosa with idli sambar, veg kurma potato masala, sagu, paneer ghee roast, peanut chutney, idli podi.
Always make and have dosas piping hot. I do not recommend storing them. However leftover batter can be stored for few days. There are two ways to store batter.
Unfermented batter- If you double the recipe and make a large batch of batter, you can ferment one half and refrigerate the other half immediately. It stays good for 4-5 days in fridge. You will have to ferment the batter for 8-12 hours before making dosas. You can also do this for idli batter.
Fermented batter– If you leftover fermented batter you can store it for 3-4 days in refrigerator. The batter will become sour the longer you store it.
Once you master making the basic dosa batter recipe, you can try making these tasty variations
You can also try these no grind instant dosa recipes for quick breakfast.
For more options you can try
Mixed dal dosa (no rice)
Expert Tips & Notes
Tips For Making Batter
Here are few tips that will help you make perfect dosa batter and ferment it properly. These tips are especially beneficial for beginners.
Select the right kind of rice & lentils- The quality of batter and taste of dosas will be directly proportional the ingredients used. make sure the rice is short grain rice and aged one. Urad dal should be unpolished, new and not rancid. If the urad dal is not of fine quality the batter will not ferment.
You have to gently rinse the urad dal and do not wash in vigorously, if you rinse it many times the batter will not ferment properly.
Next always use cold water for grinding batter in mixer grinder. A mixer grinder or mixie heats up quickly and the batter turns warm.
After grinding, make sure to stir the batter very well with clean hands. Whether or not, you add salt, mixing the batter thoroughly with hands helps in fermentation.
Always pour the batter in a large vessel so that is has space for twice its volume after fermentation.
When To Add Salt To Batter?
There is one answer to this most commonly asked question while making dosa batter. Salt aids in fermentation, keeping this baseline you will have decide when to add salt to the batter.
If you live in colder regions or during winters, you can add salt after grinding the batter and mix it very well. On the other hand, if you live in warm or tropical regions or during summers add salt only after the batter ferments. If you add before, the batter may over ferment and turn very sour.
We always add non iodized salt or rock salt for this batter. Iodized salt prevents fermentation and avoid using it if you add salt before fermenting the batter.
How To Make Dosa Batter In Wet Grinder
If you have wet grinder you can use it for making batter. I have a tabletop wet grinder and I use it when I have to make idli dosa batter in large quantities.
If you plan to make this batter in wet grinder you can reduce the urad dal to 1/2 cup as a wet grinder grinds urad dal really fluffy and it even triples in volume. If you are brining out a wet grinder it is better to double the batch and grind a larger quantity. Also we will soak rice and lentils separately.
Pick and rinse 2 cups idli rice and 2 cups raw rice thoroughly. Soak in plenty of water in a large bowl for 4 hours. Also add 1/2 cup rinsed poha to it.
Next pick and rinse 1 cup urad dal and 1 tablespoon methi seeds or fenugreek seeds. Soak them in water for 4 hours in a separate bowl.
While grinding, grind urad dal first into a very smooth fluffy paste adding about 1/4 cup water. Remove to a large bowl. I usually grind urad dal for 30-40 minutes. Next add drained rice and grind into a fine paste for about 15-20 minutes.
Mix both batters together and stir the batter very well with clean hands. Set aside & ferment dosa batter. You can use fermented dosa batter after 8-14 hours for making dosa. You can also use this as idli batter.
Tips For Fermenting Dosa Batter
These tips are useful when you make the batter in mixer grinder. Follow these tips and you will have perfectly fermented fluffy batter every time 🙂
Quality of ingredients– Make sure the urad dal you use is fresh, not rancid and new. Also do not use split urad dal for this recipe. Urad dal should be unpolished, whole and round for a good yield of batter. Use aged short grain rice for good flavorful and delicious dosa.
Water– When we grind batter in mixer grinder, it heats up very easily and interferes in fermentation. So use ice cold water for grinding the batter. If you are grinding a big batch, stop in between for few minutes while griding.
Salt– use non iodized salt or rock salt if you add salt to the batter before fermenting the batter. Iodine in salt will prevent the batter from fermenting.
Temperature– Fermentation of batter is quick and active in warmed climates. Make sure to place the batter in a warm place. In summer I have noticed the batter ferments in 6-7 hours but during winters it takes 8-12 hours. If you live in colder regions I have mentioned few tricks to ferment the batter, follow them.
Fermenting Batter In Colder Climates
- Add rock salt to the batter as soon as you grind the batter and mix thoroughly with clean hands. Salt aids in fermentation.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the batter. Sugar also helps in fermentation. You can also add a pinch of yeast just like we do for aapam batter. If you are adding yeast, ferment only the batter you will require at a time. Do not store the batter fermented with yeast for more than a day.
- You can also add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda if it is absolutely necessary in colder regions.
- Place the bowl containing batter in the warmest place in your house, like near the cooking range or stove.
- You can place the bowl inside your oven leaving the lights on.
- You can also preheat oven at lowest temperature for 15 minutes, switch it off and place the bowl inside it.
- Please note that time taken for fermentation is longer in winters. So be patient and let the batter sit for 12-14 hours or at least overnight.
How To Ferment Dosa Batter In Instant Pot
Once you grind the batter transfer it to the steel insert of your instant pot. Be wary of the quantity of the batter, it should only fill half of the vessel else after fermenting it may over flow and create mess.
Place the steel insert containing batter inside the instant pot and switch it on. Press yogurt mode, normal and set timer for 10 hours. Cover with a glass lid and not the regular lid.
After 10 hours the batter will be fermented and ready.
Tips For Making Crispy Dosas
Pan or Tawa– The pan or dosa tawa you use can make or break the dosas. A well seasoned cast iron pan or tawa is ideal for making dosas. If you are beginner you can use non stick pan but the taste & flavor of dosa made in cast iron tawa is excellent.
Consistency of batter– To make crispy dosas, the batter has to be slightly thin. Add about 1/4 cup water for 1 cup batter and dilute it if you want to make thin crispy dosas. For thick dosas you can use the batter as such.
Temperature– The trickiest part while making dosa is to maintain the right temperature. The tawa should be hot but not smoking. Here is what you do. Before beginning to make dosas, heat your pan for about 3-5 minutes in medium heat. Sprinkle few drops of water and if it sizzles immediately, the tawa is at right temperature.
Always lower the temperature when spreading the batter and then maintain medium high heat while cooking dosa. After making 2-3 dosas, sprinkle some water to bring the temperature down.
Oil– The flavor of dosas greatly depend on the oil used. I absolutely love dosa cooked in peanut oil, the flavor and taste is unparalleled 🙂 Kids usually love dosas made with ghee but you can use any neutral cooking oil too. For a rich taste you can even cook dosas in butter.
Leftover batter– If you have very less batter say 1 cup or 1.5 cups leftover after making dosas, you can add 1/2 cup rice flour or wheat flour, 1/2 cup rava or sooji, chopped onions to it and make tasty dosas. Just add more salt and water to adjust consistency. If the batter is very sour you can make a tempering of mustard seeds, chopped green chilies, cumin seeds and curry leaves in 3 teaspoons oil. Add this to the batter to mask the sour taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
A basic dosa batter is made of rice, urad dal and salt. Fenugreek seeds or methi seeds are added always but they are optional only.
No you cannot use rice flour instead of soaked and ground rice in this recipe, they have entirely different texture.
Yes, you can use 3 cups of idli rava in this recipe.
Dosa will stick to the pan if the batter consistency is not perfect, tawa is not well seasoned, temperature is too high while spreading the batter.
Make sure your tawa is well seasoned and also maintain a separate tawa for making dosa if possible. After you finish making dosa, gently clean it and season it again.
Yes you can but they will more soft and not very crispy. Raw rice in dosa recipe makes dosai very crispy.
Handful of poha, 2 tablespoons chana dal can be added for crispy doasa.
If the tawa is too hot or the batter is too thick it will not spread properly. Try to maintain right temperature throughout the cooking.
Yes, plain dosa or sada dosa is naturally vegan and gluten free
If you do not have a dosa tawa you can use a regular flat pan or skillet. Just make sure it is well seasoned.
More Breakfast Recipes
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Dosa Recipe | Dosa Batter Recipe In Mixer Grinder & Wet Grinder
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 1 cup rice raw, short grain
- 1 cup rice idli rice
- 3/4 cup urad dal
- 1/4 cup poha
- 1/2 tablespoom methi seeds
- rock salt
- water 1/2- 3/4 cup
- Oil to make dosa, 1 teaspoon each
Soaking Rice and Urad dal
- Measure and wash 1 cup raw rice, 1 cup idli rice, 3/4 cup urad dal, 2 tablespoons chana dal and 1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds. Rinse 1/4 cup poha/aval well.
- Mix everything together and soak in enough water for 3-4 hours.
Making Dosa Batter
- Drain the soaked rice & lentils to a mixer jar and retain the soaked water seperately. Do not add more than 1/2 of the jar. If you have a small jar grind in batches. I have used an Indian mixer grinder but you can also use a high power blender.
- Add little water and grind urad dal and rice to a very smooth batter. Add 1/4 cup reserved water at a time and grind. You will need about 3/4 cup water for this quantity.
- Take the ground batter in a deep bowl. Add salt and mix well. More notes on adding salt in the tips section. Choose a large bowl so that there is enough space for fermentation. The batter should be thick.
- Let the batter ferment for 8-14 hours depending on the weather in a warm place. See notes for more fermentation tips. I use a very big vessel so that the batter does not overflow and get wasted. You will have nice fluffy batter after fermentation.
Making Crispy Dosa
- Heat a cast iron pan. Once the tawa is hot, sprinkle few drops of water, if it sizzles immediately the tawa is in correct temperature. Lower the flame now. Add few drops of oil and spread well. Pour a ladle full of prepared batter.
- Swiftly spread the batter as thin dosa as you want. Now higher the flame. You can also make dosa thick and spongy. Spread the batter in one direction and do keep spreading in the same place. Spread the batter in such a way that it has uniform thickness.
- Let it cook for 1-2 minutes in medium high heat. Add oil in the edges. Do not cover the pan, it will make the dosa soggy. The edges will start to brown and rise slightly. At this point of time you can flip. Use a flat metal spatula to flip the dosa. if you spread the dosa very thin you don’t have to flip, it will get cooked from both sides very easily in minutes.
- Flip and cook the other side adding few drops of oil. Remove to a plate. To make next dosa, lower the flame adjust the temperature. Prepare as many as required. Serve immediately with chutney, sambar or potato masala.
Making Cone Dosa
- You can shape the cooked dosa into a cone and serve. Kids love this dosa. Once the dosa has well cooked, make a slit from the center to one end.
- Using the same spatula or your fingers, quickly roll and shape it into a cone.