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What is Dosa | How to make the perfect Dosa batter

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Indian Food - Dosa

Dosa is an Indian crepe made with fermented rice and lentil batter. It is one of the most common breakfast item in the Southern part of India . Homemade dosas are much smaller compared to the dosas served in the restaurants. The reason being at Homes we use regular sized cast iron skillets to make dosas. Where as in restaurants they use huge griddles. To make dosa batter, we soak rice and urad dal (a type of lentil) in water for 6 hours. After eight hours the rice and urad dal are ground into a fine batter. In olden days women used to manually grind the batter in a huge mortar and pestle. Thanks to the advancement in technology now we have a machine to make the dosa batter. In India we call it the dosa batter Grinder. Once the batter is ground into fine and smooth texture, it's stored at room temperature to ferment overnight. Usually we make the batter before going to bed , so we can have fresh dosas for breakfast the next day morning.

The huge mortar and pestle used in olden days

Dosa is usually served with Sambar(lentil soup) and chutney. There are a wide variety of chutneys in southern Indian cuisine , such as mint chutney, coconut chutney, cilantro chutney, peanut chutney, onion chutney , tomato chutney etc.

Indian chutneys - onion chutney, mint chutney, coconut chutney

Different variety of chutneys

Dosa is a healthy breakfast , it has no added sugar and it's gluten free. Above all it's absolutely delicious! So the next time you go to an Indian restaurant don't forget to order and enjoy this yummy Southern Indian specialty.

How to make Dosa


(You can find the ingredients in any Indian grocery store)

2 cups idli rice

1/2 cup urad dal

1 teaspoon salt


1. Soak 2 cups Idli rice in 5 cups water over night.

2. Soak 1/2 cup urad dal in 2 cups water over night.

3. After 6 hours wash the idli rice and blend it using a Vitamix food blender. For 2 cups of rice add 1& 1/2 cup of water. Add the water little by little and blend the rice. Initially the rice batter will be coarse, keep blending until you get a smooth batter. Once the batter is ready pour it in a clean container.

4. Wash the urad dal and add it in the Vitamix food blender. Add 1/2 cup of water little by little and blend the urad dal. Keep blending until you get a nice fluffy batter as shown in the picture.

5. Add the rice batter and urad dal batter in bowl and add 1 teaspoon salt.

6. Mix the rice batter and urad dal batter using your hands. The good bacteria from our hands mixes with the batter and helps to ferment it.

7. Once the batter is mixed well, close the bowl with a lid and keep it the oven with the oven light on. This will create the right temperature for the batter to ferment.

8. The fermentation process takes up to 18 hours in summer and 24 hours in winter. In Southern India we don't have cold winters, so the batter will ferment in 10 to 12 hours. The batter will rise and increase in volume after fermentation.

9. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet on the stove. Splash few drops of water on the skillet, when it makes sizzling noise the skillet is at the right temperature. Scoop 1/4 cup of fermented batter and pour it in the middle of the skillet.

10. Place the bottom of the 1/4 cup on the batter and spread the batter on the skillet by swirling around the cup in circular motion.

11. Once you have spread the batter into a thin layer on the skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil around the dosa.

12. Once you start noticing golden brown spots on the dosa, you can remove it using a spatula.

13. Carefully remove the dosa from the skillet using a flat spatula.

14. Flip over the dosa and let it cook on the other side for 20 seconds.

15. Crispy golden brown Dosa is ready. Enjoy the Dosa with Sambar (lentil soup) or Chutney

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