dosa recipe

Dosa Recipe, How to Make Dosa batter

By Swasthi on September 2, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Dosa recipe, Learn how to make dosa batter at home. This is a detailed post that will guide you to make dosas of all kinds – soft, crispy, restaurant style, home style and healthy dosas. No matter you are a beginner or an experienced cook the tips & tricks mentioned in this post will help you to master the techniques of making the best South Indian dosa.


Dosa recipe with homemade batter

If you are new to South Indian cuisine, then read on to know more

What is Dosa?

Dosa is a popular South Indian thin crepe made with 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. Dosa is made by soaking and blending black gram lentils (urad dal) and rice to a batter. Then the fermented batter is spread like a crepe on a hot griddle or tawa.

Is Dosa Healthy?

Yes Dosa is a healthy protein rich breakfast. Urad dal is high in protein & calcium. It 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.

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 4 recipes here on this post which I follow. You may experiment with any of these dosa recipes to suit your taste or dietary need.

Blender 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 6 years I am happy with my mixer grinder (blender) 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 blender. All the ratios shared in this dosa recipe post will work even if making batter in a wet grinder.

Which Kind of Rice is Suitable for Dosa?

There are many kinds of rice available in the market. All the recipes posted here have been tried with raw rice, idli rice and parboiled rice. But you will get the best results with raw rice. Even a combination of the raw rice & parboiled rice gives good results.

The results with parboiled rice are not the same always. It depends mostly on the weather conditions.

Please note that all parboiled rice are not suitable. Only short grain like ponni or sona masuri have worked out well for me.

So overall you need to experiment to see which rice works well for you.

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 or cold countries, batter takes long hours to ferment without the addition of non-iodized salt. When kept for long hours the batter may turn smelly.

So to avoid the smell it is good to add a non-iodized salt like rock salt or sea salt before fermentation. These salts assist 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.

Avoid iodized salt by all means if you are adding it before fermentation as it prevents the batter from fermenting.

For more dosa recipes, you can also check
Instant Wheat flour dosas
Set dose
Pesarattu
Cheese dosa
Oats dosa
Ragi dose
Jowar dosas

Recipe 1 – Crispy 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 served with any Chutney, potato masala or Tiffin sambar.

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.

Dosa Recipe

How To Make Dosa Batter (Stepwise Photos)

Soaking lentils & rice

Recipe 1

1. Add ½ cup urad dal (skinned black whole lentils), 2 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram) and ½ teaspoon methi seeds to a large pot.

washing dals for dosa recipe

2. Add 1½ cups rice to another pot.

3. Rinse dals thoroughly a few times and soak in lots of water for 4 hours. During cold weather they can be soaked up to 6 hours or even overnight.

soaking urad chana dals for dosa recipe

4. Rinse rice too a few times until the water runs clear. Soak in enough water for 4 hours. Same here as well, during cold weather they can be soaked up to 6 hours or even overnight.

soaking parboiled rice for dosa recipe

5. 30 mins before blending the batter, rinse and soak 2 tablespoons poha with ¼ cup water for 30 mins.

soaking poha for dosa

Making batter

6. Add soaked poha to the grinder jar or container first. Drain the water completely from dals and add them along with ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt and ¾ cup 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.

grinding lentil batter for dosa recipe

7. Blend until smooth, frothy and bubbly. If needed add more water. I add another 2 to 4 tablespoons water. But do not make it thin or runny. It must be a thick batter yet of pouring consistency. (Check video for consistency)

smooth frothy urad dal batter for dosa recipe

8. Transfer the batter to a a large pot or bowl. Drain rice completely and add to the blender jar. Pour ½ cup water. I use another 2 tbsps more.

blending rice for dosa recipe

9. Blend to a smooth batter.

parboiled rice paste for dosa recipe

10. Add the rice batter to the urad dal batter. Mix both of them well with your hand. The warmth in the hand is said to help in fermentation. The prepared batter must be of pouring consistency yet thick and not runny.

If it is too thick you may pour some water at this stage and mix. Thick batter won’t ferment well. If it is slightly runny, it is still fine. (check video for consistency)

fermenting batter

When I double the recipe, I use 2 glass or ceramic pot to ferment and refrigerate the dosa batter. I divide and distribute the batter to 2 pots. Undisturbed batter stays good in refrigerator for longer without going sour.

How to ferment dosa batter

11. Cover the pot and ferment it in a warm place until the batter rises and turns bubbly. If you live in a warm region, then you can just keep it on the counter overnight. It may take anywhere from 5 to 16 hours depending on the temperature.

To ferment in colder regions, preheat the oven at the lowest setting (140 F or 60 C) for 10 mins. Turn off the oven and keep the dosa batter inside with the oven light ON. You can also use your instant pot to ferment with the yogurt settings. Use an external lid and not the IP lid. I ferment for only 7 to 8 hours in the oven & IP.

12. When I made this, I had to ferment for 16 hours in a closed kitchen cabinet. When properly fermented, the batter raises and turns light, fluffy with lots of pores & bubbles. The batter was half of the bowl before fermentation. It rose a little over ¾ of the same bowl.

Fermentation test: To check, drop half a spoon of this batter into a bowl filled with water. Well fermented batter will float & not sink.

dosa batter recipe

13.This is a closeup shot of how the batter looks after fermentation. 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 more tips & tricks for fermentation on the soft idli post which I shared earlier.

fermented batter with lots of bubbles

14. Do not over ferment the dosa batter as it turns sour and the batter is not so good to spread on the griddle. This is a picture of over fermented batter just for your reference.

dosa batter overflowing after fermentation

15. Once your dosa batter is well fermented, keep it in the refrigerator.

How to make dosa

16. The batter will be thick after fermentation. Transfer the required portion to a mixing bowl. Pour little water as needed to make it of a pourable and spreading consistency. (please check video for consistency).

17. Add few drops of oil to a griddle or 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.

18. Heat the pan on a medium high heat. You can sprinkle few drops of water and check if it is hot and ready. It will sizzle immediately. Do not sprinkle water often on a hot non stick tawa that’s going to wear out even the best non stick coating.

19. When the pan is hot enough, regulate the heat to medium. Stir the batter in the bowl and pour a ladle full of batter in the center of the pan.

Pouring batter on tawa

20. Immediately begin to spread it evenly starting from the center in a circular way in clockwise direction to make a thin crepe.

Troubleshooting tip: If you are unable to spread the batter because it got stuck on the pan, this means either the pan is too hot or the batter is too thick. Reduce the flame and cool down the pan slightly. If that doesn’t work then pour little more water to your batter to bring to right consistency.

spreading dosa batter on the griddle

21. Keep spreading it from the center making circles till you reach the edges.

spreading batter on a hot griddle to make dosa

22. Regulate the heat to slightly high and let it cook for a minute then add oil or butter towards the edges. The edges of the dosa will begin to leave/ come off the pan when done.

23. When it turns golden or brown on the base, 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. Plain dosa is most commonly served with coconut chutney.

golden fried masala dosa recipe

Serve the dosa right away when it is hot. They begin to soften as they cool down.

dosa recipe

Recipe 2

Soft idli & crispy dosa (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.

Ingredients
½ cup whole skinned urad dal
1 ½ cups rice for blender – 2 cups for wet grinder
½ tsp methi seeds
2 tbsp poha (flattened rice) (substitute ¼ tsp methi seeds)
Non iodized Salt as needed

Recipe 3

Restaurant style crispy masala dosa

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 4

Sada dosa recipe

This batter can also be used for idli if the quality of urad dal is very good. Aged dal or dal from old harvest won’t work here.

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

Ingredients
½ cup whole urad dhal
1 ½ cup rice
Non-iodized or crystal salt as needed

plain dosa recipe

Recipe 5

Healthy plain dosa recipe

Healthy, high protein and high calcium dosa. These are made in most telugu speaking homes. Great food for 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. 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.

Ingredients
Half cup whole urad dal
1 cup rice

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

dosa recipe

Dosa Recipe | How to Make Dosa Batter

Dosa recipe – South Indian Lentil crepes made with fermented dosa batter. These are known as dosa or dosai and are a popular breakfast food. These are served with chutney, potato masala and sambar.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time12 hours
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time12 hours 25 minutes
Servings12 dosas
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

Recipe 1 – Ingredients for crispy dosa

  • ½ cup urad dal (or whole skinned black gram)
  • ¾ to 1 cup water (to blend dal)
  • cups rice (regular raw rice or basmati rice, Refer notes)
  • ½ cup water (to blend rice, may need 2 tbsps more)
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram)
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon poha (flattened rice)
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt (or non iodized salt or crystal salt)

Recipe 2 – Idli & dosa batter (2-in-1)

  • ½ cup whole urad dal (skinned whole black gram)
  • ¾ to 1 cup water (to blend dal)
  • cup rice (regular raw rice or basmati rice, refer notes)
  • ½ cup water (to blend rice, may need 2 tbsps more)
  • ½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) (makes dosas golden)
  • 2 tablespoons poha (flattened rice, or substitute ¼ teaspoon methi seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt (or non iodized salt or crystal salt)

Instructions

Preparation

  • Firstly add urad dal, chana dal & methi seeds to a large bowl. Rinse them very well several times and discard the water. Soak them together in enough fresh water for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Next add rice to another bowl and rinse a few times. Pour fresh water and soak in ample water for 4 to 5 hours.

How to Make Dosa Batter

  • Soak poha in ¼ cup water 30 mins before blending the batter.
  • Drain the water from the dal & methi. Add them to a blender jar along with salt, soaked poha and ¾ cup water. You can also skip salt at this stage if you live in a hot region. Add it to the batter just before you make dosas.
  • Grind to a smooth batter until smooth & bubbly or frothy. If needed add more water about 2 to 4 tbsps. It will be of thick pouring consistency and not very runny. Transfer this to a large pot.
  • Drain the water completely from rice & add it to the jar. Then pour ½ cup water.
  • Blend to a smooth or slightly coarse batter. It will be of thick pouring consistency and not very runny.
  • Pour this to the urad dal batter and mix well both of them well with your clean hand. Warmth in the hand will help in fermentation. The consistency should not be too thick & too runny otherwise the batter will not ferment. (Check video to understand the consistency)

Fermenting Dosa Batter

  • Cover the pot and ferment it in a warm place until the batter rises and turns bubbly. If you live in a warm region, then you can just keep it on the counter overnight. It may take anywhere from 5 to 16 hours depending on the temperature.
  • To ferment in colder regions, preheat the oven at the lowest setting (140 F or 60 C) for 10 mins. Turn off the oven and keep the dosa batter inside with the oven light ON. You can also use your instant pot to ferment with the yogurt settings. Use an external lid and not the IP lid. I ferment for only 7 to 8 hours in the oven & IP.
  • Check if properly fermented: Well fermented dosa batter will rise & increase in volume. It will be frothy and bubbly. To check, drop half a spoon of this batter into a bowl filled with water. Well fermented batter will float & not sink.
  • Stir the dosa batter once. Transfer a portion of this to another small bowl to make dosas. Refrigerate the rest for up to 1 to 2 weeks.
  • The fermented batter usually becomes thick, so add little water good enough to thin it down. At this stage it has to be of a pouring consistency yet thick. (check video)
  • If making masala dosa, you will have to make this potato masala or any chutney from here.

How to Make Dosa

  • Grease a dosa pan or tawa with few drops of oil. You can also rub the oil with a slice of onion. This prevents the dosas from sticking to the pan.
  • Heat it until hot enough. To check you can sprinkle little water over then pan. If it is ready it will sizzle.
  • Stir the batter well in the bowl. Take a ladle full of dosa batter & pour on the center of the hot griddle/ tawa.
  • Immediately begin to spread it evenly starting from the center in a circular motion in clockwise direction to make a thin crepe.
  • Increase the heat to slightly high and let it cook for a minute then add oil or butter towards the edges.
  • The edges of the dosa will begin to leave/ come off the pan when done. Continue to toast until the dosa turns golden and crisp.
  • Not all dosas need to be cooked on the other side. Only thicker ones need. If you wish to cook on the other side, flip it when the edges begin to rise from the pan. Cook on the other side of the dosa. Then flip back and toast until the base becomes crisp & golden.
  • Before making the next dosa, reduce the heat to low. You can also rub with the cut onion and then pour the batter.

Notes

Notes for dosa recipe

  1. What kind of rice to use?
    The taste & texture of the dosa depends on the kind of rice used. Here are my latest updates: You can use basmati rice or any short grain regular raw rice like sona masuri or ponni.
    You can also use 1 cup regular raw rice and ½ cup parboiled rice or idly rice.
    You can also use ¾ cup raw rice and ¾ cup parboiled rice or idly rice.
    Experiment with the above proportions and find what works for you the best in terms of taste and texture.
  2. I have shared troubleshooting tips along with the step-by-step photo instructions. If you are a beginner, you may follow that.
  3. The actual amount of water needed to make the batter depends on the kind of urad dal and soaking time. If you soak them longer, you will need lesser water.
  4. To make the batter in wet grinder, Soak the methi seeds separately. First add the soaked methi seeds to the wet grinder container. Begin to grind sprinkling water little by little. After sometime it will become fluffy, thick and frothy. Then add the urad dal and poha blend until fluffy. Followed by rice. If your wet grinder does a very good job, then you can also add dal, rice and poha together.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Dosa Recipe | How to Make Dosa Batter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 123
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Dosa Recipe, How to Make Dosa batter

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
Hi,I love your web site.You give clear and precise instructions and the recipes come out well. What kind of blender do you use,what is the wattage?I have wet grinder but don’t enjoy the lifting and cleaning the machine.Thank you.

5 stars
Excellent recipe, delicious dosas. Just one comment: the recipe suggests using your hand to stir the rice batter into the urad dal batter because “warmth in the hand will help in fermentation”, but the tiny amount of heat transferred from your hand to the batter during stirring won’t actually make a noticeable difference in fermentation. There’s no need to get your hand all messy. I use a spoon whenever I make this recipe and the fermentation has always been excellent.

5 stars
Thankyou so much for sharing your recipes. They are amazing and so helpful. I’m a beginner to cooking and most of my recipes I have learnt from your website!!

4 stars
I have tried dozens of recipes on this website and this is the only one that has not turned out amazingly. I think my type of rice might have been the problem (parboiled but an american brand). In any case it turned out extremely thin and would not spread on the pan and also did not properly ferment after 15 hours. I was able to fix the texture and make this edible by adding rice flour

5 stars
Hi can you suggest a dosa pan in USA preferably non stick .

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

This looks amazing. I was planning on buying a wet grinder since I usually have to buy the batter from the market when I feel like cooking dosa. I was going through and was thinking of buying the Elgi Ultra Grind. Could you please suggest a wet grinder I could you to make Dosa and Idli batter atleast once a week.

Thank you

5 stars
Swasthi Bhojan

5 stars
I really want to do dosa for years but I live in Turkey and we have non of these ingredients in here. We only have rice and different kinds of dal (not urad dal or something like that). And we don’t have methi or poha either. Really want to try this recipe but sadly I can’t.

5 stars
Your restaurant style dosa is probably the best dosa recipe I have ever come across. I use a wet grinder and dosa comes out so good. Thank you..!!

5 stars
Thanks for the recipe

With *

When do you add the soaked poha? Is it worn the rest of the rice?

what is the watt of your mixer grinder??

Hi Swathi, I tired the recipe 1 but the dosa was sticking to the pan and not coming out, how can I fix this please? I dont want to throw out the batter

I am making hotel like dosas for last two years following your recipe and those are enjoyed by my entire family. Thank you for sharing all the minute tricks.

Hi , when you say poni rice is it parboiled or raw poni rice. Thanks

5 stars
It came out so good.just wanted to know if basmati rice can be used for making dosa batter

Hi swasthi, what kind of poha to use for the batter, thick or thin?? Or either will work??

Thanks will definitely try this recipe

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, thank you very much for another yum recipe, I have been making dosa with just rice & urad dal but Chana dal & poha made it restaurant like dosa crispy & soft.

Can I use cooked parboiled rice instead of poha? Btw thank you so much for the recipe

Dear Swasthi
Thank you for helping us with your recipes. I have been following your blog for more than 3 years now. Every dish I have tried has turned out great. I wish you had a separate post on the equipment and cookware you use. This will help people like me a lot. I want to know what is your choice between Indian mixer grinder and vitamix or blendtec. Is there a place in Singapore where I can look for vitamix. Any help is much appreciated. TIA

5 stars
Thank you. Yes I agree about the plastic blenders. I found from your posts you use many different blenders please suggest me something that is be available here. Please..

When do we add salt?

5 stars
Thanks for all your detailed and excellent recipes… Made dosa your way for a large group of people… Was a bit worried initially as fermentation was indeterminate but all turned out well in the end.
Thanks so much😊