Dosa recipe – Crisp and Soft with Homemade Dosa batter
Dosa is a crisp and soft thin crepe that is the staple food in South India. It is the most common breakfast item in the South, served with sides like chutney, sambar, or alu masala. Originated in South India, but thanks to Udupi restaurants, Dosa has become popular and liked across India.
Dosa is one of my favorite breakfast items. I can eat it every day and still not be bored of it. It’s because of the taste of Dosa and different side dish options available for single dosa. It can be served with any chutney, potato masala, or tiffin sambar.
I enjoy making dosas, more than eating. I do post on social media and my Dosa posts have got me a title, The Dosa Master. It has taken me years to master making dosa. The learning has been through self-experience and Youtube channels. In this post, I will share everything you need to know to make perfect Dosas at home.
The secret to make crisp yet soft dosas is the ingredients and proportion used to make dosa batter.
So, this will be a long post. I request you to read the entire post. Still, if you face any difficulty in making dosa or have any questions, let me know in the comment box. I will be glad to help!
What is Dosa?
To explain it in simplest words, it is a type of South Indian thin pancake or crepe. It is a very popular breakfast food item in restaurants and street food in India.
Dosa is made with a fermented batter, which is spread on a hot tawa and cooked until the bottom starts to change color.
It has a crisp and soft texture, slightly sour taste because of fermentation. It is made in different sizes. A big size, 70MM Dosa is a special attraction in restaurants.
It is not an instant breakfast item. Preparation of dosa starts a day before. It needs the patience to make dosa as there is a four-step process that is mentioned below. In the end, it is worth the wait when a perfect dosa is served.
At home, we always expect to get perfect dosas. But, most of the time, we do not get the expected results, be it texture, or color, or taste. As mentioned, all the tips and tricks. If you follow this recipe, you can easily make a perfect dosa at home similar to hotel style.
I have divided the process of making dosa into four steps:
1. Ingredients to make Dosa batter
Make sure to use good quality ingredients. Sometimes the batter starts to smell after 2-3 days. One of the reasons is the quality of ingredients.
The main ingredients to make dosa batter are rice and udad dal/lentils. Apart from these two, there are other ingredients that make the dosa similar to hotel-style.
Rice: Usually thick grain rice is preferred to make dosa batter. Now, different varieties of thick grain rice are available in the market such as idly rice, dosa rice, parboiled rice. Even short grain works fine. You can use any one variety of rice or use a combination of different varieties.
Note: Basmati rice/long grain is not preferred to make dosa batter.
Udad dal: Also called Black Gram. Can use whole or split variety, both are easily available. I prefer whole udad dal to make dosa batter.
Chana dal: Gives the dosa golden color which is similar to hotel-style.
Poha/Flattened rice: Makes the dosa soft and crispy.
Methi seeds: This helps in the fermentation of the dosa batter.
You might have seen or heard that for good dosas, dals and rice should be soaked separately. I have followed both the ways, soaking separately and soaking together.
There is no difference in texture or taste of dosas. Either way, dosas are perfect.
Please note, this is only for dosa and not for idly batter. Do not worry, idly batter with be explained in a separate post.
In a deep bowl, add all the ingredients. Wash it well. Add enough water and soak for 6–8hours. Drain the water and the next step is to make the batter. I follow this step during the day.
2. How to make Dosa batter.
To make dosa batter, grind the soaked ingredients into a smooth batter by adding little water at a time. The batter should be thick but pouring consistency.
If the batter is thick, it will not ferment well. And, if the batter is runny, dosa will not turn out well. A tip to test the perfect consistency is batter should be thick enough to coat a spoon when dipped in it.
Dosa batter can be blended in a wet grinder or mixer grinder. I have tested in both and the result is the same. However, I will share my personal experience which will help you decide.
Dosa batter in Wet Grinder or Mixer Grinder?
I have tried both the appliances, and there is no difference in the batter texture. The use of either depends on the quantity of Dosa batter you are making.
The mixer grinder is good for dosa batter in less quantity. The mixie jar gets hot if the motor runs for a long time. So, use chilled water or ice cubes to grind the batter.
For batter in large quantity, a wet grinder is better. In our house, quantity of dosa batter is made for 3-4days. So, I always use wet grinder. This is common across many houses in South.
3. Ferment the batter.
Always remove the batter in a big container. The fermentation process increases the volume of batter. If the container is small, there will be a mess to clean.
Also, mix the batter well with clean hands. The heat and good bacteria from the hand helps in fermentation.
The fermentation process majorly depends on the temperature of your city. Batter ferments well in a warm place. Just leave the batter on the counter or in a warm place in your kitchen until the batter rises. It can take 8–12hours depending on climatic conditions.
In cold regions, keep the batter inside the oven with light ON.
4. How to make perfect Dosa.
Mix the fermented batter well. Take the required quantity in a bowl and keep the rest in the fridge without adding anything. It will stay good for 2–4 days or even more. Never use the cold batter directly, it will stick to the tawa. Let the batter rest for at least 30 or more come to room temperature.
Check the consistency of the batter taken in the bowl. Sometimes batter consistency is thicker after fermenting. Make sure it is pouring consistency, add little water if needed. Add salt to taste.
To make perfect hotel-style dosa, a good tawa plays a major role.
For the best result, use a cast iron. Better if pre-seasoned. Non-stick works fine too. But, a perfect-looking dosa is possible only on a cast iron or thick base dosa tawa. I use Prestige die-cast dosa tawa.
Do not use the same tawa to make dosa and chapati. Always keep separate tawa for dosa.
For a perfect dosa, spread the batter on a hot tawa. If the tawa is cold, batter will spread easily but texture and color will vary.
If the tawa is very hot, the batter stick as soon as your pour on it and will not spread evenly. In such a case, sprinkle water on the tawa and wipe it off with a napkin or kitchen towel. This will dop the temperature of tawa. Pour a ladle of batter, spread the batter, and increase the flame to medium-high.
What to eat Dosa with?
The best way to enjoy dosa is when hot. Serve it with chutneys, dry spice powder (also called karapodi), tiffin sambar, or curry. Different varieties of chutneys are:
Do give this recipe a try and let me know your feedback in the comment box. You can also follow me on Instagram to see variations from my kitchen.
Crisp and Soft Dosa with Homemade Dosa batter
- 2 cups Rice (raw rice or idly rice or dosa rice or par boiled rice or mix of all)
- 1 cup Udad dal/Black gram (new and not old or expired)
- 1/4 cup Chana dal
- 1/2 cup Flattened rice/Poha
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek/Methi seeds
To make Dosas
- Salt to taste
Making the Dosa batter
- In a large bowl, add the ingredients. Wash them well, 2-4 times. Fill water 1-2inch above the ingredients. Soak for about 4-8 hours.
- Drain the water. Grind the batter to smooth batter by adding fresh water as required.In mixer grinder: Grind in batches and use chilled water.In wet grinder: Pour little fresh water on the stones. Add the soaked ingredients in a gap of 5minutes. If added all at once, the stones may stop rotating.
- Remove the batter to a big container. Now, with your clean hand, mix the batter well for 1-3minutes. The good bacteria from hand helps in fermentation. If you feel the batter consistency is thick, add little water and mix well.Cover with a lid. Keep overnight or 8-12hours or more for fermentation.
Making the Dosa
- Mix the fermented batter well. Take the required quantity of batter in a bowl and keep the rest in the refrigerator.Add salt and 1tsp sugar to the batter and mix well. Check for consistency and add water, if needed. It should be thick but pouring consistency.
- Heat a dosa tawa. Add few drops of oil and rub with an onion slice. This prevents dosas from sticking to the pan. If the tawa is too hot, sprinkle water and wipe with a kitchen towel or napkin.When hot, pour a ladleful of batter in the center of tawa. Quickly, spread it in a circular motion until the batter is evenly spread.
- Cook on medium flame till you see the batter on the top cooked. Now sprinkle oil all around (center and edges) the dosa. For even coloring of the dosa, keep moving the tawa.
- When the base gets the golden color, flip the dosa and cook another side too. Personally, I do not flip which makes it a perfect hotel-style.
- Fold or roll the dosa and serve hot with your choice of chutney, sambar, or alu masala.