Jan 20, 2014

Dosa and Idly Batter

Dosa and idly is staple breakfast food in southern part of India. In TamilNadu, it is served both for breakfast and dinner. 

At home, I always stock up dosa batter in fridge. I use wet grinder to make the batter. It can also be prepared using a blender, but it tastes better with wet grinder than a blender.  This batter comes in handy,  especially when I am tired after work or when there are unexpected guests.  I just make chutney  and make either dosa, paniyaram or idly. 

The batter has shelf life upto 10 days when stored in proper condition. You can make so many dishes with this batter  such as different varieties of dosas that include masala dosa, plain dosa, uttapam, onion/ vegetable dosa, egg dosa; idli, paniyaram both sweet and savory, punugulu (deep fried dosa batter fritters) and the list goes on.


4 cups Idly rice
1 cup Urad dal
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Bengal gram 
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda (optional)
Water as needed


  • Wash rice in a large pot and soak it in water for 5 to 6 hours
  • Next, wash urad dal, fenugreek seeds and bengal gram together; and soak in water for 5 to 6 hours
  • Wash the grains and drain water from both the pots. Repeat this step for atleast 2-3 times
  • Grind rice first into smooth batter. Add just enough water to run the wet grinder ( do not add excess water. It should be thick). Transfer the batter into a pot
  • Next, grind urad dal, fenugreek seeds and bengal gram into smooth. Again add just enough water to run the wet grinder. Transfer the batter to the same pot
  • Add salt and baking soda. Mix well
  • Keep in warm place for 10 - 12 hours to ferment (until the batter raises and becomes spongy)
Additional notes:
  • By adding bengal gram, dosa can be roasted until brown 
  • Fenugreek seeds helps in fermentation. By adding too much, it will leave batter bitter
  • Baking soda assists in fermentation. In summer, it is not required to add this ingredient because it ferments fast in summer in just 5 hours
  • Tips for Fermentation : If you live in cold place, I suggest to keep your batter next to stove while cooking or inside the oven. This way, it is warm and ferments at a faster pace

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