Dosa batter for crispy dosa

Dosa is a popular breakfast in south India. It is a daily diet in tamilnadu and few other places also. Dosa is a pancake like made from rice and lentils.

For dosa you have to soak rice and dal and ground it to a smooth paste and keep it for fermentation. When it is fermentated, then it is cooked in the form of pancake which is thin, crispy and golden brown colour.

There are varieties of dosas , the popular ones are Masala dosa – potato stuffed under the dosa. Mysore dosa – reddish colour chutney applied inside the dosa with potato stuffing. Ghee roast – crispy dosa cooked in ghee. Onion dosa – onions inside the dosa. Paneer dosa – paneer stuffed inside the dosa.

With the same batter, we can make varities of dosa. There is another dosa called rava dosa, for which batter is different, which I will be showing you soon.

I often make dosa , with idli batter itself, as idlies and dosa can be made. For different taste and for a change, I make batter only for dosa, which gives crisp, golden brown colour and tastes good. I got this recipe from my aunt who stays in anantapur (Andhra Pradesh), and she always makes varieties of dosa, sometimes she adds wheat flour for the flavour and different taste, which I will show you soon. In dosas itself, she makes varieties of dosas batter, which I will be sharing with you. She and her family are very found of dosa. With this dosa batter I make little cone shapes dosa and masala dosa, ghee roast and more, as it give me very crispy dosa .There is one more dosa called uttapam but it is soft and thick with vegetables on it, you can see the recipe also. There is one more dosa called set dosa, it is thick and small in size.

Dosa in restaurants are served in various shapes, triangle shape, cone shape, and the common shape which is rolled, that is folded on both sides. The dosa is served with varieties of chutney and sambar. You can make plain dosa and eat it with chutney and sambar.

While grinding urad dal, add required amount of water and a good froth should be formed as seen in the picture, it will be light like whipped cream.

When rice is grounded you can keep it as a coarse or smooth paste.

Fermentation is very important, keep it in a warm place, if in cold countries, and keep it near boiler or heater. Keep for fermentation in the morning or night in cold countries as; the rooms will be warm because of heater.

Always transfer the mixture in to 2 or 3 airtight boxes, so that your other box batter remains fluffy, whenever you are using batter from one box for making idlies and dosas, the froth goes down as we mix it with a spoon that’s why I transfer into 2 or 3 boxes, to maintain the consistency but before fermenting fill half of the container or box.

My mother for dosa , she uses raw ponni or sona masoori rice only and urad dal , which is 3:1 ratio and a good crispy dosa comes from her dosa griddle, as it is used for many years and used only for dosa. You can make dosa also from this batter. My other idlies and uttapam batter also you can make dosa but not like ghee roast dosa or cone dosa.


  • Par-boiled ponni rice – 1 1/2 cups
  • Basmati rice (long grain) or raw rice – 1 cup
  • Chana dal (Bengal gram) – 1/2 cup
  • Mung dal (split green gram) – 1/2 cup
  • Methi (fenugreek) seeds – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 1/2 to 2 cups (one cup is 200 ml)
  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt – as required


    Soaking the rice and lentils

  • Soak rice, chana dal and mung dal in one big bowl after rinsing with water properly. Soak for more than 4 to 6 hours.
  • Soak urad dal separately in a bowl for 1 to 4 hours.
  • I have used par-boiled ponni rice and basmati rice. If you want can use raw ponni rice or long grain rice instead of basmati rice.
  • Chana dal and mung dal are added to give the dosa its crispness and golden brown colour.
  • Grinding urad dal

  • Strain water from urad dal. Keep the water for grinding.
  • Start grinding by putting urad dal and a little water in a grinder. If the paste is getting dry and very thick, add water as required. I used about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water. Keep grinding until there is a good amount of froth. The paste should be very smooth and fluffy like whipped egg white or cream. You can use mixie if you do not have a grinder.
  • Transfer the urad dal paste into a vessel/box
  • Grinding rice and lentil

  • Strain water from rice and dal mixture. Use this water for grinding.
  • No need to wash the grinder. Add the rice into the grinder. While grinding rice and dals, first put 3/4 cup of water. Add water slowly on the stones and on the sides where you can see that a thick paste is forming. Otherwise the grinder will not grind properly and may stop to rotate. With the help of a spatula mix the mixture.
  • While grinding add water little at a time (about 1/4 cup) as soon as the batter gets thick so that the grinder runs smoothly. You may require 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water in total.
  • When the rice and dal is ground to a smooth and fluffy paste, the grinding process is complete.
  • Mixing urad dal and rice paste

  • Add urad dal paste into the rice paste and grind for a few minutes together so that they get mixed well. It should not take more than 5 minutes. Add salt during that time. Always add salt carefully. If it is less, salt can be added later as well.
  • The total time should be about 45 to 50 mins. 20 to 25 mins for grinding urad dal and 20 to 25 mins for grinding rice.
  • The consistency of the batter should be not too thick or thin. Add water according to the rice, lentil and urad dal you are using. The batter should be in a custard consistency.
  • For dosa the batter ground can be smooth or a little coarse as per your requirement. The texture should be such that dosas can be easily made. The batter for idlis is usually a little thicker than dosa batter. When you put the batter on tava/pan it should be easy to make dosa. It should not be too watery or too thick.
  • Storage and fermenting

  • Transfer the batter into 2 or 3 boxes. Fill only half of them. Fermentation will make the batter to raise. In cold countries, you can ferment and then refrigerate. But in hot places like India, when the batter is ground it is kept in fridge. When needed, the required quantity is taken and then fermentated. For example, for next day breakfast, the required amount of batter can be taken and kept for fermentation overnight in the kitchen. When the batter is fermentated in the morning, add required additional salt and then prepare idlis or dosa. In cold places, you can grind in the evening (say 4 pm) and keep it for fermentation near a heater until next day morning. The batter should be in a warm environment to get fermented properly. If the batter gets fermentated in lesser time then no need to keep it for longer period.
  • When you are mixing the batter, you can see the bubbles. This shows how light and fluffy the batter is. Do not mix it a lot many times, just stir with a ladle lightly and start cooking dosa to prevent losing the lightness and air in the batter.


  • The batter should not be too thick or too thin. The texture of the batter should be like condensed milk or custard.
  • The dosa batter should be slightly thinner than idli batter.
  • When the batter is fermented, it will be very light, fluffy and airy. If you mix too much, the airy bubbles will go off and you wont get a good crispy dosa.
  • You can use the water in which the urad dal/rice was soaked for grinding.

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