Plain dosa

Plain dosa is eaten in every home in India. Dosa is almost eaten daily in some homes in south India. Dosa is served with chutney or sambar or both. If I am making plain dosa, most of the times I use the batter I would use to make idli. When the batter is ready, I make idlis on the first two days and then dosa for the remainder of the days until the batter is all over. I make the batter so that it lasts for about 3 to 4 days for my family. I normally make plain dosa (not trying to make very crispy or good shape) in the morning as it is quite busy in the morning. My son loves dosa, so I make plain dosa very often. I also make egg dosa for my son. Egg dosa is made by just putting a beaten egg over the dosa and cooking it. In my home, if some fish curry is left over from the previous night, we love to eat it with plain dosa. You can serve plain dosa with kheema curry, vada curry, mutton/chicken kurma or egg kurma. The ratio I take is 3:1 (rice:urad dal).


  • Dosa (or idli) batter – as required
  • Oil – as required


  • If the batter is already fermented and stored in the fridge, remove it 1 hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  • Prepare the tava before making dosa in order to get good dosa.
  • Pre-heat the tava or griddle or non-stick pan. When it is hot drizzle 1/2 tsp oil and spread it with a slice of onion or tip of the onion. Just clean the tava with the onion – do not burn your hand in it. You will get crispy golden brown dosa and the dosa will not stick to the tava if you do this.
  • Before putting the batter on the tava, sprinkle little water on tava and as soon as the sizzling sound comes, clean the tava again with the piece of onion. The water is sprinkled to bring the temperature of tava a little down temporarily so that we can spread the batter well on the tava.
  • Put a ladleful of batter in the middle of the tava and spread it with the help of the ladle into a medium size circle.
  • The tava should be hot. When we put the batter to make dosa, sizzling sound should come.
  • Rotate the ladle in clockwise direction for spreading the batter on the tava. You need to be a little quick in doing this as you do not want the batter to stick to the tava.
  • Drizzle a few drops of oil around the dosa and a little on top of it.
  • When one side is golden brown, turn to the other side and can drizzle a few drops of oil around the corner. This is how plain dosa made.
  • The pictures that I have shown are made from the batter I made for idlis. In the pictures the dosa is soft and a little thick as I wanted, but you can make the dosa how you like it. You can even make mini dosas for the kids.
  • Cook the dosa on a medium flame. After 1 to 2 mins, turn and cook a bit. You can even cook on one side only by closing the lid.
  • Repeat the above process for every dosa.
  • Every time before you put the batter, clean the tava with onion and then put the batter to avoid the batter from sticking and to get a good colour. It is not mandatory to do this.
  • After 2 or 3 dosas, sprinkle some water and wipe it with onion so that the dosa will come out easily and in shape.
  • It is up to you how thin or thick you want the dosa to be. My son prefers mostly soft and thin, but I like dosas only crispy.
  • You can even serve the dosa in a cone shape.
  • Serve it with any chutney, kurma (vegetable or chicken), sambar or potato poriyal (potato fry) or idli podi. Idli podi is a spicy powder in which you can drizzle some oil or ghee or sesame oil (nallennai in Tamil), mix it and eat with dosa or idli. You can get it easily in the stores. You can use Shakthi or Acchi brands.
  • I have served it with tomato chutney and onion chutney.


  • Before making dosa always prepare your tava or griddle by rubbing it with onion and then sprinkling some water and again rubbing with onion. This will give you a perfect crispy dosa, good uttapam and other dosas you make.
  • Sprinkle water on tava after every 2 to 3 dosas and rub with onion to make the dosa tava clean.
  • If dosa is sticking on the tava, just drizzle a few drops of oil and rub with onion before putting the batter again on the tava.
  • The oil on the tava should be such that it is just greased, not like we put for frying items like egg. Thats why we rub with onion after drizzling oil in the beginning only. In villages and in some houses you can still see that a small cloth is tied to a stick and this is used o rub the oil onto the tava so that not much oil is required.
  • You can make dosa on the non-stick pan as well. But the good golden brown colour will come only with the ordinary dosa tava.
  • We should always keep the tava separate for dosa as we cannot cook chapathis or rotis on it. You can cook some items like egg fry, fish fry though. But it is always better to keep the tava for dosa separate.
  • For a little variation, sprinkle some idli podi or dry coconut chilli powder or curry leaves powder on dosa. We call it as a podi (powder). We get this in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other south Indian places. It will give you different tatse.
  • Always remove the batter from the fridge 1 hour before cooking it.
  • If the batter is in a big bowl, just take the quantity you want and the put the remaining in the fridge.
  • Usually after 3 days the batter becomes little sour. This happens only in hot places, whereas in cold places the batter remains fresh. If it is starting to get sour, you can make uttapam or paniyaram with that batter. The sour taste is compensated as vegetables are added.

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