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Dosa batter, How to make perfect dosa batter, idli batter, idly batter, masala dosa recipe, crispy dosa, instant dosa, sada dosa, set dosa, plain dosa, mysore masala, paniyaram, appe, paddu, appo


This post is a guide to make perfect dosa batter, idli batter, and how to ferment and store it. The batter can then be used to cook crispy masala dosa, plain dosa, set dosa, appe, paniyaram or paddu, soft and fluffly idlis. All in one batter so your breakfast menu is ready for the entire week.
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Andhra Pradesh, Indian, Karnataka, Kerala, South Indian, Tamil Nadu, Telangana
Keyword appe, Appetizer, batter consistency, Buttermilk Dosa, cast iron skillet, Crispy Dosa, dosa chutney, dosa fermentation, dosa tawa, Dosai, dose, Gluten Free recipes, How to make dosa batter, idli batter, idli chutney, idli fermentation, idly batter, indian crepe, instant dosa, instant pot dosa, lentil recipes, masala dosa, neer dosa, paniyaram, Plain Dosa, Protein Rich Food, sabudana vada paniyaram pan, sada dosa, set dosa, soft and fluffy idli, soft idli, Vegan Recipes, vegetarian meal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soak & Ferment 12 hours
Servings 14 DOSAS
Author Kushi


  • 2 cups Raw Rice
  • 1 cup Urad Dal (Split and husked Black gram)- check tips
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds or Methi
  • Salt, to taste (approx ½ to 1 teaspoon or adjust accordingly)
  • Water


Step I (Soaking dal and rice)

  • In a large bowl, add urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and wash it nicely with water couple of times to remove any impurities. Drain the water.
  • Now add enough fresh water and allow it to soak for 4 to 6 hours.
  • In another bowl, wash the raw rice couple of times. Drain the water. Then, add enough fresh water and allow it to soak for 4 to 6 hours.

Step II (Blending or grinding the dosa batter)

  • Drain the water from dal and methi mixture. In blender or grinder, add soaked dal and methi, water (approximately ¾ to 1 ½ cup, read next step) and grind till its smooth.
  • Do not add all water at once. Start with ¾ cup and add in increments of 2 tbsp. This is going to be very thick and not runny.
  • Transfer the ground dal-methi mixture to a large vessel or container.
  • Drain water from the rice. Add the rice along with approximately ¾ to 1 cup water to blender or grinder. Grind it to smooth or little coarse consistency. Like dal, do not add all water at once. The ground rice should be thick and of pouring consistency.
  • Add this to urad dal batter along with some salt and mix. To help better fermentation, you can mix it using clean hands for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Important tip here : Ensure your batter does not warm while grinding both urad dal or rice. If your mixer gets heated up, turnoff and use ice cold water for grinding. This will prevent idlis and dosas from becoming hard.

Step III (Fermenting dosa batter)

  • Cover the vessel or container with a lid and let it ferment in a warm place. Depending on where you stay and weather condition, fermentation will anywhere take between 6 to 12 hours.
  • If the local weather is hot or warm, you can keep the batter on the kitchen counter top overnight. The batter should ferment in 6 to 8 hours.
  • If living in a cold place, your dosa or idli batter may take 10 to 12 hours to ferment. You can preheat the oven for 10 mins, switch it off, and then place the batter in the oven and turn on the oven light and close the door.
  • For those who have an Instant Pot, you can ferment the batter using the yogurt mode. Increase the time to 8 to 10 hours and make sure you cover it with a glass lid and not with the Instant Pot lid as this may lock if the batter ferments and overflows.

Check if batter is fermented properly

  • Well fermented batter will first increase in volume, will be frothy and bubbly on top.
  • Fermented batter will be generally thick. Idlis with fresh thick batter tastes really amazing. If you are making dosas, you may have to add little water to make it a little thinner and adjust salt to taste.
  • Undisturbed batter once fermented can be stored for more than a week. So if you are planning to use it throughout the week then split the batter at the end of step II into 2 or 3 different vessels as required and once fermented place it in refrigerator. Alternatively, simply place the batter in refrigerator once fermented and use as and when required.

How to make soft and fluffy idlis from the batter

  • Grease the idli moulds with ghee or oil. We generally use coconut oil in Udupi and Mangalore region.
  • Pour 2 to 4 tablespoon of batter in each mould depending on the size. Add water to the idli steamer or pressure cooker depending on the size of your idli stand or leaving half inch gap from the bottom of lowest idli mould. Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat. Place the idli stand, cover with a lid and steam for 12 minutes.
  • If cooking idlis in an Instant Pot, add 1 ½ cups of water to the Instant Pot and boil on saute mode. Once the water begins to boil, place the idly stand and cook it on steam mode in venting position for 12 minutes.

How to make crispy dosa, plain dosa, masala dosa

  • After fermentation, the batter is going to be thick. Depending on the consistency of the fermented batter you may add little water only if required. But make sure not to add too much water, as runny batter will give softer dosas. On the other hand, thicker batter with spreadable consistency will give crispier dosa.
  • Grease a cast iron or nonstick pan with oil. Make sure there is no excess oil left and it is absorbed completely. Else you cannot spread the batter smoothly. Use a clean kitchen towel to remove excess oil from the pan.
  • Heat the pan on medium flame. To check if the pan is hot enough to cook dosas, sprinkle some water and see if it immediately sizzles. Don’t sprinkle water to nonstick pan as this may affect the nonstick coating.  Once the pan is hot, continue to keep the flame on medium.
  • For cripsy dosa : Pour a ladle full of batter at the center and spread it in circular motion till you reach the edges. If you are not able to spread easily, it means your batter is too thick.  You may add little extra water to the batter and mix.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of oil or ghee around the edges. In 2 to 3 minutes, the edges will start to come off and the bottom of the dosa will start turning golden brown in color. At this point you can remove the dosa from the pan, or flip and cook for another 1 minute if you like. Flipping crispy dosas is totally optional.
  • Before spreading next dosa, you may grease the pan with oil or ghee, and remove excess oil using a clean kitchen towel.

How to cook soft thick dosa

  • Pour a ladle full of batter at the center and do not spread. Add oil to the edges. When you see bubbles on the top surface and bottom becomes golden brown, flip and cook on other side for another two minutes.
  • I hope this tips and information on dosa and idli was helpful. Do comment below if you tried it or you have any other additional tips that I have missed. Thank you.


  • If you know you are going to do cook both rice and idli with same batter then always use 1 cup dal to 2 cup rice.  But if you are cooking only dosas from batter, then ½ cup urad dal is sufficient for 2 cups rice. 
  • Now if you know that you are grinding the batter to make both idlis and dosa, I would say once the batter is done and fermented make idlis first, as it always tastes best with fresh thick batter and then add little water to batter and make cripsy, plain or sada, masala dosas and appe or paniyaram and last with uttapam as the onion, green chile and cilantro makes it more flavorful. 
  • While making dosa batter you can add additional 2 to 3 tablespoon of chana dal (bengal gram) along with urad dal to make it even more crispier and to give it a nice golden color. 
  • Some even add additional 2 tablespoon of thick poha (flattened rice ) while grinding the batter for both idli and dosas. This will make it light.
  • If you are unable to spread the batter because it got stuck to pan or laddle, there may be couple of reasons pan may be hot, batter may be over fermented, there may be traces of oil in the pan or batter was too thick. In this case reduce the flame to low, rub pan with paper towel to remove any traces of oil and try or thin down the batter with water and try again. 
  • Amount of water required for grinding will vary based on quality of products, soaking time, and the type of mixer or grinder used. So always it is better to start by adding lesser amount of water and increase it in increment of 1 to 2 tablespoon if required.  
  • To enhance the taste, always cook your dosas with a good amount of oil or ghee or butter
  • If you are a beginner or want to learn about making perfect dosas and idli batter, I highly recommend you read the entire post carefully.