How to make Dosa Batter and Plain Dosa Recipe

I have been known to make assumptions - sometimes way lot than I give myself credit for. Will come to why this came all of a sudden. I think I can take it for granted to talk for all food bloggers that this situation of "family members waiting patiently for the food while the plate enjoys a minute of limelight while we click away" or "the question -" Did you take the photo yet?" is a common occurrence? The later is in mine. Our daily dinner starts with this question

Him:- "So took the picture yet? I can start eating right?

"Yeah as if I will set the table if I did not! Sheesh! He should know that by now ;) Jokes apart - this question arises for all types of food including even the most simplest of it all.

Me - "What? This thing? Who wants to see that? Nobody wants it!".
Him: - "And why are you deciding that for others?"
Me: - "mmm!! ahem! I dunno - I just think no one will care for this!"

How to make Dosa Batter and Plain Dosa Recipe
Of course a time did come when all those recipes which I did not think were wanted started to get back to me with full vengeance through recipe requests! It was like these recipes were looking at me and accusing me of cheapening them and pushing aside as unimportant! How could I? So after hearing the hints of *I told you so* from the jester of my life, here I am humbled! So the recipe that is a part and parcel of every South Indian household - Dosa. Its a South Indian savory crepe which comes in so many forms - the basic of it being this Sada Dosa - where "sada (pronounced 'saadha')" means Plain and "Dosa(i)" is crepe. This post goes out to a dear reader Mimi Syed who made this request. Here is the way I do it
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes around 20-25 dosas depending on the size and thickness
  • 3/4 cup of parboiled rice (also labeled Idli rice in Indian stores)
  • 3/4 cup of medium grain rice
  • 1/2 cup whole black gram (urad dal, skinned)
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • salt to taste (start from 1-1/2 tsp)
1. Soak the Black gram and Fenugreek together in a bowl and the rice separately in another bowl for at least 3 hours.
2. You can either use your Mixie or the wet grinder to grind the Dosa Batter. I have a table top grinder which I use for making these goodies. You can also see the Idli recipe to see the Idli batter making process. First grind the Rice
3. Grind it to a paste. Even after grinding for long time, you might see that the batter is little coarse. No panic! Perfectly normal. As long as its ground well its fine. Pour the batter into a large bowl
4. Next add the Black gram and the fenugreek to the wet grinder. No need to clean the grinder/mixie in the middle.
5. Grind this into a smooth batter. Unlike the rice batter, this ones gets a velvety smoothness.
6. Add this batter to the rice batter.
7. Add salt and mix well with your clean hands. Of course you can use a ladle, but the heat from your hands helps the yeast action to work well when you ferment this batter overnight. :)
8. Set this aside to ferment overnight. Thanks to lack of humidity and cold in the place I live, I place this in my Oven. It does not overflow but it sure rises well.
9. Next day, mix the batter well. Place a iron skillet/ non stick skillet, grease with little oil. I use a cut onion to spread the oil - this prevents the batter from sticking.
10. Drop a ladle of batter
11. Spread it around
12. into a thin crepe
13. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until you see the edges turning up. You will be easily able to place a spatula under it. Also if you have spread it thinly, you will be able to see the bottom cooked when you start seeing reddish-brownish color fr om the surface.
14. Turn and cook for another 1-2 min.
Fold and serve hot. These are best served as soon as they are made. The number of side dishes enjoyed along with this is myriad. Enjoy it with Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Onion Chutney or Spiced Idli Powder mixed with little oil. How to make Dosa Batter and Plain Dosa Recipe

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2 Member Reviews

By JOHN on Apr 14, 2012

Some folks find soaking and grinding the grains rather tedious. So market-available rice flour and udid flour can be used. No soaking overnight is necessary (though this would surely add to the fluffiness of the dosa) and the batter can be used almost immediately.

By Sunita on Mar 12, 2012

i made the dosa yesterday and it was yum yum yum yum and i can keep on saying that, i had guests over and made your coconut chutney also it turned fabulous.


Just wanted to know how to make dosa more crispier


thanks for the dish


By Galina on Oct 31, 2015

Dear DK, I'm delighted with your recipes. They are understandly explaned, practikable and tasty! I'm from Russia. I'd like indian meals. And your recipes are very helpfull for me. Thank you very much. Galina

By Dosa Recipe | We Get Healthy on Nov 28, 2014

[...] How to make Dosa Batter | Plain (sada) Dosa Recipe | Chef … – Mar 19, 2010 · This South Indian Classic recipe is for a savory crepe. This step by step pictorial is for making the Dosa Batter and then for making the crepe…. [...]

By subhashine on Jun 28, 2013

:-P very good service.I ;like very much dosai.and I make dosa.Add some cook rice to dosa it's very soft and nice.

By Ash on Jun 24, 2013

Hi, thanks for the recipe. My batter didn't fermented properly and when I cook, my dosa turn hard and the edges didn't turn up as u suggest. Any tips to help me to overcome this and to save my batter? Coz I've prepared a lot. It's a waste to throw. :( . Hope u can help me. Thank you

By Homemade Wild-fermented Idli on Jun 4, 2013

[...] you don’t have an idli steamer, you can try using cupcake liners in a steamer or make dosa or uttapam instead, which are also delicious. Share with your friends! By: Andi Houston Category: [...]

By Prem Nataraj on Mar 22, 2013

Yes you can freeze idly batter. I put idly batter in a ziplock and freeze it. Whenever I need I just take one ziplock bag and keep it outside for few hours to thaw. Or if you need in a hurry just put the ziplock bag in a hot water for few mins to thaw.

By ragni on Apr 22, 2012


By zmom on Feb 24, 2012

Hi, Can you freeze the batter. Please let me know DK. I have a large family, and do not wish to be grinding batter every week. Thanks. Also do you have a recipe for South Indian Rasam.

By Dosa | Palyba – Paris Lyon Bangalore on Feb 13, 2012

[...] originale et photos ici. Recettes ← Chutney de noix de coco Insolites, le retour [...]

By Lawanya on Jan 17, 2012

:-| i made this with little bit of alteration, and came out really good.. i use 2cups rice and 1 cup Ulundu and grind with coconut water and let it ferment with wee bit of dry east. Before cooking i added fried chopped garlic,onion , curry leaves, mustard seeds and dried red chilies. its a favorite treat of my hubby :)

By anita tiwari on Dec 1, 2011

Anita Tiwari my dosa gets some hard wht should i do to make soft and smooth plain dosa

By meenakshi on Nov 20, 2011

:-P I purchased the batter but was not sure whether to add water to the batter before making the dosa so I looked up on the internet

By Tula on Nov 9, 2011

Your dosas look so lovely! I made dosas for the first time this week, using a combo of soaked basmati, cooked arborio, fenugreek, and split urad dal. (Fermented for 20 hours after 8 hours for soaking dal, fenugreek, and basmati together.) I tried to cook them on a seasoned cast iron griddle (oiled, spread with onion) but after reading your suggestions, I think the griddle was too hot as they stuck like crazy. I then cooked them in a non-stick and that was fine. But, I'd rather make them on a griddle, so I'm going to try again with lower heat. I like your recipe with the whole urad dal and more authentic rices, so I'll try that next! I can find sonna masoori and idli at a local Indian grocery. Do you know the reason for soaking the dal and rice separately? Many thanks for the detailed information!!

Its so that they can be ground properly. The rice is more coarse when ground into batter than Urad lentil which is more velvetty smooth.

By Bob on Nov 4, 2011

The blenders burnout too fast, if you are not careful -I heard. Where can we get the table top grinder shown in the picture? Thank you.

By aarnaa on Oct 6, 2011

hi,i want to make my dosas crisp?can u help me with it? :?:

Try to spread the batter as thin as possible. It helps to make it crisp. If that's not crisp enough, add a little more oil to it while it cooking.

By Preethi on Sep 30, 2011

hey can u temme at wat temp u set the oven as i too live in a very cold place it almost takes 2 days for mine to ferment ....

Please refer my Idli recipe post for details regarding fermentation :

By Preethi on Sep 30, 2011

hey do you keep the batter at any temp.... i too live in a very cold place :( it almost takes 2 days for mine to ferment... can you give me any tips ...

By Priyanka on Aug 21, 2011

Hi, I tried to make dosa. however, it stick on tava. I then followed the intrustion that u theflame should be in betweeen medium to low. even on lowest flame my dosa stick. also, for how long u have to keep the batter after grinding?? I am making it today please help

By viddhi on Jul 30, 2011

i just love the way you present your recipes... its the first time i am reading them.. cant wait to try them

By Keiko on Mar 25, 2011

Hi There, I love your recipes! I was just wondering for how long can I keep the dosa dough in the refrigerator after I prepare a batch and how many can I make with these quantities you posted here. Thanks!

By Sherry Maamma on Feb 4, 2011

:) So happy to find this recipe. I had dosa so many times in Vijayawada and would love to make it at home but did not have a chance to learn how to make it. Your instructions and pictures help. Thank you so much. I will try it soon.

By chennaimoms on Feb 3, 2011

So nice and good presentation..

By chennaimoms on Feb 3, 2011

Your presentation make me to taste this recipe..i already prepare dosa but i didnt put fenugreek..i think if we put fenu greek then some bitter taste will come is it true? :?: i used to prepare masala dosa and ghee dosa both i like can find more than 10 varity of dosa in this mothers site moms dosa varieties ..check it out it may be help you.

By aswin r on Nov 25, 2010

Dudes and Dudetted, Excellent site....Nice pictures and so much enthusiasm. Thank you for making a dosai lover happy

By Hanna on Nov 3, 2010

I made this recipe and there is a bitter lingering taste after eating the dosa. I let the Urad dal sit over night could it has sit too long? Can I get rid of the bitter taste by adding sugar or jagry? Thank you for your help.

I guess some ppl might be sensitive to the bitter taste from the Fenugreek seeds. I wud say that it does not have a bitter taste as such - but like my mother insists some ppl are extra sensitive to it. If thats the case, you can skip the seeds next time you make the recipe / or replace it with sprouted fenugreek seeds to avoid the bitter taste. Hope this helps :)

By sana on Oct 19, 2010

hi, i am making the dosa now, i have one query. when i try to spread it on the pan it doesn't spread but sticks to the spoon im spreading it with. plz help! :cry:

think the heat in the skillet was high. When you pour the batter, make sure that the pan is only med-high. Spread it and then increase the heat until the crepes are cooked. Flip. Before pouring the next crepe, reduce the heat again and repeat. High heat will make the dough unspreadable and sticky. Also if you have refrigerated the dough, make sure you bring it to room temp to avoid it sticking to the pan. Hope this helps :)

By sana on Oct 18, 2010

i don't have parboiled rice :cry: and i so want them now :(

By sana on Oct 13, 2010

can basmati rice be used? they look amazing...and mouth watering :wink:

Yes :)

By Leanne on Aug 24, 2010

I would like to know the number of cups of water used in making Sada Dosa i.e in grinding and in final mixing

I am not sure really since I add on "Look, feel" basis. I add it as much its required for it to grind into a smooth batter. It should be of medium consistency...flowy yet not watery. mm I think something like a Tempura batter - thick enough to coat vegetables but not thick/nor thin. Also i think its hard to pin point on the water since the quality of the rice and lentil might make a difference...

By Maida Dosa | Recipes Collection on Jul 20, 2010

[...] How to make Dosa Batter | Plain (sada) Dosa Recipe | Chef In You Posted in Tiffins Tags: Dosa, Maida Dosa « Panchratna Pappu/ Pancharatna Dal Chekkara Pongali/ Theyya pongali/ Sweet pongal » You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

By Deepa on Apr 13, 2010

I finally tried it...& U R the Queen :) My dosas did not stick. Not sure if it was the onion trick or the batter, but OMG, I was elated when they came out so good. Thank you!!!

LOL - your enthusiasm is infectious :) I am glad it turned out fine for you :) Thanks for this sweet feedback. --DK

By Deepa on Mar 22, 2010

Hi, In the US what medium grain rice do you use? Any brand? I have tried dosa atta so many times and it turns out deeply appreciated.

I buy the Ponni Raw rice from the local Indian store. If you get sonna masoori rice, its perfect too!. Worst comes, you can use Basmati. Though its not authentic, it doesnt do that much harm to the final dosa recipe :) --DK

By RAVI MEHROTRA on Mar 21, 2010


I sure will Ravi :) Thanks for asking--DK

By Deepa G Joshi on Mar 20, 2010

wow, what clicks and great the tip of spreading the oil with onion..will try the next time..droolworthy clicks..

Thanks Deepa :) --DK

By Cooking Foodie on Mar 20, 2010

I am drooling looking at the pics... I have made dosa in the past at home but I dont have the making technique pat. They are thick - more like uthapams :)

Use little batter and spread it as much as possible...that will help in preventing the "uthappams" :) --DK

By Sharmila on Mar 19, 2010

Thanks for the step by step directions. And that tip on the rice paste helped ... I always wondered why it did not feel smooth. Lovely snaps too. :-)

By Sharmilee on Mar 19, 2010

All time fav....roast dosa with podi looks perfect!

By Divya Vikram on Mar 19, 2010


By Indhu on Mar 19, 2010

you should have posted these 2 days back DK :) I was looking to make dosai and I forgot the measurements (lost the paper with the measurements somewhere)... I did something which I hope turns out well :) you are killing me with that last picture...

By SuperChef on Mar 19, 2010

Aahhh..i wish i remember to do this ahead of time. I always remember just the day before I have to make dosa/idli and end up making maida dosa or rava idli and all :)

By Priya on Mar 19, 2010

My fav breakfast...with milagai podi that last pic makes me hungry..