Dosa is made by soaking parboiled/ponni rice along with urad dal(black lentils) and grinding it into a batter. This batter is then fermented and used to make these crispy crepes. Unlike uttapams which are thick and topped with toppings dosa is super thin and served popularly with dry aloo/potato subji/sides, sambar and coconut chutney.
Dosa are served in a wide variety in India. Some popular ones are 70mm dosa, ghee karam dosa, mysore masala dosa, pesarattu, masala dosa. These days some popular on the menus are spring roll dosa, pav bhaji dosa, manchurian dosa, corn dosa etc over above 100 variety of stuffings are blend with the dosa combination. (Check recipe for pav bhaji and corn chowder here.)
Dosa is a staple breakfast in South India and is healthy. It has various nutrients along with carbs to keep you healthy and fine the long working day. Dosa can be made on a cast iron pan or a popular non stick dosa griddle/tawa. Both work well if the dosa batter is not too thick or flowy and the tawa is properly heated and seasoned.
Refer the recipe notes and instructions for the soaking of rice and options. Be careful while grinding the batter. The grinder can heat up and stop working.
A good quality batter stone grinder is popularly found in south Indian homes.
But its not easily found in every house. You can use your vitamix, preethi grinder or sujatha grinder. Some of other high power grinders like boss work well too.
Important directions to make a dosa
- Batter should be well fermented and should be falling consistency from a ladle.
- The tawa should be well heated.
- After heating the tawa switch to medium flame and splat water.
- Now with a help of a half cut onion (any) apply oil over the tawa all over.
- Now pour the batter on the centre of the girdle and spread it outward in a clockwise direction.
- Now add 1 teaspoon oil or butter over the edges of the dosa so that it does not stick to the pan.
- Remove when ready and golden crisp.
Dosa a quick video recipe
Let’s check the detailed recipe and do’s and don’ts while making a dosa or a dosa batter. The same batter can be use to make uttapams . Leave it little thick in consistency.
You can even make idlis out of it at times. However recipe for idli and uttapam batter vary slightly and are discussed in the other links separately.
- High power grinder
- 3 cups Rice Parboiled rice or any short grain rice (Not jasmine or sticky)
- 1 cup Urad dal/Lentil (split or whole white urad dal) black lentils
- 1 tsp Methi seeds / Fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp Chana Dal
- Wash and soak the rice, Dal, fenugreek and gram Dal in water for about 9-10 hrs.
- Now grind all in a high power grinder with less water to keep a thick paste consistency. (Do not add too much of water)
- Keep the batter for fermentation for about 8-9 hrs.Batter should be kept well covered in a warm and moisturized place. (Microwave, oven, casserole, IP works great)Make sure there is enough room in the container for the batter to rise. Upon fermentation the batter rises and becomes fluffy and light.
- After 8-9 hours the batter is ready, add salt to it and mix it well.
- Heat a Dosa pan /pancake pan and splat water, wipe, apply oil with the help of onion and again wipe it then pour batter on medium flame. Pour about 1 spoon/Ladle of the batter to it.
- Now move the ladle clockwise from the centre of the girdle to the edges or until an 8-10 cm diameter round is achieved.
- Pour oil or butter at the edges and allow it to cook uncovered. Since its thin it cooks faster.
- After a few seconds check the Dosa. It turns golden and the edges of the dosa leave the girdle.
- The dosa is ready and you can serve it with coconut chutney or any other coriander chutney, Karam podi, sambar etc.
What can go wrong
- If you add more urad and chana dal the dosa can stick to the pan and also the colour will turn pale yellow.
- If the proportion of methi/fenugreek seeds is more the batter turns bitter and dosas can burn quickly.
- If the batter is too flowy it might stick to the pans.
- The pans should be non-stick and well maintained.
- Cool pan might cause the dosa/uttapam to stick on it.
- Idli batter is different. (Check recipe in link)
- Ideally parboiled ponni rice is best suited but rice can be any short grain variety.
- Even Sona masoori, ambe more or any other. Basmati rice is fine too you may have to soak it little bit more.Basmati rice builds pressure on the grinder while grinding.
- Methi seeds in soaking gives a nice golden colour. It should not be extra as the batter will turn bitter.
- You can add ½ tablespoon of ground poha/ flat beaten rice to it to make it crispy.
- Uttapam is thicker than a dosa. Check recipe in link.
- The tawa should be hot and on low to medium when you pour batter.
- To start, heat the pan, splat water, wipe, apply oil with the help of onion and again wipe it then pour batter on medium flame.
- This batter can be stored upto 5 days well covered in the refrigerator.
- You can use idli rice or any other rice , ideally used parboiled rice.
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