When thoughts turn to South Indian breakfast cuisines, dosa is perhaps the first to come to mind. It’s crispy, with an appearance similar to a crepe or thin pancake. The dosa batter recipe typically involves a fermented batter of rice and lentils. Dosai, dose, thosai, and dosa are all the same.
Despite being a typical South Indian dish, dosas have gained popularity in the Indian subcontinent and beyond. Generally, the dosa batter consists of rice and black gram, and therefore, dosas are a great supply of protein. As the rice and black gram batter is fermented, dosas are packed with vitamin B and C, making it a healthy breakfast option.
Earlier, people simply used rice to make the fermented dosa batter. Later, they started using black gram or urad dal to give dosa a more crispy texture. As of now, we have countless variations of dosa, think plain dosa, masala dosa, set dosa, cheese dosa, and many more.
Dosa is accompanied by various condiments, like sambar, coconut chutney, idli podi, lentil powder, and pickles. Idli podi is a combination of a lentil powder, spices, and desiccated coconut. Coconut chutney is made using coconut paste, lentils, coriander, mint, and green chili.
Dosa Recipe – Dosa Varieties & How to Make Dosa Batter
The typical and time-tested variation of dosa is plain or Sada dosa. As time passed, people started inventing new variations by adding stuffing or fillings to dosa. Many fusion recipes of dosa are also popular, such as Chinese dosa, paneer dosa, pizza dosa, etc. Here are some common variations of dosa recipes listed below.
1. Masala Dosa: A dosa coated with red chutney and containing the filling of spicy potatoes.
2. Set Dosa: A set of three spongy and light dosas.
3. Ghee-roast Dosa: A plain dosa roasted using ghee instead of oil.
4. Paneer Dosa: A dosa having a tangy paneer stuffing.
5. Mysore Masala Dosa: A dosa made from the fermented batter of rice, black gram, and fenugreek seeds.
6. Ragi Wheat Dosa: Made of whole wheat flour and ragi.
7. Garlic Cheese Dosa: A plain dosa with finely chopped garlic and grated cheese stuffing.
8. Onion Rava Dosa: A dosa cooked from the fermented batter of rice flour and semolina with chopped onions as filling.
9. Table Dosa: A large dosa that covers half the table.
With countless dosa variations, here is a simple dosa batter recipe for an authentic South-Indian-style spongy and crispy dosa at home. So, let us get started.
How to Make Dosa Batter?
How to make dosa batter, you might wonder. Well, it’s easy provided you follow the steps. This dosa batter requires Black gram or urad dal, Bengal gram or chana dal, fenugreek seeds, rice, and flattened rice or poha. To begin with, let us see what ratio of these ingredients to use and then how to ferment the batter.
Soaking Rice & Lentils
Collect all the below ingredients according to the given measurements.
The dosa batter ingredients include:
- Rice – 1 and ½ cups
- Urad dal or Black gram – ½ cup
- Chana dal or Bengal gram – 2 tablespoons
- Fenugreek seeds – ½ to 1 teaspoon
- Flattened rice or poha – 2 tablespoons
- Take a large pot and add urad dal, chana dal, and fenugreek seeds to it. Rinse them well three to four times. Later, add a lot of water to the pot and soak them for around 4 to 6 hours.
- In another pot, take rice and wash it three to four times. Soak it for 4 to 5 hours.
Tip: In the winter season, ensure to soak rice and lentils for more than 6 hours.
3. Before blending soaked rice and lentils, take poha and soak it in a ¼ cup of water for around 30 minutes.
Blending and Making Batter
Now that all ingredients of the dosa batter recipe are ready, let’s see how to blend all soaked ingredients.
- Drain water from lentils and poha. Add poha, lentils, half a teaspoon of salt, and ¾ cup of water in a blending jar. Blend well until the mixture turns frothy and smooth. Put in some water if required. Moreover, make sure the batter should not be runny and yet have pouring consistency.
Note: You can avoid adding salt at this stage in the summer season, as the batter will get fermented itself. You can add salt once the batter gets fermented or when it is ready to make dosas.
- Transfer the blended mixture to a large empty bowl. Now, it is time for rice to get blended. Remove water from the rice, transfer drained rice to a blending jar, along with ¼ cup of water, and blend well.
- Mix the blended rice batter with the dal mixture. Stir well and add water if the batter has a thick consistency.
Fermentation is the core step in the idli dosa batter recipe. It helps dosas to turn out more crispy and spongy. Here’s a step-by-step guide for fermenting the dosa batter.
- It requires a warm place. In warm regions, fermentation does not require any extra effort. You just need to cover the pot that contains batter and ferment it overnight. When the batter gets fermented, it rises and becomes bubbly.
- The time for fermentation depends upon the level of temperature. In colder regions, the time is longer. You are better off using the oven for fermentation.
- Preheat the oven at 140F or 60C and turn it off after 10 minutes. Place the batter inside it overnight and make sure to keep the oven light on.
- To check whether the batter has fermented perfectly or not, take a bowl of water and pour one teaspoon of batter into it. If it is fermented well, it will float on water rather than sink into it.
- Over-fermenting the batter may turn your dosa sour. Moreover, it will not hold a spreading consistency.
How to Make a Crispy Dosa?
Don’t use the fermented batter directly to make dosas, as it turns thick and harder to spread. Follow the below instructions if you wish to know how to make a crispy dosa.
- Take a mixing bowl and mix a quarter or more of fermented batter with water to make the pouring consistency.
- Place a griddle or a pan on the stove, heat it on a medium flame, and pour a few drops of oil. Before pouring dosa batter, make sure to spread oil all over the pan with a cotton cloth. Alternatively, you can opt for a slice of onion to disperse the oil.
- Allow the pan to heat completely. Stir it well, add a ladleful of batter, and pour it immediately on the pan surface. Start spreading the batter from the center till you reach the edges.
- After spreading the batter, turn the flame high and add a few drops of oil or butter. You will notice the edges of the dosa will level up when it is cooked well. Moreover, the base will turn golden.
Plain or Sada dosa is ready to serve with chutney, sambar, or idli podi. Remember to serve dosas hot, as they lose their crispness upon cooling down.
If you want to add fillings, like spicy potatoes, paneer, or any other, just add butter and your favorite filling, mix it lightly with a spatula, and spread evenly all over the dosa. If you crave to have a spicy dosa, feel free to smear red chutney before adding butter and filling to your dosa.
This Dosa Batter Recipe is a healthy breakfast that can be prepared with a handful of readily available ingredients. Give this recipe a try and recreate South-Indian-style crispy dosa at home. But make sure to follow the fermentation process precisely to get good results. Even if you are trying dosa for the first time, this recipe will assist you in cooking a perfectly thin and spongy dosa.
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