Mar 20, 2008

Recipe - Plain dosa

South Indian crapes


Dosa is a very popular part of South Indian cuisine. Dosa can be made with lot of variations - they popularly called Mysore masala dosa, plain dosa, masala dosa, rava dosa, instant dosa and the list goes on. The typical South Indian dosa preparation takes at least 8 - 10 hours.

Recently, I went to a French restaurant to eat crapes with avocado. After I ate them I was totally convinced that Indians are very creative and food lovers, that these crepes can be made in so many different forms. The French crape I ate is almost the same base which is used to make instant dosa. The avocado made it different country's cuisine and potato stuffing or a spicy chutney made it Indian cuisine.

Dosa is high in protein and equally high in carbohydrates. Dosa can be prepared with very little oil on a nonstick pan. Once the batter is ready, dosa can be made very quickly. I use brown rice instead of white rice.


  • Urad dal - 1 cup
  • Rice (brown rice)- 3 cups
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon (optional)

Batter preparation:

Presoak the dal, rice and fenugreek seeds together for 5 - 6 hours or over night. My mom had always told me not to wash the dal when you soak it. The fermenting agent is taken away when washed before hand. It may be a myth, but I follow it to the "T". Some soak it for 5 hours which is perfectly fine.

I pre-warm the oven as I am about to grind the dosa batter. The ground batter will be sitting in the oven for fermentation process. Note: the oven should be turned off during fermentation processes. The pre-warming is to ensure the oven has the correct temperature for fermentation.

Grind the urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds with 3 cups (approximately) of water or even less. It is always a good practice not to add water all at once. Slowly add the water every 2 minutes during grinding. Add salt after 5 minutes. Grind the batter into a silky smooth texture. Pour the batter into a clean and deep container.

The fermentation container should be three times as big as the quantity of the batter. Once the batter is fermented, it almost doubles or triples the original quantity. For fermentation, place it the warm oven or any other warm place. Remember to turn off the oven before placing the container in the oven. Let the batter ferment over night.
After 10- 12 hours, you will see the batter fully fermented. Batter is properly fermented if it has risen in the container (twice or thrice the original quantity)

Method to prepare dosa:

Preheat a non-stick pan/cast iron skillet. Make sure the consistency of the batter should be medium. Not too thick not too thin. The batter should stick to the ladle when mixing. Pour a ladle full of the batter in the center of the preheated pan or greased skillet;

Slowly spread the batter into a thin circle.

Spray oil on top of the crape/dosa. As the edges of the dosa start turning into golden brown color, remove from the pan.

Fold dosa in desired shape and serve hot with potato curry or any kind of spread/chutney or chutney powders.

Preparation time: 5 minutes (apart from 8-10 hours batter preparation)


For dosa to come out in one piece, use onion to clean the iron skillet. Wipe the skillet with onion and 2 drops of oil on the skillet, if dosa is sticking to the skillet.

1 comment:

Brianna said...

Hi Devi Priya,
I'm still enjoying reading your recipes although I haven't tried anything yet. It would be great if you could include the name of the recipe in the subject heading to make my search easier when I do make something. Also, how do I access your archived recipes?

How long does the dosa batter last in the fridge? Marie Zenack, your neighbor up the street who has the Cultured kitchen where she makes and sells "live" foods, has a dosa batter that's fermented. With hers, they keep for 2 weeks.


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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.