Category Fermented food recipes
Time soak: 6-8 hours
prep: 10 minutes
ferment: 12-48hours
cook: 5 minutes each dosa

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Indian Cuisine

A dosa is a thin, spicy, crispy crêpe-like food made from fermented rice, very popular in restaurants in South India. It may be served plain with sambar and chutneys such as coconut chutney (as pictured), or other curry or gravy. When served with potato folded inside, it is known as masala dosa. To make omelette dosa, simply pour beaten egg on the dosa before it is turned over.

The procedure for making dosa starts out almost identical to that for making idli. The idli recipe in this cookbook has some very good tips and variations that apply equally to dosai.

First VariationEdit


  • 3 cups white rice
  • 1 cup urad dal (black gram)
  • handful of cooked rice (if required)
  • pinch of sugar (if desired)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



  1. Put the rice and dal in a large pot and wash twice.
  2. Fill with water until submerged by 2 inches.
  3. Soak for 6 hours.
  4. Grind in a blender, water and all, for 30 minutes. If the weather is cold, grind in a handful of cooked rice and a pinch of sugar to help in fermentation.
  5. Let ferment overnight in a warm place. Make sure the pot is twice as large as the amount of batter, as it will rise a great deal.
  6. Add salt; at this point the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for more than a week until you wish to fry the dosas.


  1. Heat a tava (large flat pan) or griddle over a high flame.
  2. Sprinkle water on the pan to cool it a little.
  3. Pour ½–¾ cup batter in the middle of the pan, depending on preferred thickness and crispiness.
  4. Spread the batter with the back of a spoon, starting from the centre and spiralling outwards until the dosa is about 10 inches across and very thin.
  5. Sprinkle a little oil around the edges of the dosa.
  6. Cover until the dosa shows brown through the thinnest parts.
  7. Turn the dosa around on its back and allow it to cook for a few seconds.
  8. Fold in half and remove with a metal spatula.

Makes 10–15.

Second VariationEdit


Makes about 20

  • 2 cups (360 g) rice, preferably parboiled
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) split and husked (tastes better if you used skinned split urud dal and manually take the skin off after soaking in the water for three hours) urad dal ('dhuli urad')
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil for cooking dosa


  1. Soak rice (soak minimum 6-8 hours), dal, and fenugreek seeds separately overnight. Don't soak the dal longer than 3-4 hours
  2. Grind these ingredients together to a very smooth consistency.
  3. Add the salt and enough water to make into a dropping consistency, and leave to rise for 5-6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Check consistency of the batter, and if needed, add enough water to make into a smooth pouring consistency.
  5. Heat tava (dosa pan) very hot, splash a little water over it, and with a ladle, immediately pour some batter onto it, spreading it thin, with a circular motion, without pressing too hard. (You will need some practice to get it right).
  6. Lower the heat and dribble a little oil around the edges. When edges start browning a bit, it is almost done.
  7. Turn the dosa around on its back and allow it to cook for a few seconds.
  8. Add desired filling and fold over.

Masala Dosa (Mysore style)Edit

Ingredients for preparationEdit


  • Ponni or Sona Masuri rice: 1 Cup
  • Boiled Rice: 1 Cup
  • Urad dal (whole skinless black gram): ¾ Cup
  • Non iodized salt: To Taste


For AssemblyEdit

  • Mixture of Ghee and vegetable shortening: ½ cup

Preparation MethodEdit


On the day before, grind all the ingredients in a blender or specialized dosa grinder with water. The final consistency of the batter must be similar to pancake batter. Leave it overnight in a warm spot and allow it to ferment. This is a very important process and must not be skipped. During fermentation the batter may rise to almost twice its volume and therefore the container for the batter must allow for this.


Prepare the two chutneys as described in Onion Chutney and Coconut Chutney


In a wok or other deep vessel heat the oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. When spluttering starts to recede add chopped green chilies, curry leaves and channa dal. Stir until the channa dal turns brown. (Be careful as channa dal can go from browned to burnt within seconds). Add onions and fry until browned and add turmeric and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute for a few seconds. Add boiled and coarsely mashed potatoes into the preparation and mix well. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice and coriander leaves, mix well.

Making a DosaEdit

Dosa can easily be made on a tava, iron frying pan or non-stick pan. Heat the pan on a medium heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Spread about 1/2 cup of batter on the pan (like pancakes) slowing spreading it outwards forming a thin, circular dosa. Allow it to cook for a minute and using a flat spatula, flip it over for the other side to cook. As the other side cooks spread a layer of ghee-shortening mixture on the topside. Flip it over again. As the bottom crisps add a teaspoon of onion chutney on the top and spread it evenly. Add some of the filling onto one half of the dosa and fold the other side over. Serve with coconut chutney.


Preparation of a Dosa