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Go-to guide for dosa batter recipe: Techniques for successful fermentation.

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Living in a hot climate like Rajasthan to the coldest Scandic country, I have found ways to overcome challenges that come with making dosa batter as it depends on multiple factors. These tips and tricks have acted as a go-to guide for dosa batter recipe to stay sane along my cooking journey. I have gathered them here to make your process easy.

Unlike, pancake batters, dosa batter needs to be made with careful planning and considerations from choosing the ingredients, ratio, grinding, consistency, and finally fermentation. Once the batter is ready, it serves as an easy meal option, when you feel like you don’t want to make an extended meal.

hey, don’t be intimidated by the list here, but it’s quite easy to satisfy hunger when the batter is handy. Let’s walk you through the steps for making the dosa batter of less a chore.

Ingredients for Dosa batter

  1. rice (parboiled or regular)
  2. urad dal (black gram)
  3. fenugreek seeds
  4. Salt to taste

these are the common ingredients for dosa batter recipe. yet, it needs quite an extra attention to the quality, variety, and quantity of ingredients. but, it doesn’t necessarily mean high-cost ingredients.

You can also try my millet dosa to add to your fiber-rich diet.

Variety of Urad dal/ Black gram dal

Black gram which is often scientifically called Vigna mungo is a common South Indian staple. It is also known as Urd bean, Urad bean, Black lentil, Black matpe bean, and Mungo bean. In our house, we use a perfectly round, white, skin-removed whole urad dhal for making dosa batter.

However, it is perfectly normal to also use whole black gram dal with skin for making the batter. but, be ready to get your dosa’s that are slightly grey.

How to make dosa batter with whole Black gram dal

In case, if you have access to only this kind of legume. It is still possible to make your batter less grey or white. For this, You may want to soak them for a longer period than usual approximately eight hours followed by cleaning them under water and rubbing them with your hands to clear off the skin.

When I just started cooking on my own, I thought these legumes were different as they looked different. Now, throughout my eight-year-long cooking journey, I have used a combination of these legumes to make dosa batter.

It doesn’t stop there, then comes the quality of dal which sometimes may affect the batter you make. If you are a person who puts less effort into caring about the package date, then keep an eye. Because it is going to affect the fermentation process that is needed to make crispy dosas.

If you would like to know about the science behind fermentation in legume that’s past the use-by date and would love to see the actual experimentation itself, here is my recommendation for the article by Dr.Dough

Another ingredient is fenugreek, although it doesn’t add to fermentation as per Dr Dough’s experimentation. I believe fenugreek adds a soft texture to your dosas. As my mom says, it’s not just ingredients that make a recipe but the properties of it, our ancestors imagined as a perfect combination.

Perfect ratio for the Dosa batter recipe

When it comes to the ratio for dosa batter recipe, it always depends on the machine for grinding the dosa batter. A common way to grind the batter is by using a grinder. It’s commonly used throughout south India, as the quantity that can be made in these machines is quite high, fulfilling the requirements for whole family meals per week.

Nowadays, it has become so handy to make dosa batter in a blender because of its easiness of carrying around. However, it is quite tricky with the ratio of rice and legume, which is not always the same as that of the ratio used while making it in the grinder.

Additionally, this ratio is also dependent on the variety or type of ingredients that you add to make the batter.

Here are some suggestions for rice varieties that go well as a combination along with fenugreek

  1. Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split)) + Sona masuri
  2. Urad daal + Idli rice
  3. raw rice+ idli rice: Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split))
  4. Any parboiled rice + idli rice: Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split))

The 1:4 ratio, that has worked for me in a grinder,

  • Urad dal: idli rice 1:4
  • Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split)): raw rice+ idli rice (1:1.5+1.5)

In a blender, I use a ratio of 1:3 or 1:2, I have tried this with the combinations below,

  • Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split)): Sona masuri
  • Urad Dal (Both black, white (whole and split)): Any parboiled rice + idli rice (1:1+2)


The next step is grinding. While grinding we can add the water that is used for soaking the ingredients. I believe this also boosts the process of fermentation.

In a grinder, you can add the urad dal together with fenugreek and grind it till it becomes smooth. Another tip is to add water gradually while grinding instead of throwing it all at once in a grinder. this will help in maintaining consistency.

A general advice is to look for the bubble rings, as you see while swimming. You can stop grinding the legume at this point, once you notice it.

Then you can add the rice in 2 portions or as a whole depending upon the capacity of your grinder. similarly, add the water little by little, after adding rice. Another tip here is to look out for the sounds your grinder makes. Whenever your grinder is short of water it makes a weird sound making it different from the normal smooth running sound. That is the indication, for you to add water.

In the blender, you need to have extra consideration with heating the jar. this can be overcome by,

  • adding ice cubes while grinding. this step is crucial for blending the urad legume. However, avoid too much water. the general rule is not to make the dal hot while grinding. I also apply this rule for rice by adding ice cubes.
  • You can also pause in between blending to avoid heating up the jar.
  • Another way is to chill the soaked ingredients before blending.


Fermentation is a crucial step for crispy dosas.

Allow your batter to ferment for longer hours between 8 to 10 hours. It depends on the surrounding temperature where you keep your batter.

In cold climate conditions, it may take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for your batter to fully ferment and get that slightly tangy flavor and airy texture.

Sometimes, with more pampering, you can also reduce the fermentation time. This is a must if you are living in the coldest part of the world. some tips to boost fermentation are here,

  • Longer soaking hours, between 8 to 10 hours.
  • Look for a warm spot in your house, and move your batter to the spot.
  • wrap it up with warm or woollen clothes to boost fermentation but make sure your vessel is large enough to handle the rising to save your clothes from disaster, later.
  • use a heating pad wrapped around the container to create a warm environment.
  • Keep the dosa batter container in a preheated oven of 50 degrees Celcius. This is my favorite method of all time, for fermenting my batter in cold climates. It gradually reduces the fermentation time to a maximum of 8 hours.
  • Even if all of these things fail, baking soda is your best friend! but most of the time, these tricks work like magic and don’t require baking soda.

Adding to that, I have used all the above tips for fermentation, when I happen to live in different parts of the world.

after fermentation of dosa batter
fermented dosa batter

Storing :

You can save the batter in an airtight container. They stay good for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, provided you maintain a suitable temperature avoiding further fermentation.

Preparing the dosa batter for making perfect dosas

  • whip the batter gently to incorporate air bubbles. You can prepare dosas straight after fermentation
  • If you are about to make dosas the refrigerated batter, plan and keep the batter outside the refrigerator for more than 15-30 minutes before you start preparing dosas.

How to make Dosa Batter

Course Breakfast, dinner, Main Course
Cuisine asian, Indian, south indian
Keyword breakfast recipe, crepes, easy breakfast, quick breakfast
Prep Time 20 minutes
soaking time 4 hours
Servings 32 dosas (approximately)


  • blender


  • 1 cup Urad Dal (Black gram legume) whole, skin removed (white)
  • 2 cup Parboiled rice prefereably sonamasuri
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • salt as per taste


  • Wash the urad dal by rubbing it with hands.
  • Wash the dal and fenugreek seeds thoroughly and soak them together covering them with water half inch above the ingredients
  • Wash the rice nicely and soak it separately in water
  • Let them soak between 2-8 hours depending on the temperature conditions you are located.
  • Grind the urad dal along with fenugreek seeds in a blender adding little water that you used for soaking.
  • Pulse it for few seconds at each stage while adding water and wait in between to lookout for the air bubbles.
  • if the water is not sufficient and your ingredientsare not grinding properly you can add water gradually. You can also add an ice cube at this step.
  • You can stop the grinding process once you notice air bubbles through your lid of the blender.
  • Now, seperate the rice into two or three portions to blend it into a smooth paste.
  • Consider the pause timings and ice cube addtion to avoid heating up the jar.
  • Once you have done with the grinding, transfer themin a large container leaving enough space above the batter for fermentation.
  • Keep them in a warmest place of your house or move them into a preheated oven of 50°C if you are living incoldest climatic conditions.
  • Additionally, you can also follow up other fermentation boosting process mentioned in the blog based on your climatic conditions.

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