Dosa is a popular South Indian pancake that is created with a batter of fermented rice and lentils. You may have it with ghee, chutney, sambar, potato masala, or any number of other condiments, making it a versatile breakfast option. Here, I’ll share my secrets for cooking the ideal crispy dosa at home.
To make the dosa batter, you will need the following ingredients:
- Rice: Raw rice, basmati rice, idli rice, or dosa rice may all be used. If I want perfect results, I mix idli rice with sona masoori rice. This dish calls for 3 cups of cooked rice.
- Urad dal: The dosa’s signature crunch comes from a legume called black gramme, which has been peeled and split. It doesn’t matter whether the urad dal is whole or divided, but it should not be stale. The amount of urad dal required for this dish is 1/2 cup.
- Chana dal: The split bengal gramme bean is responsible for the dosa’s signature taste and brilliant colour. Two tablespoons of chana dal are needed for this recipe.
- Toor dal: The dosa gets its distinctive brown hue and nutty flavour from split pigeon pea lentil. For this dish, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of toor dal.
- Fenugreek seeds: They’re not required, but they help the dosa ferment and turn out golden and crispy if you do decide to use them. The fenugreek seeds called for in this recipe amount to half a teaspoon.
- Poha: This is the flattened rice that makes the dosa soft and fluffy. You will need 1/4 cup of poha for this recipe.
- Salt: You will need 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt or rock salt for this recipe.
- Oil or ghee: You will need some oil or ghee to cook the dosa on a griddle or tawa. You can use any neutral oil like sunflower oil or coconut oil, or you can use ghee for a richer flavor.
To make the perfect crispy dosa, follow these steps:
- Wash and soak the rice, urad dal, chana dal, toor dal and fenugreek seeds separately in enough water in deep bowls for 3 to 4 hours. Drain well.
- Soak the poha in water for 20 minutes before grinding.
- Combine the rice, urad dal, chana dal, toor dal, fenugreek seeds and poha in a blender or a wet grinder and grind to a smooth paste using about 1 1/2 cups of water. You may need to add more water depending on your blender or grinder. The batter should be thick but pourable.
- Transfer the batter to a large bowl and add salt. Mix well with your hands or a spatula.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or a cloth and place it in a warm place to ferment overnight or for 8 to 10 hours. The batter should rise and become bubbly.
- Once the batter is fermented, give it a gentle stir and adjust the consistency by adding some water if needed. The batter should be slightly thinner than pancake batter.
- Heat a griddle or a tawa over medium-high heat and grease it lightly with some oil or ghee using a paper towel or an onion half.
- Pour a ladleful of batter on the center of the griddle and spread it quickly in a circular motion using the back of the ladle or a small bowl. The dosa should be thin and even.
- Drizzle some oil or ghee around the edges and on top of the dosa and cook until golden and crisp on both sides. You can flip the dosa using a spatula or by tossing it gently with your hands.
- Fold the dosa into half or into a cone shape and serve hot with your choice of accompaniments.
- To make crispy paper dosa, spread the batter as thin as possible and cook until very crisp on both sides. You can also tear small holes on the dosa while spreading it to make it more crispy.
- To make masala dosa, spread some potato masala on one half of the cooked dosa and fold it over. You can also sprinkle some red chutney on top of the potato masala for extra flavor.
- To make cheese dosa, sprinkle some grated cheese on one half of the cooked dosa and fold it over. You can also add some chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies and coriander leaves for extra flavor.
- To make the dosa more nutritious, you can add some grated carrots, beetroot, spinach or any other vegetables to the batter and mix well before making the dosa.
- To make the dosa more flavorful, you can add some cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, ginger or garlic to the batter and mix well before making the dosa.
- To store the dosa batter, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. Thaw the frozen batter in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature before making the dosa.