Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dosai/Dosa Batter recipe | How to make dosai

Anybody out there who doesn't like dosai? Please knock here - I am yet to meet somebody who doesn't like it! ;). Its a favorite among many and is quite popular among the non-Indian crowd as well. :). In my home, this is a staple like idlis and I always grind dosai batter separately. A lot of folks use idli batter to make dosai as well, but I feel when you do that you end up with soft dosai that are not so crispy. Also dosai batter making is quite easy and most of us can do it well unlike the idli batter. Go ahead and give it a try :) . Lets get started!

Dosai | Dosai Batter


Ingredients

Idli Rice - 2 cups
Raw Rice - 2 cups
Urad dal - 3/4 cup
Salt - 8 tsp
Water - as per need

** I get really good quality urad dal here and hence 3/4 cup is enough for me. Normally I would recommend you to start with 1 cup urad dal. **

How do you do it

The ratio of rice and dal mentioned here is not a standard. You can tweak it according to your need. The concept here is that - urad dal gives softness and color to the  dosai and raw rice make the dosai crispy. So start with the above proportions of idli rice, raw rice and dal, if you find your dosa too crispy,increase the dal quantity or decrease the raw rice quantity. If you want the dosai to be more crispy, increase raw rice quantity or decrease the urad dal quantity. So play around with the proportions to suit your need. For me the above ratio works well.

Wash idli rice ,raw rice and urad dal and soak all of them together in water for about 4-5 hours.Water level needs to be well above the rice and dal. Do not wash the urad dal thoroughly, just wash it once. Washing it quite well would remove the yeast content and hence deter the fermentation process.

Add all the soaked rice and dal along with the water used to soak them in into your wet grinder/mixie  and grind them for 30-40 minutes to get a smooth textured batter. Add water in between to make sure your grinder moves smoothly. You need to use a ladle and scrape the sides of the grinder vessel, and along the hinges of the grinder stone where the dal/rice might get stuck. Do this 2-3 times. I used 2-3 cups of water while grinding for the above proportions. The final consistency of the batter has to be a little thinner than dosai batter as the batter will thicken after fermentation. You can see the consistency of the batter in the picture as well. Just before you finish grinding, add salt into the vessel and let the grinder spin for a minute or two. Transfer this into a vessel now. We are done, that simple :). No mixing with hand etc are needed for this like idli batter. The next step is to ferment this batter.

Note: Water quantity to be used while grinding, mentioned above is approximate. It depends on various things such quality of rice, dal and the amount of water you use to soak the rice, dal etc. So use your judgement to vary the amount to get the right texture.

Fermentation Process

The best part about dosai batter is that even if it doesn't ferment well, your dosai will be okay/good unlike idli batter where if its not fermented well, idlis will turn out hard.

Now we need to ferment this batter for about 8-10 hours. I have a really huge vessel and I ferment the entire mix at one go. You need to have a vessel where the batter occupies only 60% of the space, as after fermentation the batter will rise above ~ 25-30%. So use two vessels if needed. What my Amma does is that, she keeps half the batter inside the fridge immediately and ferments the rest. You could do that too and later ferment the other half when needed.

For fermentation, the optimum temperature is 30-32 deg C. If the temperature is below 30 deg C, it may take more than 10 hours to ferment, and if the temperature is > 32 deg C, and the batter stays out for > 8 hours, it will become sour. For me,it takes about 12 hours to ferment, after which i move the containers to the refrigerator. If you are staying a cold place, the following should work.

1. Preheat oven for a few minutes and place the vessel inside the oven, close the oven door.
2. Turn on the oven light, keep the batter vessel inside and leave it closed.
3. If you don't have an oven, take warm water in a huge vessel and place the batter vessel inside the vessel containing warm water and leave it.

So once the batter has risen, move it to the fridge. This should stay good for about 10 days , its lasted me that much.

Note: I have used a steel vessel and as well as a tupperware box for the batter to ferment in, and both has worked well. But in any case, do not close the vessel with air-tight lid.

How to make Dosai


When you take the dosai batter out of the fridge to make dosai, check for salt and batter consistency. If the batter is thick, add water and  bring it to dosai batter consistency and add more salt if required.

Heat a dosai pan. Once the pan is moderately hot, take a ladle full of dosai batter, and spread it in the form of concentric circles like in the picture. Wait for a few seconds and then drizzle a few drops of oil on top of the dosai. Cover the pan with a lid if you don't intend to flip the dosai and cook the other side too and that's what I do. Once the bottom browns and becomes crispy, remove it.

Serve hot with tomato chutney or chettinadu sambar! :)

Notes: 

If you have only idli batter and want to make dosai , you can mix rice-flour with water and add to idli batter, this will also give a crispy texture. I have tried both these methods but grinding dosai batter separately obviously works much better.

You can use this batter to make kuzhi-paniyaram and Appam too.

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5 Yummmm:

Dhivya Sridar July 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM  

This is very useful for starters like me :):)

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj July 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM  

hi first time here... u r having such a nice space... happy to follow u... In your free time please visit my space too... n dosa looks so crispy all the time i can have dosa...
VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

Spice up the Curry July 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM  

thanks for posting this. It will be very helpful to me

Payal Singhal August 1, 2012 at 4:48 PM  

Absolutely gorgeous! Dosas are my favourite

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