Dosa Recipe

Dosa Recipe

Dosa (crispy savoury pancakes) from South India is a staple food in its home region. This recipe will make approximately 20 Dosas.

Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes


  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 cup skinless split urad daal (skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil


  • Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2″ deep. Soak overnight.
  • The next morning, drain all the water from the rice and urad daal. Now put some in a food processor and grind – adding very little water if necessary – to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste.
  • When all the rice-daal mix is ground like this, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon dipped in it.
  • Now add salt to taste and keep the Dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6-8 hours. After this fermentation, stir the batter well. It is now ready to make Dosas.
  • Put some cooking oil in a small bowl and keep ready. You will also need a bowl of ice cold water, a large, flat nonstick pan, 2 sheets of paper towel, a ladle, a spatula and a basting brush.
  • Fold one sheet of paper towel into a wad and dip lightly into the bowl of cooking oil. Squeeze out any excess and then rub the paper towel all over the surface of the pan to grease. The correct amount of oil is such that it is barely visible on the pan. Now turn on the heat/ flame at medium high.
  • Fill the ladle upto the 3/4 level with Dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the center of the pan – just as you would for a pancake – till the ladle is empty.
  • Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to form a pancake of roughly 8″ diameter. Do not be alarmed if the Dosa develops tiny holes as you spread the batter. This is normal.
  • As soon as you have finished spreading the batter out on the pan, dip the basting brush in cooking oil and drizzle the oil all over the surface of the dosa and also around its edges. Now hold the pan by its handle, lift up and swirl it so as to make the drizzled oil spread all over the Dosa.
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the Dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in color. Allow to cook for 1 minute after flipping.
  • The Dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Serve the ready Dosa with side dishes like South Indian Coconut Chutney, South Indian Gunpowder Chutney and Sambar. I like to make and serve Dosas immediately while I cook as this means they are crisp and fresh when eaten. This, however, is not absolutely necessary. You can also make, stack and serve the Dosas later. Just ensure you keep them warm till serving time by placing them – just like with pancakes – in a closed dish.
  • Before you start making the next Dosa, fold another sheet of paper towel into a wad and dip it in ice cold water. Squeeze the wad to remove excess water and then rub it all over the surface of the pan to cool it slightly. This ensures your next Dosa will spread evenly and not break because the pan is too hot. Now proceed as you did for the last Dosa.