Shital's-Kitchen: Easy Idli and Dosa batter

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Easy Idli and Dosa batter

Idlis and Dosas are our all time favorite and my family can have them as breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack....basically anytime of the day :) These are popular South Indian dishes made with rice and lentils ground and fermented. 

While we (Shu and I) were in Utah, Idli and Dosa batter was not available and for almost 2 years we had the frozen idlis and dosas. We would either microwave or steam them again. But, that was not fun :( We tried preparing the batter at home scratch by soaking par boiled rice and urad dal (lentil).  Grinding urad dal in my food processor was a easy task. But, grinding rice to form a smooth paste was almost impossible!

One day, on a Sunday morning, Shu woke up determined to make this batter at home. We quickly ran and got some rice flour to try with!
We soaked urad dal in water overnight and instead of using rice we used store bought rice flour (just plain rice flour)  So with 1 cup of urad dal we soaked 3 cups of rice flour in separate bowls. Soaking urad dal is easy. But how do you soak a flour? :) We added enough water into rice flour and whisked it well till we got a paste like  consistency. We let both, ural dal and rice flour soak overnight.

Next day, we ground urad dal in a food processor (it works in a blender too). We mixed ground urad dal with soaked rice flour. Mixing is very important here. (Use your palm or a whisk to mix two pastes together.) We covered the bowl and let it ferment for 10-12 hours.

Eureka! We found an easy way to make homemade batter. We use the same one for idli and dosas.
Also idli batter does not even require soda bi carb or Eno to rise.

This batter can be used for preparing Idlis, Dosas,(add a little water for dosa batter)  Uttapam, Appe/Appam.

Idli Recipe with Pictures

Dosa Recipe with Pictures

Masala Mini idlis!

Dosa batter and Dosa prepared by Shu while I was gone to India!

My sister and me at a typical Dosa stall in Mumbai!

With my Bhabhi and Nephew at a Dosa stall in Mumbai! Ragu Dosa :)

Shu and I at Murrugan idli place in Chennai.


  1. just discovered your blog.I am sure to try the recipes .

  2. was searching easy idli receipe n saw ur blog,I am going to try the idlis.
    Here in US,since 15 months,I prepare dosa -1 cup urad flour,3 cups -rice flour and about 4 cups of water,whisk well,n allow to ferment overnight.and adding salt in the morning,before preparing dosa.. its the easiest way I found myself.-NO grinding needed at all.

    1. Thanks Sumukh,

      Yes that should work for well for dosa. Here is the link of my idli recipe:
      Some people add idli rava to it to give it some texture but, we like it without idli rava.

      Yes in my recipe grinding urad dal is needed. It incorporates air and makes idlis soft and fluffy.

      Happy Cooking!

  3. How much idly rava shall I add if I want to add texture to idly?

  4. Hi guys...glad to let yall know that I tried this delightful new spin on idlis and it came out awesome. Im so happy abt the distinct taste of Chennai idlis. Thank you ever so much.