Easy to Make Dosa (South Indian Pancakes)

Dosa - South Indian Pancakes

The Spruce

  • Total: 12 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 12 hrs
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 20 Dosas (4 to 6 servings)

Dosa (crispy, savory pancakes) from South India is a staple food in its home region. In the rest of the country too, dosas are hugely popular and Udipi restaurants serving them and other South Indian foods can be found in almost every suburb! Learn how to make them with my easy recipe.


  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 cup urad daal (split, skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ghee or vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dosas ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. 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-inch deep. Soak overnight.

    Soaking rice for dosas
     The Spruce
  3. 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.

    Rice in a food processor
     The Spruce
  4. 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 thinly coats a spoon dipped in it.

    Rice-daal mixture in a bowl
     The Spruce
  5. Now add salt to taste and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 12-24 hours. After this fermentation, stir the batter well — it will have thickened to coat a spoon thickly. It is now ready to make dosas.

    Dosa batter in a bowl
     The Spruce
  6. Put some ghee or 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.

  7. 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 ghee or oil is such that it is barely visible in the pan. Now turn on the heat/ flame at medium high.

  8. Fill the ladle up to 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.

    Dosa batter in a pan
     The Spruce
  9. Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to form a pancake of roughly 8-inch diameter. Do not be alarmed if the dosa develops tiny holes as you spread the batter. This is normal.

    Swirling dosa batter in a pan
     The Spruce
  10. As soon as you have finished spreading the batter out on the pan, dip the basting brush in ghee and drizzle 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 ghee spread all over the dosa.​

  11. 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. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.

  12. The dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more.

    Folded dosa
     The Spruce
  13. 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. Any leftover batter can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to three days.

    Homemade dosas
     The Spruce
  14. Serve the ready dosa with side dishes like South Indian coconut chutney, South Indian gunpowder chutney, and sambar.


  • We like to make and serve dosas immediately while we 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 until serving time by placing them - just like with pancakes - in a closed dish.