|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Dosas are crispy, savory pancakes that are a staple food in South India. Dosas are hugely popular in the rest of the country as well, and Udipi restaurants serve them along with other South Indian foods in almost every suburb.
Dosas are made from soaked and drained rice, fenugreek seeds, and urad daal, also known as black lentils. Blended in a food processor and combined with water, the mixture makes a thin batter that ferments until flavorful. The fermentation adds a lightly sour flavor to dosas similar to sourdough. The batter is spread out on a hot pan and cooked similar to a crepe until crisp and delicious.
Dosas are typically eaten with your hands and can be dipped in curries and chutneys—or stuffed with a filling of mashed potato and peas with spices.
"I made the dosa with idli rice, urad daal, fenugreek seeds, and ghee. If you don't have an Indian food market nearby, they can all be found online. Fenugreek seeds supposedly add viscosity and aid fermentation, but the dosa may be made without them. The drizzled ghee makes the edges crispy. They were excellent!" —Diana Rattray
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Wash the rice and urad daal well and drain. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and add enough water to the bowl to cover the mixture by about 2 inches. Soak overnight.
The next morning, drain all the water from the rice mixture. Add to a high-speed blender and process—adding 1 3/4 cups ice-cold water—until a smooth yet slightly grainy paste has formed.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and gradually add another cup of water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thinly coats a spoon dipped in it.
Add salt (or salt to taste) and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 12 to 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.
Put some ghee or oil in a small bowl and keep ready. You will also need a small bowl of ice-cold water, a large, flat nonstick pan, paper towels, a ladle, a spatula, and a basting brush.
Fold 1 sheet of paper towel into a thick rectangle and dip lightly into the bowl of ghee or oil. Squeeze out any excess and then rub the paper towel all over the surface of the pan to lightly grease. The ghee or oil should barely be visible in the pan. Turn on the heat to medium-high.
Add a scant ladleful of batter to the center of the pan, much like you would for a pancake.
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.
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 around its edges. Hold the pan by its handle, lift it up, and swirl it so that the drizzled ghee spreads all over the dosa.
Cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny).
Then, flip the dosa. By this time, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in color. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.
The dosa is almost done. Fold it in thirds like a parcel and allow to cook for 30 seconds more.
Before you start making the next dosa, fold another sheet of paper towel into a wad and dip it in ice-cold water. Squeeze 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.
Repeat until you've used all of the batter.
- Any leftover batter can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to three days.
- We like to make and serve dosas immediately while we cook so they are crisp and fresh when eaten. If that's not possible, you can also make, stack, and serve the dosas later. Just ensure you keep them warm until serving time by placing them in a closed dish. They will lose much of their crispness but will still taste delicious.
- If your room temperature is cool, fermentation will take longer. If the batter has made little or no progress after 12 hours at room temperature—it will be frothy and should have nearly doubled in volume—place the covered bowl in the oven with the light on (or proofing cycle) for another 4 to 6 hours.
- The batter may be fermented in the Instant Pot on the yogurt cycle for about 12 to 14 hours.
- While a wet grinder needs only a small amount of cold water to grind the rice and daal, a high-speed blender or food processor needs more, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
- A high-speed blender will produce a smoother batter than a food processor.
- Make sure the water is very cold to prevent overheating the rice mixture and the appliance. If the blender becomes hot, turn it off and let it cool for 30 to 45 minutes.
- If the dosa batter has been refrigerated, let it stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
- Use a bowl large enough to allow the batter to double in volume. If there is a danger of the batter overflowing, place the bowl on a rimmed baking sheet.
Are Dosas Healthy?
Dosas are low in calories and fat, and the fermented dough may benefit your health. However, the potential benefits can be overshadowed by serving dosas with less-than-healthy dishes, so keep fillings and accompaniments in mind.
What Kind of Rice Is Best for Dosas?
Short-grain parboiled rice, such as idli, is most often recommended for dosas, but any short- or medium-grain rice will work.
How Much Batter Is Used for Each Dosa?
Use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of fermented batter for each 8- to 10-inch dosa.