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Indian Dosa Recipe: Easy Steps to Make Perfect Dosas

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homemade Indian Dosa

If you love Indian cuisine, learning how to make dosa is a must. This crispy South Indian pancake is made from a slightly tangy fermented batter of rice and lentils.

Making dosa at home is simpler than you might think. With a few basic ingredients like rice, urad dal (skinned black lentils), and methi seeds (fenugreek), you can prepare your own batter. Soaking, grinding, and fermenting these ingredients will give you the perfect base for frying up delicious, crispy dosas.

You’ll love the versatility of dosa, whether you enjoy it plain or stuffed with a spiced potato filling. Its unique flavor and texture will make any meal special.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make Indian dosa, you’ll need a few key ingredients. Each plays an essential role in creating the perfect dosa batter. Here’s what you need and some possible substitutes you can use.

Main Ingredients

  • Rice: Use raw rice or parboiled rice. You need about 1.5 cups.
  • Urad Dal: This is split black gram. You’ll need 1/2 cup.
  • Chana Dal: Optional but adds a nice touch. Use 2 tablespoons.
  • Methi Seeds: Also known as fenugreek seeds. Use 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Poha: Flattened rice. Adds to the crispiness. Use 2 tablespoons.


Add water as needed to achieve a smooth batter consistency. Usually, 1 to 1.5 cups of cold water should be enough.


  • Rock Salt or Sendha Namak is preferred but regular table salt works fine too.

Possible Substitutes

  • Rice: Substitute half the rice with brown rice for a healthier option.
  • Urad Dal: If unavailable, you can use moong dal as a substitute.
  • Poha: If you don’t have poha, you can skip it. The dosa may be less crispy but still tasty.

Extra Tip

Use a blender to combine all ingredients to a smooth batter. Let it ferment in a warm place for at least 8 hours to overnight. This process is crucial for the airy texture.

That’s it! You now have a list of basic ingredients and their possible substitutes for making delicious Indian dosa at home.


  1. Prepare Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cups raw rice
    • ½ cup urad dal (skinned black whole lentils)
    • 2 tablespoons chana dal (Bengal gram)
    • ½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek)
  2. Rinse and Soak:

    • Rinse the rice and dals separately a few times.
    • Soak each in water for about 4 hours.
    • Rinse 2 tablespoons of poha (flattened rice) and add it to the soaked rice and dals mix.
  3. Blend:

    • Blend the soaked ingredients with some water until smooth.
    • Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
  4. Ferment:

    • Mix in 1 teaspoon of rock salt.
    • Cover the bowl and let it ferment overnight or for 8-9 hours at room temperature.
    • The batter will rise, so ensure it has enough space.
  5. Cook:

    • Heat a non-stick pan or a griddle on medium heat.
    • Lightly grease with oil.
    • Pour a ladleful of batter onto the pan and spread it in a circular motion.
    • Drizzle a little oil around the edges and cook until golden brown and crisp.

Enjoy your homemade dosa!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use these tips to make your dosa experience even better.

1. Fermentation: Let the batter ferment in a warm place for 8-12 hours. The batter should rise and turn slightly bubbly.

2. Consistency: The batter should be smooth and slightly runny. Add water gradually to reach the right consistency.

3. Non-stick Griddle: Use a non-stick griddle or tawa. It makes flipping the dosa easier without sticking.

4. Temperature: Heat the griddle on medium-high heat before pouring the batter. You can check the heat by sprinkling some water; if it sizzles, it’s ready.

5. Spreading the Batter: Pour a ladle of batter on the griddle and immediately start spreading it in circular motions to get a thin layer.

6. Crispiness: To make your dosa crispy, drizzle a little oil around the edges and in the center. Cook it until the edges start lifting off the griddle.

7. Storing Leftover Batter: Store leftover batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It stays good for up to 4 days.

8. Storing Cooked Dosas: If you’ve made extra dosas, let them cool completely and then stack them. Wrap them in aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for a day or two.

9. Reheating: To reheat, place the dosa on a hot griddle for a few minutes until warm and crisp.

10. Troubleshooting: If the dosa sticks to the pan, it’s either too hot or not hot enough. Adjust the heat accordingly and try again.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Dosas come in many variations, making them a versatile dish. Here are a few popular types:

  • Plain Dosa: Simple and crispy, perfect for any meal.
  • Masala Dosa: Filled with spicy potato masala, great for a hearty breakfast.
  • Rava Dosa: Made with semolina, this dosa is crisp and quick to prepare.
  • Mysore Masala Dosa: Features a spicy chutney spread inside.

You can also try these ideas:

  • Cheese Dosa: Add grated cheese before folding for a gooey delight.
  • Paneer Dosa: Fill with spiced paneer for extra protein.
  • Set Dosa: Thicker and softer, usually served in stacks of three.

Other variations include Spinach Dosa, Ragi Dosa, and Oats Dosa, offering different flavors and added nutrition.

Serving Suggestions

Dosas are best enjoyed hot with various accompaniments:

  • Chutneys: Coconut chutney, tomato chutney, and mint chutney are popular.
  • Sambar: A spicy lentil soup that pairs perfectly with dosas.
  • Potato Masala: A traditional filling for Masala Dosa, it can also be served on the side.

For a complete meal, pair your dosa with a steaming cup of filter coffee or a refreshing glass of buttermilk. Enjoy experimenting with these different recipes and serving styles to find your favorite combination!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.