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DOSA

Beginners Dosa

3 cups Basmasti rice
1 cup Urad dal (polished)
2 tsp Salt

Following is a detailed description of the dosa-making process:

(1) Grinding: Soak the rice and the dal separately, for about 5 hours (soaking longer won't hurt).

(2) Grind the rice with sufficient water until it is a smooth paste. (You can use a blender and run it in several batches.) The amount of water used to grind is somewhat crucial, using too much will make the result too watery, while using too little will make it hard to grind and too thick. Put in the rice and add water until it just reaches the brim of the rice, this will seem like too much, but it will work out fine once the rice is ground.

(3) Run the blender on MIX until the rice is broken and then run it on LIQUIDIZE until the rice starts to become a paste. If required, add just a little more water, perhaps a few tablespoons. Touch the paste between your fingers to feel the texture, which should be smooth.

(4) Now grind the dal in two batches. The amount of water here is not as tricky. Traditionally this would be ground in a stone grinder by hand. The dal needs to be ground while slowly adding more water from the top of the blender. When ground, the dal has the tendency to fluff up, this tendency must be encouraged by adding only a little water at a time while stirring and continuing to grind. The dal should double in quantity after grinding, while the quantity of rice remains unchanged.

(5) Now mix both the pastes with the salt in a dish that is at least a third bigger in size, allowing space for the dough to rise. (Quite commonly, the dough runs over, so put it in a larger dish).

(6) Leave for about 8 hours in a dark warm place. You can leave it in the oven at very low heat, like 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

(7) Cooking: The next morning, the dough is ready to be transformed into dosas. Use a heavy cast-iron griddle (a flat non-stick pan will do, but sadly lacks the taste that comes from the iron pan).

(8) Heat the pan until a few drops of water dropped on the pan sizzles away

(9) Take a deep ladle full of dough and drop the dough in the middle of the pan, then with a deftness that comes with practice, quickly swirl the dough away from the middle until it is spread evenly in a circle around the pan. You must do this quickly because once the dough cooks, you cannot spread it and the result will be lumpy.

(10) Take a teaspoon full of oil and spread it around the edge of the dosai. Wait a minute or so, until you see the edges browning and insert a flat ladle that has sharp edges under and all around the dosai, until it is released completely (Be warned that, using a well-scrubbed pan won't let you release the dosai easily. To prevent this, you might want to rub a little oil onto the surface of the pan before spreading the dough.)

(11) After releasing the dosai, flip it around on the other side and put another teaspoon of oil around the edges. Wait a minute or two until it is cooked and remove from the pan. Before making the next one, use a small piece of paper kitchen towel and rub any excess oil off the pan.

(12) (This whole procedure sounds tedious, but its not too hard after you've done it a few times.

Didir Dosa

3 measures of rice flour
1 measure of urad flour
Salt to taste


Mix well so no lumps are formed. Salt to taste. Leave covered in a large pot overnight. Make thin crepes, preferably in non-stick pan.

Didir Rava Dosa

one cup semolina/rava
one cup maida (regular flour)
1/2 cup rice flour
4-5 green chillies finely chopped
3/4 inch ginger chopped fine
1 1/2 tspn jeera slightly crushed (enough to bring out its flavor)
salt to taste
good pinch asafoetida
a bunch cashews, crushed
oil to make dosas


Mix rava, maida, rice flour together into a thick batter adding little water at a time so no lumps are formed. Add salt, crushed cumin, asafoetida and leave in a warm spot for six to seven hours at least, preferably overnight. When ready to eat, spray a non-stick pan lightly with ghee and warm. Thin out the batter to a consistency where it can be drizzled onto the pan with a spoon. Drop chopped green chillies and ginger into batter. Sprinkle some of the cashews onto the pan and now continuing on low-medium heat, drizzle the batter so you get a latice work effect. A lot of holes is just the thing. Dribble a bit of oil around it and when the edges start turning brown coax it off the pan with a flat, wide spatula and flip it over. Remove in a few minutes and make more.

Paper Dosa

1/2 cup parboiled rice
1/2 cup raw rice
1/4 cup split black gram (urad dal)
A pinch baking soda
Salt according to taste
Oil for cooking


Wash and soak the parboiled rice, raw rice and urad (moong dal, washed) dal together for 4 hours. Drain and grind to a smooth paste, adding enough water to make a batter of dropping consistency. Cover and keep aside to ferment for 10 to 12 hours in a warm part of the house. Then add the baking soda and salt and mix well. Grease and heat a small non-stick pan on medium flame and pour a cup full of the batter on it. Spread the batter to get a thin brown dosa. Cook to a light crisp, flip, and fold in half lengthwise when done.

Pesarattu Dosa

1 cup mung dal
1/3 cup rice
4 green chillies
1 tspn cumin
1 inch piece ginger
salt to taste
oil for making dosas
chopped coriander


Soak moong dal overnight. The next morning, grind it to a paste and add rice flour and the rest of the ingredients. Mix but don't beat. Heat a frying pan (non-stick preferable). Similar to making a pancake (but thinner), spread the paste evenly over the pan. Pesarattu is delicious if stuffed with Upma.

Ragi Dosa

1 portion urad dal washed
1 portion rice
3 portion ragi flour
chopped chillies
ghee for frying
salt to taste


Soak the urad dal and rice for four hours. Grind to a smooth paste. Add ragi flour and salt and blend into smooth batter and leave overnight to ferment. The next day heat a tawa or a frying pan and grease it well. Pour a ladleful of the batter into it and spread out so the edge is quite thin. The center may be left soft, and sprinkled with chopped chillies. Pour a spoon of the oil all around and cook on a medium flame till the edge crisp. Remove the dosa carefully and serve hot with coconut chutney, sambhar or vegetable korma.

Rava Dosa

1 cup Rava
Urad Dal
1 table spoon Sour Curds
1 teaspoon Asofoetida
2-3 Green Chillies
Ghee for frying
Salt to taste


Soak Urad dal overnight and grind to paste. Mix rava, asofoetida, salt, curd & urad dal paste and little water to make a thin batter. Leave for 6 hours or overnight. Mix chillies in to the thin batter. Heat the tava with little ghee. Spread the butter on the tava to make a dosa pattern. Cook on both the sides, if desired.

Rava - Maida Dosai

Rice flour - 2 cups
All purpose flour (maida) - 1 cup
Cream of wheat (rava) - 1 cup
Yogurt - 1 cup
Asofoetida - 1 tsp.
Salt - 2 tsp.
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp.
Ginger - 1 tsp. (chopped)
Green Chillies - 4 (cut in small bits)
Water - 6 - 7 cups
Curry leaves - 6 leaves (cut in pieces)


Mix rice flour, maida, rava, yogurt, asafoetida, salt with water in a large vessel. The batter should be as thick as buttermilk. Add cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves & ginger. Mix well. Pour 1 cup of batter in the pan, spreading while pouring. This batter has to be poured all over the pan since it is a thin batter (can't spread it like regular dosai batter). Cook both sides of the dosai on medium heat.

Rawa Dosa

1 cup of sooji (ravva)
1/4 cup rice floor
1 cup sour buttermilk
pinch of salt
Ginger, one inch
2 green chillies, diced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
ghee for frying


Mix the buttermilk with the sooji and rice floor, and a pinch of salt. Soak it for a few hours(4-6). Add finely minced ginger, diced green chillies, cumin seeds and red chili powder. Mix thoroughly. Dilute the batter with water to desired consistency. Heat a frying with a little ghee and pour as thin a dosa as possible. The batter can be really diluted to get very thin dosas, since the soaked rice flour binds so well.

Spring Dosa

Long Grain rice, 4 cups
Converted rice, 2 cups
Urad dal whole, 1 cup
Salt to taste
Green Capsicum (bell pepper), 1 large
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon Asofoetida


Soak the long grain rice for 6-7 hours and soak the urad dal for an hour. Dry grind the converted rice. Grind the soaked rice to a coarse paste and grind the soaked urad to a fine paste. Mix all three together, add salt and site in a warm spot to let it ferment, at least for a day. Heat a griddle and make rounds with a ladle full of batter. Sprinkle the edges with a little oil. Fry for several minutes then flip.

Tamil Nadu Coconut Milk Dosa

1 cup jasmine rice
1/3 cup urad dal
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 tsp. methi (fenugreek) seeds, crushed
1/3 cup curd (yoghurt)
1/2 tsp. soda bicarb (baking soda)


Wash and soak the rice and dal together. Add methi seeds and soak for 6-7 hours or overnight. To prepare coconut milk, put grated coconut in blender. Repeat with the same residue. Restrain. Add water and blend till smooth. Strain. Use this milk to grind the dosa batter. Add salt to taste, along with the curds and soda. Set aside to rest for 3 or 4 hours. Add a little ghee to a shall pan and fry. Pour in some pour and proceed as for regular dosa. Thick dosas can also be made from this batter.

Tomato Dosa

Rice 1-1/2 cup
Tomatoes, 6 medium
Dry red chillies, 3
Grated fresh coconut, 1 cup
Salt, 1 tsp


Soak the rice for two hours, wash well, drain all water and grind with the coconut, chillies, salt and chopped tomatoes into a fine paste adding one and a half cups of water. Stir well and set aside while tawa heats up. Heat a greased dosa tawa till hot, take a ladleful of the batter and splash it on the tawa like for rawa dosa. Sprinkle a little oil or ghee on the dosa, cover with a lid and cook on moderate heat till the dosa is crisp and golden in colour. Do not cook on the other side. This batter should not be fermented. In fact, it should be kept in the fridge if not used immediately.



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