Basic Batter for South Indian Recipes (Dosas ‘Savory Crepes’ or Uttapam)

I must say south Indian cuisine is one of my all time favorites. Earlier, I use to buy store bought batter to create dosa/uttapam, but now I make my own batter. Usually, there are several ways to make South-Indian batters depending on the ratio of lentils and rice. Every household has a separate batter version.

Infact I have two versions for dosa/uttapam batter myself. One with lentils, rice, methi seeds and the other one with lentils, rice, methi seeds, and steel cut oatmeal. The second one is a healthier option and I will post that recipe in my next post. Both tastes equally good and you will not notice the taste variation. Even my husband couldn’t tell and he is still unaware of this fact that I put steel cut oatmeal in my dosa/uttapam batter, which is hilarious!

My version has three steps and the batter can last for one to two weeks in your refrigerator. It takes me one whole day to prepare the batter. So, I soak all my ingredients overnight: rice and lentils (individually) and the next morning grind them separately in my trustworthy Blendtec. Later I mix them all and keep them to ferment for 10 hours. At night the batter is ready to prepare dosas and vegetable uttapam. I serve my dosas with rasam or sambhar, potato onion curry, cutneys like coconut-roasted channa and yogurt- green chili chutney. My husband likes yogurt-green chilies chutney, which takes 2 minutes to prepare.

Dosa/Uttapum Batter:


1 cup of Sona Masoori rice (available in Indian grocery stores)

1 cup of parboiled rice (available in all grocery stores)

1/2 cup of black grams known as ‘urad daal’ (available in Indian grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)

Salt to taste.


Step 1: Overnight Process (or 8 – 10 hours)

Prewash and soak both rice together in a bowl with 4 cups of water.

Prewash urad daal and soak it with fenugreek seeds with 1 cup of water. (separate from rice mixture)

Step 2: Grinding Process (Morning around 7:00 am)

Grind both the mixtures separately (First rice and then daal+methi seeds). Separate grinding is necessary as both different textures of rice and daal will ensure crispy dosas.

If you think mixture is too dry then add more water during grinding. Now remember add water little by little. We don’t want to avoid having too runny batter.

Mix both rice and lentil batter together.

Now add salt to taste.

Cover the batter.

Step 3: Fermentation Process (10 hours minimum)

Keep the batter to ferment in a warm place. I sometimes keep the covered mixture in my oven with light on. (Don’t turn your oven on during this process).

You can cover the mixture with woolen sweater and keep it on your window sill or in a warm corner of your house.

Don’t open the cover and let it ferment well.

Step 4: Making of Dosas/Uttapam

Heat up the skillet on medium high.

Note: Keep paper towels, bowl full or water, Misto oil spray in the side.

Now pour the batter in middle and in circular clockwise form start spreading the mixture from inside-out. Just like we make thin crepes.

Cook for two minutes, spray oil. I use Misto oil spray and brush.

Cook the dosas until crispy. I like my dosas to have medium dark brown hue.

Serve with your favorite chutney, rasam/sambhar, and potato-onion curry.

whole batch of batterfermented batterbrush the non stick mpanMisto sprayClockwise Swirl -  Middle to  OutPaper ThinSuper WhiteGolden Brown - Extra CrispyPotato Curry Stuffed Dosas with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney


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