Idli / Dosa Batter | Foodomania

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Idli / Dosa Batter

Dec 10, 2012         2 comments.

I was talking to a friend I made recently from Japan (that’s right, I have a Japanese friend ๐Ÿ˜€) when she happened to mention her love for IDLI. That’s when I truly realized the popularity of this humble dish from South India. Growing up, my lunchbox more often than not had IDLIs and my dislike for the dish grew to become outright hate. But I am a total convert now. My absolute favorite breakfast thing to eat in this world is hot IDLI with a cup of hot Sambar and coconut chutney! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We all know how important it is to have a healthy breakfast. And IDLIs make a perfect breakfast. They give you all the good Carbs you’re gonna need to stay active throughout the day. This is my mother’s version of the Idli / Dosa Batter. We make the batter once a week and use it to make so many variations of the basic Dosa or Idli.

I have to point out that every south Indian family has its own version of this batter. The measurements might vary. If you have your own version, do share it with me. I’d love to try out different measurements of the ingredients to find out the difference in texture. ๐Ÿ™‚ So… this is how my mother makes the batter –

Wash andย  then soak the IDLI rice in water for a minimum of 5 hours. My mother usually soaks it the night before. Go to your nearest Indian store and ask for ‘IDLI RICE’. I’m not sure how it would work out with normal rice.

Wash & soak the Urad Dal (split black lentil) in water for around 1 hour.

In a wet grinder, add the Urad Dal (split black lentil) first and start grinding with some water. My mom believes Urad Dal takes longer to grind than the rice, so she does the two in separate batches and then mixes the two.

ย ย 

When the batter smooth, take it out and set aside. (It takes anywhere between 20-30 minutes)

Add the Rice with some water in the same grinder and start grinding. It takes at least 30 minutes to grind it well.

Once the batter is smooth, take it out

All you have to do is mix the two.

Add salt

Mix well.

Set aside at room temperature for 5-6 hours or until the batter ferments. You’ll know it coz the batter rises ๐Ÿ™‚

Refrigerate it and use as required.


Idli / Dosa Batter

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x


  • 5 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup Urad Dal (split black lentil)
  • 1 Tbsp Salt (or as required)
  • Water
  • Grinder


  1. Wash and soak the uncooked rice for 5-8 hours or overnight. DO not over soak or it may spoil the rice
  2. Soak the Urad Dal for 1-2 hours.
  3. In the grinder (or blender), add the Urad Dal with enough water to make it into a smooth, sticky batter. It takes around 20 minutes. Remove into a large container & set aside.
  4. Add the rice with enough water to make it into a smooth batter. It takes around 30-40 minutes in a grinder
  5. Add the rice batter to the previously ground Urad Dal paste.
  6. Add salt and mix well. The batter should be of pouring consistency. If not, add water to make it so.
  7. Cover and let it sit in a warm spot for 5-8 hours to let the batter ferment. It will rise in volume.
  8. Refrigerate it until use.

  • Cuisine: south Indian

*** NOTES:

  1. Although you can make it in a blender or food processor in smaller quantities, a wet grinder is preferred if you are a serious Idli eater! ๐Ÿ˜€
  2. The batter should not be too runny nor too thick. Just the right pouring consistency. And even then, after refrigeration, the batter tends to thicken. You can loosen it out using some water.
  3. Use a container big enough to facilitate the fermentation process. Don’t pour the batter upto the brim and expect a proper fermentation.
  4. Although you could make Idli or Dosa instantly, they wouldn’t taste as great as they would if you let the batter ferment.
  5. Keep the batter in the warmest place of your home.
  6. You could actually mix & soak both the rice & lentils together and grind together too. But my mother does not.
  7. The batter stays well in the fridge for a week. However, the older the batter gets, the more ‘fermented’ it becomes and the sourness starts to increase. So its best to make small batches that last 3-4 days.
  8. Any doubt, shoot me a comment. I shall consult the ‘expert’ mommy and get back to you ASAP. ๐Ÿ™‚

Watch out for the actual IDLI making process in tomorrow’s post ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Comments on “Idli / Dosa Batter

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