Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 24, 2012 06:22 AM

South Indian food help...Dosas!

I was just wondering if a batch of dosa batter can be refrigerated and used the next day, giving the same results as fresh. I will be using a1:2 rice, urad dal ratio with a little fenugreek. I was also wondering about the ratio dal:rice. I've seen recipes 1:2 and 1:3, I have also seen recipes with a little chana dal mixed in with the urad dal. What does the chana dal give to the batter. Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have a look at this thread and the blog link I have given.Hope it is of help to you.

    1. I am NOT an expert dosa maker, but here are some tips based on your query:

      The batter will start to ferment and taste sour. According to tradition, first day batter is used for idlis. Second day batter is used for dosas because slight fermentation is desirable. The third day batter is for uttapam. Putting it in the fridge is fine.

      I usually use pre-made dosa batter from the Indian store and I always ask the owner what day the dosa batter comes in and remember to buy it that day. Once it gets too old it gets too sour. Fresh home made should keep for a few days well, though...I see you are in Canada and the cool weather means your batter will ferment slowly and you may need to put it in the oven with the oven light on to help it along so you may have the opposite problem that yours doesn't ferment fast enough. It should have a slight tang.

      Typical dosa batter has a larger rice to daal ration, not the opposite.

      I cannot advise on portion of idli rice to urad daal, just go by your recipe---my home recipe is 2 cups idli rice, one cup urad daal. Be sure to soak them separately. Once you grind and combine, leave aside for 6-8 hours to ferment. It should expand in volume and look foamy.

      I think Andhra Pradesh style dosai have channa daal in them but I am not sure...I have heard of this before but I am not sure what the channa daal does, perhaps someone else can tell us.

      South Indians who eat dosai regularly swear that dosai making is the easiest thing in the universe, but for me, grinding properly without too much liquid (grinding well without over grinding is key!!!), getting the correct level of fermentation in a cool North American climate, and even just frying them up is a challenge. Usually, my first 3 dosas suck and then once I get the hang of the pan heat control (I just use non-stick) they start to come out crisp. They NEVER come out restaurant thin at home though. I have a much easier time with uttapam.

      Good luck with your dosa!

      8 Replies
      1. re: luckyfatima

        "The batter will start to ferment and taste sour. According to tradition, first day batter is used for idlis. Second day batter is used for dosas because slight fermentation is desirable."

        Wow, I didn't know Dosas is so involved.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Not really involved it just takes time to ferment . No real attention is required you just leave it in a warm place for a while.

          1. re: chefj

            Mine would not ferment in the oven with the light on until I loosened the cover of the pot. Then after fermenting, I put in the fridge and it is still fermenting. I heard to put a bay leaf on top to stop sourness. I am making them for dinner tonight, not sure what I'll get :-)

            1. re: macsandindianfood

              I like a Dosa batter to have some of tang.I am not sure what the lid or a Bay Leaf have to do with how it ferments or stopping fermentation.
              How and why the fermentation happens is explaind very well here:

              1. re: chefj

                I read something today that said if your batter is still fermenting, even in the fridge, a bay leaf on the top will curb sourness. I don't know as this is my very first batch of batter and have not made dosa yet. Tonight for dinner is the test!

                1. re: macsandindianfood

                  I can not image how it could do that, but who knows?
                  Hope your Batter is delicious and you can make Idily, Set Dosa, Appam......

        2. re: luckyfatima

          while mine also aren't restaurant-thin, I've had best luck cooking them on a griddle.

        3. Thanks bulldog and luckyfatima for the quick replies.
          Bulldog, thanks for the great links and luckyfatima, thanks for the advice.
          My batter is now fermenting and tomorrow morning we will try to make our dosas
          My mix is 1urad dal and 2 rice with a pinch of fenugreek. Can't wait!

          3 Replies
          1. re: hypomyces

            1:2 ratio for urad daal to rice with methi seeds (fenugreek) is perfect. Hope you are having wonderful results with your Dosa Batter/Dosa experience.
            Adding Chana daal provides the Dosa a unique flavor. 1/4 cup chana daal or toor daal enhances flavor of the dosa, especially if you are making "Masala Dosa" - the one layered with dry and wet chutneys before being stuffed with the potato subji. Dont change the amount of rice.
            I add a couple heaped tblspns of both chana and toor daals and also 1/4 cup of soaked and squeezed thick poha while grinding to make the dosa fluffier and crispier.
            Warm your oven at the lowest setting for 10 minutes. Turn it off. After the batter is ground, add salt and stir it properly to mix. Cover the container loosely with a lid and keep it in the oven overnight. If the batter is swollen to two times the volume, its perfect. This trick never fails, regardless of whicseason you are in. :-)
            Although luckyfatima is right that the batter will keep fermenting as the days progress, if kept in the fridge covered with a tight lid, it will be fine. We make a big batch of dosa batter during the weekend and end up eating dosa's for 3-4 breakfasts.

            1. re: Chowshok

              Does the salt need to be non iodized if you put it in the batter before fermentaiton?