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Idli Dosai Batter from scratch4

Idli and Dosai Batter Recipe

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Total Time: 24h


The only recipe you will need for making idli and dosai batter at home. Recipe with step by step pictures and video.



1 tumbler = 200 ml

5 tumblers (1 liter) idli rice / puzungal arisi
1 tumbler (200ml) whole unpolished white urad dal / vellai ulundu
2 tablespoon (30 ml) fenugreek seeds / vendayam
1/2 tumbler (100 ml) thick aval / poha / beaten rice
2 tablespoon (30 ml) rock salt

Total Water – 800ml
– 100 ml water to grind fenugreek seeds (use soaking water)
– 300 ml water to grind urad dal
– 400 ml water to grind rice


Making the Batter

Wash the urad dal once and soak in water. Soak for 4 hours. Soak the fenugreek seeds in 100ml water. We will use the same water while grinding too. Soak for 4 hours. Grind fenugreek seeds along with the water used for soaking. Grind for five minutes. Grinding the fenugreek seeds separately contributes for a very fluffy batter.

Add the soaked and drained urad dal to the wet grinder. Remember the ground fenugreek is still lying in the grinder. Just dump the dal on top of it and add 100ml of water. The tip in grinding urad dal is to add the water slowly. If you add all of the water at once, it wont fluff up well. Add water in 3-4 intervals. The dal should fluff up and fill the grinder. It should have increased about 2-3 times of its original volume. Grind for at least 20-30 minutes. After 20-30 minutes, transfer the dal mixture into a bowl and set aside.

We use Idly Rice for making idly batter. Par boiled rice is the only way to go for idli. Its also called as Salem Rice in Tamilnadu. Grind the soaked and drained rice for 20-30 minutes until smooth. Grind the aval / poha to a powder and add it to the grinder. Sprinkle the aval using a spoon. Do not dump at once as they may clump up. Adding aval will help in making the fluffiest idlis. Aval is an already cooked product. So it will help in better fermentation.

Add 400 ml – 500 ml water in two intervals while grinding. Depending on the age of the rice, you might need to add a little bit more water while grinding. Add extra water if the batter is very thick.

After 20-30 minutes, transfer the rice mixture to the bowl and set aside. The batter should be smooth but so slightly like sand.

Finally add in the salt and mix well to combine. Ferment the batter for 6-12 hours. If its summer, it will take about 6-8 hours. In winter, it will take a longer time. If you live in a very cold place, leave your batter in some place warm. Leaving your batter inside your oven with the pilot light on works great if you live abroad and your place is cold. Once the time is up, the batter should have increased in volume. Take a ladle and mix it well. Your batter is ready. Refrigerate the batter after fermenting. Use within 4-5 days.

To make Idli

Fill two inches of water in an idli vessel and put it on medium flame. Wet a cloth and line an idli plate. Ladle the batter on the plate and steam for 6-7 minutes. After the said time, unmold the cloth. Sprinkle water while unmolding.

To make Dosai

Dilute the batter with little water to pouring consistency.
Heat the dosai griddle until medium hot. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to cover dosai griddle. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Indian sesame oil / peanut oil or ghee. Cook until underside of the dosai is golden brown, about a minute. Flip once. Cook for a few seconds. Remove dosai from the griddle and repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 24h

Keywords: idli dosai batter