Friday 14 May 2021

Recipe 125: Perfect Idli and Dosa Batter

South Indian cuisine is quite popular in my family. Especially dosas, idli and uttapam. 

And in my quest to recreate the experience of restaurants, I bought several packets of either idli batter or dry powder mixes.

But recently, I tried making my batter from scratch. And my god! Not only the taste is fresh and good but I found the whole process also easy and very cost effective. I mean with one batter I can feed atleast 15 people.

Idli rice is  important because it has most amount of starch. I had used once normal everyday rice and the batter just did not ferment well and did not increase in volume. Secondly, urad dal is also a must. You cannot make without urad dal. Methi seeds are important for fermentation. 

After perfecting my batter I have now come to share with those who are struggling to make their own idli-dosa batter at home. With my recipe, you do not need to add cooked rice or soaked poha like some recipes suggest because the idlis will turn out very soft and delicious without the additives. 

This is a Plate Idli (aka Tatte Idli or THatte Idli) I made with the batter by steaming. I made a tempering of mustard seeds, chopped green chillies and curry leaves. And spread it on top of cooked idli. I cut it into diamond shapes and served with coconut -groundnut chutney. A fabulous dish it turned out.

So, lets start!


  1. 2 cup idli rice
  2. 1 cup urad dal
  3. 1/2 tsp. Methi seeds


Wash idli rice and urad dal together 2-3 times.
Ensure not to wash more or else you will be wasting the starch from rice.
Now in a large container with lid transfer the washed rice and dal.
Add methi seeds.
Pour atleast 1.5 litres of drinking water.
Cover and let the container rest for 6-10 hours at room temperature.
Now in a mixer grinder, grind the rice, dal and methi seeds to a smooth paste using the same water in which it was soaked.
Pour the paste back into the container.
Add some water if the mixture is too thick.
Now cover the container and let it rest in room temperature for 24 hours.
Once you begin to see that the batter has tripled in size and lot of tiny bubbles are forming with a foamy layer on top of the batter, understand that the idli dosa batter is ready for use.
Each time you wish to prepare idli, dosa or uttapam, just take some in a bowl and add salt to taste.
If you feel the batter is getting over-fermented, then place the container in fridge.
You can use this batter kept in fridge for 3-4 days without worry of it getting spoilt.


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