Crispy Dosa

Dosa is on the menu today with this crispy restaurant style dosa recipe. Dosa, a delectable crepe made from rice and urad daal, can be had plain or as “Masala Dosa” with the addition of Potato Masala. Be sure to also check out our recipes for Potato Masala, Sambhar, Coconut Chutney and Dry Chutney Powder to make a complete meal.

Soak Time: Overnight or at least 8 hours
Fermenting Time: 8 – 24 hours (depending on climate)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Serves: Approx a family of 4-6


Long Grain Rice – 2 cups
Ponni Parboiled Rice- 1/2 cup (If you cannot find this, leave it out and reduce the amount of water needed to grind rice)
Urad Daal – 1 cup
Chana Daal – 2 Tbsp
Methi (Fenugreek Seeds) – 1 tsp
Water – approx 1 1/4 cups to grind daals
Water – approx 1 cup to grind rice
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp or to taste
Baking Soda – pinch
Oil – for griddle frying


1. Combine Long Grain Rice and Ponni Rice, wash until water runs clear and soak in ample water (minimum 8 hours or overnight).
2. Combine Urad Daal, Chana Daal and Methi, wash until water runs clear and soak in ample water, separately from rice (minimum 8 hours or overnight).
3. Drain water from both Rice and Daals, keeping the two separate.
4. Add Daals in a grinder and using approx 1 1/4 cups of Water (added little at a time), grind to a smooth paste.
5. Remove Daal paste into a large container with lid, leaving approx 1/2 cup paste inside grinder.
6. Add Rice and grind to a smooth paste using approx 1 cup Water (added little at a time). Rice will still seem a little gritty after grinding.
7. Add Rice paste to the Daal Paste, add Uniodized Salt and mix well. (Note: If using Iodized Salt, wait until after fermentation to add salt).
8. Cover and keep container in a warm place to ferment the batter (minimum overnight or up to 24 hours, depending on climate).
9. Once fermented, gently mix the batter.
10. When ready to make Dosa, remove a few scoops of the batter into a smaller bowl and add just a pinch of Baking Soda. Mix well.
11. Preheat a seasoned pan, drizzle a few drops of oil and wipe off with a paper towl.
12. Depending on the size of the pan (skillet), drop a small ladle full of batter in the center of the pan. Using the flat back of the ladle or the flat back of a steel bowl, spread the batter outward in a circular motion. Dosa should be spread thin.
13. When the wet look of the batter is gone, drizzle a little Oil onto the dosa.
14. When brown spots are seen coming through the dosa, loosen the edges and roll the dosa.
15. For Masala Dosa, after drizzling Oil, sprinkle Dry Chutney Powder over dosa and place Potato Masala along the center of the dosa. Loosen the edges and roll the dosa.
16. Serve immediately with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney.

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113 thoughts on “Crispy Dosa

  1. Hi, what brand of long grain rice have you used? I used the regular supermarket brand and dosa came our very soft. Please help

  2. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I have the same mixer as you do, the Premier. Can you please tell me what setting you use and approximately how long it takes you to grind both the dal and the rice? Is it OK to add water to the batter after fermenting if it’s too thin?

    thank you!

  3. Hello Hetal and Anuja,

    I`ve been cooking according to your recipes for a long time now. Thanks for your great website! By the way, Chole is one of my alltime favorites 🙂
    Now, I want to do dosa as this is my favorite Indian dish.

    Two questions:
    – Can I substitute Chana dal with chickpeas? Isn’t it the same but in different shape?
    – Can I use the black urad dal instead of the peeled one? Or can I peel the black one somehow?

    I don’t have easy access to any Indian grocery store.

    Thanks and many greetings from Germany,

  4. And also guys I too have a cast iron,and I just did the same like how you guys did except I omitted the ponni rice since I didn’t have ,except one there was lot of disasters ,lot went to waste,it jus wasnt coming from the tava,but I was able to make oothappams though ,so any ideas why it didnt come out well ,is that because of not including ponni,how long to make the iron tawa eat. Do reply

    1. Hi Shobana,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. Sometimes, cast iron pans can be tricky. Even if they have worked in the past, they make stick in the future. The tawa must be seasoned first and then maintain the seasoning. Be sure not to use soap when cleaning the tawa. You can see this video for other helpful tips regarding cast iron:

      Usually, omitting the Ponni rice will not cause the issue.

  5. when we bring dosa tawa shopkeper told rub onion on it and then put oil on it for a day . next day remove oil and make dosa on this every time befor making dosa .should we do like this plz tell me.

    1. Hi Sunita,
      Yes, a lot of folks do that to season the tawa. You can dip a half cut onion or a potato and smear it on the tawa.
      Happy Cooking!

  6. Hi Ladies
    I tried this Dosa recipe and it tasted awesome! I have been trying Dosa recipes from various websites before but wasn’t happy with the results. Finally my search ended here. The dosas were yummy and crispy! As you mentioned the trick is the soaking and fermenting time.i I stay in the Midwest and I fermented the batter using a tsp of dry yeast mixed with a couple of tbsps of warm water for 18 hrs or may be less. Then popped it in the fridge.

      1. hetal, I din’t find any change in the taste of the dosa at all. It tasted like hotel style dosa! The weather here in midwest is very cold (6 months of winter) and the batter doesn’t ferment at all :(. that is why i use yeast. but one should be careful not to ferment it for too long. not so lucky as u guys from the south 🙂

        1. Hi Sandhya,

          Thanks for the feedback. I also lived in Kansas for about 3 years so I can feel your pain. That is why I use a warmed oven to keep the batter in. Heat it to about 160F, turn it off and leave your batter inside. You can also keep the light on to maintain the warmth.

  7. hi ladies, just want to ask you 2 questions:

    1) Is it baking soda is the same as bicarbonate soda or are you referring to baking powder?

    2) And what is the secret to spread the dosa with the back of a ladle or stainless steel bowl so that it spreads thin and nice? Do I spread it immediately or do I reduce the heat before I spread it ? I always have problem getting the batter spread out thinly so that i can obtain a thin paper like dosa.

    thanks & await your feedback soon

    1. Hi Anushka,

      Baking soda is bicarbonate soda – that is what we used. We usually don’t fidget with the heat once the tawa is hot. If it gets too hot, we sprinkle a bit of water to cool it down. Spreading the dosa requires a bit of practice to get it right . You don’t want to press too hard while going round and round, yet it has to be enough to get the thinness you need.

  8. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Can you please give some ideas on fermenting batter in the cold season. My Dosa will never get golden colour its always white. Can yo suggest what could be the reason for it.

    1. Hi Sindhu,

      If you have an oven, you have heat it to about 150F and turn if off. Leave your covered batter in the warm oven and it will help it to ferment. Alternately, you can even leave the oven light on as it also creates some warmth. Some people put warm water in an ice chest and leave the dosa batter container in there. The ice chest retains the warmth in the water. Most people agree that it is the methi seeds that are ground in the batter that makes the dosa brown.

      1. Thanks Hetal, trick for the fermentation worked very well but unfortunately I did not get the brown colour even after using method seeds. Could it be the consistency of the batter that matter for colour ? Or any other reason you can think of ?
        I am tired of eating white dosa , feeling like not making them anymore

        1. Hi Sindhu,

          Sometimes, the tawa you use makes a difference, too. Non-stick skillets do not brown dosas as well as cast iron pans.

    1. Hi Darshita,

      Some people use curd/yogurt for fermentation but we have never needed to…it ferments just fine without the curd.

    1. Hi Ishita,

      You can but the texture is much better in a cast iron griddle. Cast iron needs to be seasoned only once. After use and after it cools, wash it with hot water and a brush – no soap.

  9. Hey Hetal/Anuja,
    I have tried recipes from ur Blog and really like em.. am planning to Make the dosas.. Now only question I have is.. Is there a reason why the daals and Rice are soaked seperately?! Cant we Soak them together since we have to mix the paste…

    1. We soak and grind them separately because they are of different textures. The daal has to be completely smooth and the rice can be a little gritty.

  10. hi hetal and anuja
    i hav tried so many dosa batter recipes, but can never get them so crispy. i finally compromised on the store bought dosa batter. i am sooooo gonna try this, this coming week itself.
    just one question, does that cast iron tawa actually make a lotta difference or the normal nonstick one wud do?

    thank you!

    1. Hi Ayesha,

      If you have nothing to compare to, then non-stick would be fine. However, having tried both non-stick and cast iron, cast iron definitely produces much better results in texture.

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja didi

    Here in this recipe you are using cast iron skillet.I searched this skillet in the internet.i found some pre-seasoned cast iron skillet are available in supermarket and in some cases it is mentioned that pre-seasoned skillet avoids sticking of food.Before buying i just wanted to ask you becuse i dont have any idea about that.I am wainting for your response.Please help me.

    1. Hi Lipu,

      All cast iron cookware must be seasoned to give it the non-stick quality. If you buy one that is already pre-seasoned, it will save you a step. Otherwise, it is not too difficult to season. Just smear vegetable shortning on the tawa and bake it at 325F in the oven for about one hour. Wipe off excess shortening and bake it once again for about 1 hour. Let it cool and store away.

  12. Hi Guys
    Tried the dosa; it came OK; not all that great. Possibly I went wrong with the ponni rice. I bought ponni rice but the package did not indicate whether it was parboiled or raw rice. Also the process took several hours which I wonder effects the dough. I started soaking one night, ground the soaked the following night and made the dosa the following night. Which means the soaking/hoplding time was 24 hours in total; was that too long. It had a bit of smell. Also the sun was beating on the container during the day. was that bad for the dough?


    1. Hi Joe,

      Soaking for 24 hours is probably a bit too long. You might have noticed foaming/frothing already happening even before the grinding. Also, if you have the batter in a really warm environment, you do not have to let it ferment for more than overnight. Usually, fermented batter does have a sour smell, but it should not smell bad (there is a difference). If the smell was bad, then the batter might have spoiled.

  13. which company blender you are using please let me know. The blender i have is not for rice it seems. I am here in usa and want to know that the blender you are using is available here in usa.
    THank you both for the nice fool proof recipies.

  14. Forget it ! Not in this life time I could master this.I wish I could, will stick to the pre pack mix like I have always done. Mind you Earthings I really dont believe in short cuts !!!

  15. Hi H&A,

    I have been waiting for this recipe for ages now. I am so glad you finally published it. Must say, thanks to both of you, I am now a very good cook. You guys are doing a fabulous job. Keep it up.

    I have a couple of questions about the recipe:

    1. If I choose not to use the Ponni Parboiled Rice, do I need to increase the amount of Long Grain rice or should I keep it the same and reduce the amount of water as you have mentioned? Any idea, how much less water I should use?

    2. By omitting the Ponni Parboiled Rice, will there be a significant change in the crispiness or taste of the dosa?


    1. Hi Divya,

      You can just leave out the Ponni rice without increasing the amount of long grain rice. As it took only 1 cup of water to grind the rice, you would have to reduce it just slightly, about 2-3 tbsp. We have tried the recipe without Ponni rice and it is still crispy and tastes great. There is a slight difference in texture but not noticeable unless you have it side by side.

  16. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    Dosa tastes even better when smeared with butter or clarified butter, it not only enhances the flavour but also the taste. Try it.


  17. Wonderful… as u said to add a pinch of baking soda in a small portion that wud make few dosas, i was wondering do we need to add a pinch everytime we take a small portion during the same cooking session?
    Also,will elimination ponni parboiled wud make a difference..?
    Thanx again

    1. Yes, you have to take a pinch for every batch you make, in the same cooking session. The effect of baking soda goes away pretty fast so you should not take a whole big batch and mix the baking soda in…a little at a time keeps the texture of all the dosas consistent. The Ponni rice does improve the texture, but you can leave it out. The difference is only noticeable if you have them side by side.

  18. Hi, thanx for the very detailed recipe. I always buy the ground dosa batter from my grocery store here in bombay but the dosas dont crisp up very much and the batter gets spoilt in a couple of days.
    But looking at your video i’m planning to give it a shot and make everything from scratch. Fingers crossed… 🙂

  19. Wonderful easy recipe. My question is on Iodized salt. You said that if we add it, we should add it after fermenting is complete. Would adding it before fermenting be harmful to the human body?? I have fermented so many things with iodized salt that hearing this is scary.

    Where would I find uniodized salt? Would it have a different name? I would love to use it for any future dishes that require fermenting.

    By the way, love the cast iron pan. My mom has always made it on a non-stick pan without any problems so it was interesting to see a cast iron pan used.

    Also, if i leave out the ponni rice, would i still use the same other measurements?

    Thanks and have a great Labor Day Weekend!

    1. Hi Pinal,

      The use of iodized salt is not really harmful, but it hurts the fermentation process. It will still ferment, but not as well. Kosher salt is uniodized. Using a cast iron pan really improves the texture of the dosa…worth investing in. You can leave out the Ponni rice and just reduce the amount of water to grind rice by a few tbsp…all else remains the same.

      1. Thanks Hetal for the response, it helps a lot. You gave me a great reason to purchase a cast iron now. I never wanted to buy it before because they are ridiculously heavy and I didn’t make anything where cast iron was a must.

  20. Hi, I am recently hooked on lots of Indian cuisine and I can’t wait to try this one. Couple of question about cast iron. I have cast iron but it does not look like the one you are using in this video. I use “Wolfgang Puck 12″ Enameled Cast Iron Everything Pan” It would be helpful if you reply ( either here or directly on my email id) if mine can work for Crispy Dosa? if not, will you please provide me the website from where you purchased your cast iron ? Thanks.

    Another question is about salt. May i use Kosher salt as Uniodized salt ? is there any other brand of Uniodized salt? please let me know. Thank you. Tiffani.

    1. Hi Tiffani,

      We have not tried using an enameled cast iron pan for dosa, so we cannot say for sure if it will work (sorry). If you try it, we’d love to hear your feedback. We got ours from India but you can search for “cast iron griddle”. Yes, Kosher salt is uniodized (that’s what we used), but regular table salt also comes in an unoidized version. It will just say “Salt” and the iodized version will say “Iodized Salt”.

  21. Thanks for the receipe. I add a spoonful of thin poha at the time of grinding. It makes lot of difference. By doing this you can avoid soda as the dosas turns out crispier! I too use cast iron skillet.

  22. Hi,

    Dosa looks yummy. can i take half amount of all the ingredients and make a smaller batch?

    Thank u for the wonderful recipes.


    1. Hi Alka,

      To season a cast iron pan, you can rub a generous amount of oil on it and bake it in the oven on high heat for 30 minutes or so. To clean, we rinse it in hot water and scrub it with a brush…no soap. You have to dry it and store it immediately.

  23. Hi,
    I am living in south India and re modelling kitchen.
    There is a very interesting faucet above the stove.Is it the pot filler ?
    Do u find it useful in modern kitchen ?
    It will be very useful if you do a video on kitchen appliance essentials-best brands in oven,fridge etc-best position to keep each,kitchen storage,pantry,serving counter design etc
    Happy Onam


    1. Hi Seena,

      Yes, the faucet above the stove is called a “pot filler”. I absolutely love it. I use it everyday for quick access to water (not just to fill pots) :).

  24. i have a non-food question…what is the thing above the stove a tap kind of ?? im curious to know it. wht is the purpose of it ?

    1. Hi Sha,

      The faucet above the stove is called a “pot filler”. I absolutely love it. I use it everyday for quick access to water (not just to fill pots) 🙂 .

      1. Hi Sonia,

        We got ours from India but you can find them at larger Indian grocery stores or search “cast iron griddle” on the net.

    1. Hi Swetha,

      We got ours from India but you can find them at larger Indian grocery stores or search “cast iron griddle” on the net.

  25. Hi A & H: Thanks for doing this one. If you have a minute, a couple of questions
    a) How long does the dosa batter last?
    b) I am curious about the blender too – I know you get a ton of questions about equipment. If you have recommendations for someone looking at an effective machine to make idli and dosa batter, that would be excellent. I think you said the Cuisinart 500 or something in one comment section, but I dont think this is that one.

    Thanks again ladies, very excited to try this recipe, this site is the best.

    1. For the blender/grinder – the american ones are just blenders including the Ninja blender. These american blenders are not suitable for making the thick paste for dosa. Get a sumeet brand mixie available on ebay for around $150. It is 110V and I bought mine off from there.

    2. Hi Gerard,

      Once fermented, the batter remains fresh in the fridge for up to a week. If you need to keep it longer, it also freezes well. Just remember to move it to the fridge 1-2 days before you need to use it, else use the defrost button on your microwave. The grinder we are using is called Premier Super G 3 Jar Kitchen Machine Mixer Grinder. As Jamuna said, the Sumeet one also works great. If you want to go all out, the stones grinders are the best. You can keep it running for 20-30 minutes at a time without burning out the motor. Ultra makes good Wet Stone Grinders.

  26. hi
    looks amazing.. thanks for sharing. Could you pls tell if the flame should be reduced once you spread the batter on the tawa? or should it be as high as when it is for heating the tawa…

    1. Use a bowl of cold water to sprinkle just before pouring the batter on the tava. Never reduce heat. The heat should be high to medium.

    1. Hi Nilesh,

      Cast iron works the best and produces the best texture. Though non-stick will work, its not recommended for high heat cooking.

  27. Could you please let me know what brand/make of blender you used? Thanks. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Looks absolutely delicious!!

  28. What is the difference between adding iodized and uniodized salt. Why do you recommend adding iodized salt only after fermentation?

    1. Iodized or uniodized does not make a difference. Both are same, just that you add the salt after the fermentation as it would inhibit the fermenting process if added before.

      1. Hi Jamuna,

        Actually it does make a difference. From Wikibooks: “Many ferments use salt. Salt helps by inhibiting undesirable bacteria and moulds, and by drawing juices out of foods. It is best to use a salt that has no free-flow agents or iodine added to it, as these can inhibit the fermentation a little. Iodine is an effective antibacterial agent, and even in the very small amounts used in iodised salt, it can affect the bacteria that ferment the food. Salt suitable for fermenting is often called “pickling salt” or “Kosher salt”.”

    2. Hi Sue!
      From Wikibooks: “Many ferments use salt. Salt helps by inhibiting undesirable bacteria and moulds, and by drawing juices out of foods. It is best to use a salt that has no free-flow agents or iodine added to it, as these can inhibit the fermentation a little. Iodine is an effective antibacterial agent, and even in the very small amounts used in iodised salt, it can affect the bacteria that ferment the food. Salt suitable for fermenting is often called “pickling salt” or “Kosher salt”.”

  29. yay!now i have a perfect recipe for dosa!!what do u mean by log grained rice – can i use sona masoori?do we have to stil add baking dosa if we are interested in making thin crispy dosas instead of soft set dosa types? can you also post variation dosa recipes – like set dosa?

    1. We have not tried Sona Masoori rice for this recipe. We use the regular Long Grain Rice that is available at American grocery stores. Maybe if some of our other viewers have tried it, they can write their feedback.
      This recipe is for crispy dosa, not the soft variety. We use the baking soda (just a pinch) to lighten the texture of the dosa and the heavy effect of the chana daal.

      1. yes i use sona masoori rice too.. it comes out fantastic.. sona masoori and ponni parboiled rice.. rest is same as A & H used..

      2. Hey I tried your recipe and my batter does ferment but doesn’t rise at all, I have tried everything. Keeping oven light on, using kosher salt, not over washing urad dal.

        What should I do different? The crispiness and taste is good but I would like the batter to rise as expected. I grind using Indian mixie like you suggested, so not sure what I need to do now.

        Do you think whole urad dal would work for fermentation? Please advise.

    2. I was told one cannot get good results on aBreville or other western blenders and this should only be done with proper I’m
      Ndian style blenders for smooth results. Have other viewers got successful results with other than I median brands? Thanks

      1. Based on our experience, we find that the Indian “mixie” style grinders work best for grinding batters and chutneys. Premier or Sumeet makes decent ones that you can find online. If you want to go all out, you can buy a stone grinder (Ultra) that works really well.

    3. Hey I tried your recipe and my batter does ferment but doesn’t rise at all, I have tried everything. Keeping oven light on, using kosher salt, not over washing urad dal.

      What should I do different? The crispiness and taste is good but I would like the batter to rise as expected. I grind using Indian mixie like you suggested, so not sure what I need to do now.

      Do you think whole urad dal would work for fermentation or can we use yeast for fermentation? Please advise.

      1. Hi Nina,

        If you followed all the other steps and ingredients, then it could be the urad daal (old stock). Whole urad works really well…in my opinion, gives a better texture overall. I would not use yeast because the flavor of the dosa will change considerably.

        1. Thanks Hetal, let me try again with whole urad dal and see if it makes a difference. The split ural dal I had was old for sure.

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