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Idli and Dosa Batter

Idly and dosa batter recipe to make soft, fluffy and sponge like idlis and crispy dosas.
Prep Time16 hrs
Total Time16 hrs
Course: Breakfast basics
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Padma


  • 4 cups Idli rice par boiled rice
  • 1 cup black gram or urad dal whole
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Bengal gram or chana dal
  • 1 cup rice flakes or flattened rice or poha
  • 1to 1 ½ Tablespoons salt to suit your taste
  • Required water to grind


  • Wash rice and rice flakes, soak it separately for 5 hours.
  • Wash black gram, fenugreek seeds and bengal gram and soak it in water for about 3 hours.
  • Always grind rice and dhal separately to get best results. I ususally grind dal first.
  • Drain water and grind black gram mixture in the wet grinder (advisable for soft idlies) until fluffy by adding drained water little by little at frequent intervals. It takes about 40 minutes to get a frothy batter. Transfer it to a large bowl.
  • Drain and grind rice well for 20-30 minutes until smooth or slightly coarse by adding water at frequent intervals. Transfer it to the bowl with urad dal batter.
  • Add salt to the batter and mix evenly with your hands.
  • The consistency of the batter should neither be thick nor watery. It should be medium.
  • To be on the safer side, transfer the batter to 2 containers so that it doesn’t overflow after fermenting. It should be filled only up to ¾ th, so as to allow space for fermenting.
  • Leave it for 8 to 10 hours undisturbed in a warm place to ferment. You can see that the batter would have raised after fermenting.
  • If you are not using it immediately, you can refrigerate and use for about a week.
  • You can prepare idlis or dosas with this batter for the first 2 days and later only Dosas, Paniyaram or Uthappam.

Recipe Video


  • The quality of rice and dal is important to make the perfect batter.
  • If you are grinding in a mixi/blender, use 1:3 ratio of dal to rice.
  • Grind rice and dhal separately to get best results.
  • Always use the water used for soaking to grind the batter.
  • Try to use cold water while grinding urad dhal.
  • Knowing the right texture of ground rice and urad dhal is always important.
  • In cold countries you can keep the batter overnight in the oven with lights on which will help the fermentation process.
  • Always bring the batter to room temperature before making idlis or dosas. Cold batter would yield hard idlis and rubbery dosas.