Crispy Plain Dosa

Crispy Plain Dosa

Crispy Plain Dosas are savory pancakes originating from South India and is a staple breakfast or dinner item. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance.

Crispy Plain Dosa
Crispy Plain Dosa

What is Dosa made from?

Dosa, the popular South Indian pancake/crepe is made from a fermented batter.Its main ingredients are rice and  black gram/black lentils,/urad dal, fenugreek seeds ground together in a fine, smooth thin batter with a dash of salt.

What kind of rice do we use for making Dosa?

There are many kinds of rice out there in the market. I personally use Idli rice for making the batter, be it for Dosa or Idli. One can also use raw rice or parboiled rice or a combination of the above.

What is the rice and Urad Dal/Black Lentil ratio?

Personally, I use the batter for a week for making various breakfast items.The batter stays good when refrigerated.

The ratio I use is 4:1 4 cups rice to 1 cup Urad Dal/Black Lentils. I soak a few fenugreek seeds along with the rice.This is for the softness of the Idli’s when cooked.

I soak them separately overnight (8 hours) and grind them separately next morning and mix both the batters together with salt to taste and set it aside in a warm place for fermenting overnight. The next day it is ready to go!

I use the same batter for making Idli’s, Dosa, Paniyaram, Uthappam etc.

Should we soak the ingredients separately or together?

Rice along with some fenugreek seeds and urad dal/black lentils is soaked separately. The reason for soaking them separately is because Rice and Urad dal/Black Lentils have different textures.

The reason for soaking the rice and Urad dal/Black lentil separately is because the fluffiness of the Urad dal/Black lentil is made more evident( if you are going to use the same batter for making Idli’s).

Idli’s need to be fluffy and soft, while Dosa are basically flat and crispy.

Be it for making Idli’s /Indian steamed rice cakes, Dosas, Paniyaram’s, Uthappam, I use the same batter.The fact that one can do so many breakfast items with one single batter is a blessing in itself. The most versatile batter, if there was one, ought to be this one!

One batter , Many Recipes

If you plan to use the batter for only making Dosas then it would be okay for you to soak both the rice and Urad Dal/Black lentil together.

How to grind the soaked ingredients?

The soaked rice and black lentils along with fenugreek seeds are ground separately in a wet grinder for larger quantity. For smaller quantities they can be blended in a food processor or a mixer grinder/blender into a fine paste.

Grinding the ingredients
Grinding the ingredients

Water is then added to the batter for the required consistency along with salt to taste and this batter is allowed to ferment overnight ( or 6-8 hours).The fermentation adds a light sour flavor to the dosa similar to sourdough.

The batter needs to be medium thick for making Idli’s/Steamed rice cakes, Paniyarams and Uthappams, more thin and watery for making Dosas.

The fermented batter is then spread like a crepe/pancake on a hot griddle or tawa to make Dosas.

How to make Dosas?

Keep the flame on medium and warm the skillet. Next grease the skillet with a little oil or ghee before you pour the batter (this prevents the batter from sticking to the skillet).

After being spooned into a cast iron or a non stick skillet/tawa, the batter is gently spread in a circular motion until it fills the pan.Drizzle with oil or ghee along the edges of the dosa while cooking it on one side,  and then flip and cook for a minute or two on the other side.

The crispy plain dosa is then folded in half and served with hot sambar or chutney.

Are Dosas popular only in South India?

In popular tradition the origin of Dosa is linked to Udupi, the coastal city in Karnataka, India, perhaps because of its association with the Udupi restaurants. According to some food historians, they believe that it was popular in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as early as the 1st century A.D as per references to the Sangam literature.

The original Tamil dosa was softer and thicker. The thinner and crispier version of dosa was first made in present-day Karnataka.

After India’s Independence, South Indian cuisine became popular in North India. Now it is popular globally all over where Indian food is served.

What is Dosa usually eaten with?

In South India, crispy plain dosas are traditionally served hot along with chutney and sambar.

Dosas are typically eaten with your hands and can be dipped in curries like sambar and chutneys. Dosas can also be made with a filling/Bhaji of mashed potato and peas with spices, this then is called Masala Dosa.

How to make Crispy Plain Dosa?

Crispy Plain Dosa

Crispy Plain Dosa

Recipe by Maya Shetty
Course: BREAKFAST, DOSACuisine: South Indian
0.0 from 0 votes

Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • 4 cups Idi Rice

  • 1 cup Urad Dal

  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds/Methi

  • Salt to taste

  • Water as required


  • Soaking the ingredients
  • Wash and soak 4 cups of Idli rice in 6-7 cups of water.To this add 1/2 tsp of Fenugreek seeds while soaking, this makes the Idli’s soft when cooked
  • Wash and soak 1 cup of Urad Dal/black lentil separately in 3 cups of water
  • Set both the ingredients on the kitchen counter and let them soak overnight ( 6-8 hours).This will allow them to absorb moisture and the Urad Dal/black lentils to fluff a bit, just right for grinding the batter and making fluffy soft Idli’s.
  • Grinding the ingredients
  • After 8 hours, grind the rice and Urad dal/black lentils separately in the wet grinder/blender into a smooth paste.
  • Now mix both the batters together with a tsp or two of salt along with water for required consistency and set aside for fermenting overnight( 6-8 hours) in a warm place.
  • For fermenting in colder places (like ours) preheat your oven for 10 minutes at the lowest setting and place your vessel containing the batter inside with the lights on. This will provide enough warmth for the batter to ferment and rise up after 6-8 hours.
  • Checking if the batter is properly fermented
  • The fermented will rise up and look frothy and bubbly on top.
  • To check if it is well fermented take a tea spoon full of batter and drop it in a container with cold water. The fermented batter will float, letting us know it is ready to be used to cook.
  • The fermented batter is usually thick, so add water to the required consistency depending on whether you are using it for making Idli’s or Dosas. Idli’s, Paniyaram and Uthappam needs a medium thick batter, while Dosa requires a thin watery batter, adjust accordingly.If you are planning on making Masala Dosa or stuff Dosa with filling keep the batter at medium thick to hold the filling within, otherwise it might tear. For thin crispy Dosa a light thin watery mix will work just as fine.
  • How to make the Dosa
  • Warm your cast iron skillet to medium hot, not too hot since it will make the batter stick to the skillet.
  • Now grease the skillet with coconut oil/ ghee. Rubbing oil on a half cut onion slice and holding it with a fork helps easily grease the tawa, but you can even do the same with a folded kitchen towel.
  • When the skillet is warm ( you can test it by sprinkling some water droplets on it to see if it sizzles).Stir the batter well in the bowl and gently spoon the batter in the center of the warm griddle and spread it in circular motion clockwise to the sides to make a thin crispy crepe.
  • Allow it to cook or a minute or two. You will see the sides of the dosas lift of the pan slowly. At this time add oil or ghee along the edges.This will help you flip the dosa to the other side without the Dosa getting stuck to the skillet. It is your choice if you want to flip & cook both sides.Thicker dosas might need to be flipped to be cooked well, thinner crispy ones will do just fine with cooking on one side.
  • Now gently fold or roll the dosa & serve hot with sambar or chutney.
  • Turn the heat to low, before making the next dosa. Once more grease the skillet with oil and pour the next spoonful of batter for the next dosa and increase the heat to medium.
  • Dosa can be served plain or with fillings, its your choice .You can even layer a thick dosa like pizza & top it with onions, tomatoes and veggies of your choice to make it a filling Uthappam.


  • Some prefer to add a bit of soaked poha or flattened rice to the batter while grinding, I don’t use it.It turns out just fine either way if you follow the ratio.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories608
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 2g 4%
    • Sodium 12mg 1%
    • Total Carbohydrate 100g 34%
      • Dietary Fiber 40g 160%
    • Protein 48g 96%

    • Vitamin C 10%
    • Calcium 12%
    • Iron 83%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    What does Dosa taste like?

    Crispy Plain Dosa is a thin, crisp crepe or pancake. It has a slight tangy taste due to the fermentation, and is savory rather than sweet.

    Without the filling, on its own it’s called plain dosa‘ that can be eaten with chutney, sambar or a variety of vegetable curries. With filling it is called Masala Dosa and can be eaten just with the filling, or it Dosa can be layered like a pizza with toppings called Uthappam & can be eaten as such or with curries.

    Why is my Dosa not crispy?

    Add half a cup of poha/flattened rice if you’d like your dosa slightly crispy. Even adding brown sugar to the batter just before it is ready to be poured make sit crispy and brown.

    List of my Dosa Recipes

    The Bottom Line

    Now that you know all about making a crispy plain Dosa, I hope you try making some in your own kitchen. Once you master the art of making a plain dosa well, then the sky is the limit. You can make any number of combinations and varieties of dosas you like. Enjoy!

    If you try any of my recipes, would love for you to snap a quick photo of your recipe and tag us #stirringmyspicysoul on your social media feeds to get the word around and encourage readers like you

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    3 years ago

    These look so good! I love Indian food. I haven’t tried cooking it…yet!

    3 years ago

    I’ve never heard of this before, but I also know nothing about Indian cuisine. 😅

    3 years ago

    Sounds delish and interesting!

    3 years ago

    5 stars
    Every time I read your posts, I want to run out and order Indian food. Although I know it won’t be as yummy as your recipies. One of these days, I need to overcome my fear and give one a go.

    3 years ago

    This looks great and has been on my list to try soon!

    3 years ago

    This looks delicious! Indian food is one of my favorites!

    3 years ago

    I love having another fermented bread recipe! This sounds amazing!

    3 years ago

    Yum! I will have to try this. I have never heard of dosa before.

    3 years ago

    Sounds wonderful!

    3 years ago

    These sounds so good! I personally would probably screw them up (GrubHub and I are on a first-name basis), but I would love to try them!

    Lisa Manderino
    Lisa Manderino
    3 years ago

    I have never tried this recipe. It looks yummy, I am excited to try!

    Douglas Jasper
    Douglas Jasper
    3 years ago

    5 stars
    Those look amazing. I bet they are delicious.

    Jennifer Morrison
    3 years ago

    I have never tried Dosa, but think it would be a great addition to meal times! I am going to give it a try!

    3 years ago

    Wow! A dosa really looks like a crepe! That’s cool it tastes savory instead though. I love anything salty and crispy and this looks so cool!

    3 years ago

    I’ve actually attempted to make these before and I did horribly. I’m going to give your recipe a whirl because I want to attempt the other recipes using the dough as well. I’ll cross my fingers and say a prayer.

    Ramae Hamrin
    3 years ago

    I used to make dosas! I made them with mung beans. Does that sound right? I remember letting the batter rest over a heating vent overnight. My whole family loved them. I don’t know why I ever stopped making them. You have inspired me to make them again!

    Tricia Snow
    Tricia Snow
    3 years ago

    5 stars
    This looks amazing … I have never heard of this dish. I can’t wait to try it.

    3 years ago

    This sounds delicious on its own or filled. And your information about how to make sure they are crispy is super helpful.

    Maggie |

    Hope to try these someday. They look delicious!

    3 years ago

    I’ve never heard of dosas before. They do look similar to crepes. I’ll have to give the recipe a try.