Monday, September 20, 2010

Dosa Batter and freezing tip

You might wonder why is she posting dosa recipe. There is nothing special about this recipe. In fact, everyone tends to follow their mother's recipe for making these thin rice crepes. My intention is not to post the recipe, but to give a tip for those who might not know. I use the same batter to make Uthappam, dosa, gundupongal/paniyaram/paddu. This batter can be a life saver around kids.

For those who do not know about this famous, traditional breakfast from South India, these are in between pancakes and crepes. Of course, these do not have any eggs, dairy in them. These are made using the batter with rice and lentils which is fermented. Here is the recipe for making the batter.

Rice - 4 cups (I use long grain rice)
Parboiled rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1 1/4 cup
Fenugreek Seeds/ Methi seeds - 1 TBSP (optional)
Salt - per taste

Soak all the ingredients mentioned above except salt for at least 6 hours. Rinse couple of times and grind into smooth batter in a blender/mixie/grinder. If using a blender, you might have to do it in batches. Use as much water as needed, but don't make it too thin. When the batter is smooth, add some salt (just a bit) and mix well. Pour into a large enough container with enough room for the batter to rise and cover with a lid and let it ferment overnight or for about 8 hours or overnight. It will take longer in winter. In winter, it is best to place in a oven with the oven light turned on. If your oven doesn't have an oven light, turn on the empty oven to warm. Turn it off. Wrap the bowl which has the batter in with a fleece blanket (old fleece baby blankets work great) and place it in the oven. Batter should be ready in 6 - 7 hours. Dosa batter can get fermented in as little as 4 hours in very hot places. If your container is not big enough, the batter might overflow if left out at room temperature too long or become too sour in taste.

When batter is ready, mix well and thin it down more if needed. Make dosa, or add chopped vegetables to it and make uthappam.

Now coming to the main point of this post, the tip. I bought a grinder 11 years back. We were just two (me and my husband) then and we used to have frequent visitors from India. My in-laws and the grand mother. My in-laws like idli, dosa almost every other day just like most of South Indians of that generation. I decided to buy this huge grinder which can grind the entire quantity I have mentioned above in one batch. When the visitors left, I started grinding the batter once in 3 - 4 weeks for just two of us. I would let it ferment and when done, stir it really well and divide between 4 - 6 different freezer safe containers and freeze all but one box. When the box in the refrigerator is empty, I would pull one box from the freezer when needed and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Use it within 3 days and be done with it. This experience saves me time even now. Since the grinder is so huge, it takes time to clean it after it is done. For that reason, I soak for Idli, dosa and grind one by one. When it is fermented, I freeze the excess and pull it out from the freezer when needed. If you are a working woman, this can save you some time every week.

Some brands/types of rice take longer to soften up to grind easily. You will have to experiment with the kind you use. But, most of them will be ready in 6 hours of soaking time.
Some people say they can taste the difference in the end product when the batter was frozen. It is just a mental block they have. Without telling them if you serve them two dosas one with refrigerated batter and the other with frozen, thawed batter, I can bet that they won't be able to tell the difference.

Enjoy!! Pin It


  1. Wonderful tip on freezing the dosa batter. Nammanthavarige ive help agodu nodi :) Hegidira? I just came back from India.

  2. This is a wonderful tip.. I do this always..

  3. very imformative post Champa. Even I freeze the dosa batter, palya & sambar. Saves a lot of time ala.

  4. Great tip Champa!! Would be great to have so much of home made batter ready to use.

  5. Thats a very nice tip....never did this way....

  6. Wonderful tip for freezing the dosa batter..awesome..

  7. A great tip! Saves a lot of time and is so handy.

  8. Why are u using two types of Rice? Can we prepare good dosa's with only the long grained rice? btw, the tip is really kewl. My son loves dosa very much and so often I've to make so I used to make instant oats dosa but this tip is really great. Manjusha Sinha

  9. Thanks everyone for leaving a comment.
    Manjusha, I use two kinds of rice since it gives a very good color to the dosa plus it makes it easy to ferment. My mother never used two different rice in India. So, if you are in India, you can use just the regular rice - don't use basmathi though.

  10. freezing the batter is a cool idea...

  11. Its a lovely n workout idea to freeze the batter and store it..

  12. Hi there, how long does it take to thaw the frozen batter in refrigerator, thanks for the tip btw!

    1. I usually defrost in the refrigerator over night. But if the container is big, it takes longer. I don't use bigger than 6 cups container and it defrosts overnight.

  13. Hi this is really good tip. i never try can use. frozen batter to make idly?
    Thank you.

  14. I took dosa batter and froze. Upon thawing it had a smooth texture but did not have the pores that should have been there when the batter was not frozen. Any thoughts and you could please email me on my email


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