Dosa is a thin, delicate crepe like bread made from fermented batter. The batter is usually made completely gluten free, with rice and lentils. The batter ferments and rises as it rests for many hours in a particular temperature and is then cooked in a hot skilled to make it crisp, thin crepes. This crepe is a staple food in most southern indian states, and very popular street food all over india. If you are craving dosa, but don’t live in a part of the world where you can get it easily, consider trying out this simple dosa batter recipe. Dosa is rich in carbohydrates and protein and is usually prepared for breakfast or dinner. It is stuffed with seasoned potatoes or cottage cheese and served along with sambhar or chutney. I grew up eating dosa and all I can say is my mom has the best recipe. It never fails, I always get perfect dosas :).
1 cup of black gram aka urad dal
4 cups of rice
4-5 cups of water
Heaping teaspoon of salt
Soak the urad dal and rice separately over minimum 4 hours, I usually soak it overnight. Drain the excess water and place the soaked lentils in grinder. Add little water at a time and grind until it reaches a smooth consistency. You want to keep it thick pancake batter consistency. Transfer all the batter into a large bowl. Add little salt to the batter and mix it all together using your hands.
I usually place my batter into a large plastic bowl and cover the lid and leave it overnight for 7-8 hours for fermentation. The fermenting time differs depending on the temperature and weather conditions. During the summer time, fermentation usually takes 5-6 hours and during winter time, fermentation process usually lengthens by 3-4 hours. The final fermented batter should be slightly frothy and airy, and should have almost doubled in volume so make sure to put it in a large container. After the batter is fermented, it may be refrigerated if you are planning to make it later. I usually store my batter for couple of days.
The batter should get little thicker after fermentation process. I recommend adding just 2-3 tbsp of water so you can spread the batter easily on the skillet.
Cooking the Dosa:
Heat a large non stick skillet approx. 10 inch on high heat. Once the skillet is hot, reduce the heat to medium. With a ladle, pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter in the pan. Immediately, starting from the center, spread out the batter while moving the ladle in close concentric swirls. Increase the heat of the stove a tiny bit and drizzle a few drops of oil evenly on the Dosa. Cook until the Dosa turns golden. You will see the edges slightly curling and releasing itself from the pan. This is the time to stuff the dosa with your desired topping.
P.S. You can use the same better for Idli and Uttapam