Idly-Dosa Batter

A very common and essential food item in our weekly menu would be idly/dosa. Idly is the best steamed food all ages as of I now and an excellent baby food. It turns to be super nutritious on combining with a sambhar-chutney. It becomes a balanced diet when you opt for such combo as it will have carbohydrates,calcium,protein,vitamins,essential fats. Few mothers from baby food recipes group had asked me for the recipe and finally I am here with it. I had clicked these pictures months back and it was in my drafts on account of my laziness. The recipe below is how my mother prepares the Idly-Dosa batter. There are few other ways in which this can be prepared. Hoping to post them soon. Idly is a simple dish but to make it right (soft/fluffy/not sour) needs some tips and practice. I am offering all that I know to make the best idlies. Please read the entire page . I have given all that I have known and learnt about idly/dosa making. Feel free to write to me your queries and any more notes @



  • Idly/dosa rice-4 cups
  • Whole urad dhal(white)-1 cup
  • Salt-To taste
  • Water -As required


1.Wash and rinse rice & urad dhal separately

2.Soak them in separate vessels for 4 to 6 hours.

3.Drain water from rice and urad dhal.

4.Clean your grinder and add urad dhal and some water. Switch on the grinder and add the remaining dhal.idly dosa batter5.Let it grind until you get a smooth texture. Keep checking for lack of water and add little water then and there.

6.Once it turns completely smooth,collect it in a vessel large enough to hold the rice batter also. At this stage the batter when taken in your palms,should stay back on your palm and not flow out of your palm.

idly dosa batter

7.Now add the rice to the grinder,after draining water.

8.Add water then and there and make a smooth batter.

9.Rice batter can be little flowing in nature than urad dhal batter.

10.Collect the rice batter in the same vessel of urad dhal batter and add salt.

11.Mix them well until the salt completely dissolves and both the batter mixes thoroughly.

12.Now the Idly-Dosa batter is ready to ferment.

idly dosa batter

13.Transfer it into 2 or 3 small vessels and let it ferment for 8 to 12 hours.

14.Once fermented, the batter would have risen up.

idly making

15.Mix the fermented batter with a ladle and pour ladle full of batter in each space of idly plates after greasing them with oil.

16.Steam them and carefully separate from the plates with a spoon dipped in water.

idly making

17.Refrigerate the remaining batter.

18.To make dosa out of the same batter, dilute it a little more.

soft idlies


Rice can be soaked for 4 to 6 hours whereas dhal needs only 2 hours of soaking max. But for ease I soak them both at the same time.

I use par – boiled rice meant for idly/dosa which is available in the market.

Replacing white urad dhal by black urad dhal gives more nutritious & fluffy idlies but the skin of the dhal have to be removed.

I recommend rinsing rice and dhal for atleast 3 times before soaking to remove all starch content.

I have not specified the amount of salt because it differs with your brand,type and taste.

The ratio of rice:dhal is 4:1.

I have not specified the exact water level as it depends on quality of rice,urad dhal,grinder speed.

The batter should be kept in a relatively warm place of the kitchen for fermentation. Fermented batter would have risen up and it will have pores. This indicates the ready to use state.

Fermentation time depends on the atmospheric temperature.

The quantity of batter and softness depends on quality of urad dhal/rice. It varies.

The batter should be slightly flowing ,lite and frothy in nature after fermentation. This ensures soft idlies.

It is bit difficult to get the right fluffy idly/crispy dosas in your first attempt because it mostly depends on the quality of rice and urad dhal.

Practice makes perfect holds good with respect to idly dosa making.

Adding/mixing salt is a very crucial step,amma keeps saying. It not only affects your taste buds but also the fluffy nature of idlies.

Don’t use batter for more than 3 days.

Few make paniyaram and aapam by storing the batter for more than a week. It is 100% unhealthy.

A very effective note which amma gave me was to store the batter in separate vessels. I segregate the quantity required for a single time use and keep in separate vessels. This is because if you keep taking a few spoons of batter for use and keep the remaining in a same vessel for next days use,the idly wouldn’t be soft the next day.

Don’t store the batter opened/with the ladle.

Amma uses cloth on idly plates and everybody in the family attribute enhanced taste to cloth usage.

It took me an year to fix the right brand and quality of dhal & rice.

This is a very safe food for babies and can be given from six months.Skip adding salt if your baby is less than 1 year.


Please do not forget to stay tuned with me by liking my facebook page here or follow me on Twitter or PINTEREST. You can also receive all my recipes in your mail box by providing your mail id here. Do share this with your kith and kin.If you have a picture of recipe tried from my blog kindly share with me.I am privileged to share them in my page