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How to Make Dosa + Video

This dosa recipe for Indian crepes is made with parboiled rice, urad dal, and a handful of spices. Serve as a savory and unique breakfast!
Prep Time4 hours 10 minutes
Ferment Time14 hours
Total Time18 hours 10 minutes
Course: breads, breakfasts
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 12
Author: Kevin




  • 1 medium onion optional
  • Vegetable oil or ghee


Make the Dosa Batter

  • Add the rice, urad and chana dals and optional poha to a sieve and rinse with cool water (use your fingers to move and mix) for a minute, then discard the water. Transfer mixture to a large bowl (or 8 cup measuring bowl) and cover with water by 2 inches and soak for 4 hours. (See Note 2)
  • Working in batches, transfer half of the soaked and drained mixture to a Vitamix or high powered mixer and grind each batch with 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Feel the batter, it should be completely smooth, no gritty chunks. It should look like a white pancake batter, but thinner in consistency. Free flowing, not clumpy and thick. Too thick and it will not ferment.
  • Transfer all the batter to the steel bowl of your Instant Pot. Top with glass lid, (not the IP seal lid), and push the Yogurt setting and change time to 12 hours.
  • Remove lid, you should see see air bubbles, it will smell slightly sour and the consistency will be a thick and foamy batter.
  • Add 2 teaspoon of kosher salt AFTER it ferments and mix thoroughly with hands or spatula for 1-2 minutes (this aids in fermentation). To check, you can drop some batter into a glass of water, it will float if it's fermented. If it sinks, cover batter again and ferment for another 2 hours.

Cook the Dosa

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet (or a non-stick pan) or griddle on medium-high heat. Check to see if pan is hot enough by sprinkling some water on the pan; it should sizzle away and evaporate immediately.
  • Cut an onion in half and insert a fork in through the root end of one piece and dip the onion in some oil or melted ghee. Use the onion to rub the pan with a thin layer. Set onion aside.
  • Using a ⅓ cup or ½ cup measure of batter (depending on size of pan or griddle 12 inch or 14 inch), pour it in the center of the pan. Using bottom of measuring cup, ladle or spoon, move batter in a circular motion from the center outwards, spreading the batter in a thin layer. Spread layer as thin as possible. NOTE: This takes a lot of practice and the right amount of pressure to evenly coat the pan. Be patient, there's plenty of batter!
  • The edges of the dosa will lift up and turn a golden brown. Drizzle oil or ghee all around the dosa and also in the center. Let the dosa cook for few minutes until the bottom starts appearing golden brown. You only need to cook one side of the dosa (I prefer to cook both).
  • Using a spatula gently scrape the sides of the dosa to release it from the pan. Rub the pan with the onion dipped in oil or lightly grease and repeat with remaining batter. You should be able to make around 12 to 14 dosa.



  1. Also known as idli rice. I had a hard time finding it, but Mahatma brand in the USA has parboiled rice in 16oz packages, which equals the 2 cups needed for this recipe. It's labeled rice for paella - Parboiled Medium Grain Rice.
  2. I found when making these several different ways that soaking the ingredients separately makes no significant taste difference, so I mix and soak them all together to keep things simpler.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg