One-stop Idli/Dosa Batter

Soft spongy Idlis….

Or crisp crunchy Dosas….

What do you like better? It’s a difficult choice indeed, and one which has no easy answer.

For each dish has its own charm….and why should one have to choose one over the other, right! 🙂

So here I present a one-stop solution for making both. Now you don’t need to make 2 seperate batters for idli and dosa.

This recipe is courtesy my much admired food blogger friend, Radha S Natrajan and here’s a link to the original recipe.


It has many tricks n tips that proved very useful!

And here is the detailed recipe as I followed it.


1 cup split Udad Dal (white)

3 cups idli rice (also called par boiled rice/ Usna chawal)

1 cup raw rice (regular rice that you cook for your meals)

1 tbsp methi dana. (fenugreek seeds)

A handful of poha soaked for just 20 minutes.


Wash drain and soak overnight, each of the above ingredients (except poha) separately in just enough water to completely immerse in about one inch depth.

Next morning, drain water from each ingredient and keep aside. Use this water to grind as explained below.

For Udad Dal

First grind dal along with methi dana to a thick super smooth fluffy consistancy using its drained water. Transfer to a big bowl.

For the Rice

Grind the 2 types of rice and the soaked poha to a slightly runny and grainy consistancy using its drained water. Transfer to bowl containing the ground Udad Dal

Preparing the batter

Whip the batter nicely, to make one cohesive mix. Also add salt to taste.

If you feel the Batter is too thick, you can use some of the drained water to thin slightly.

The batter should be dropping consistency, but should still coat the ladel.


Ferment batter overnight till it almost doubles in volume and become light airy and slightly bubbly.

Using the Batter

Once fermented, gently mix batter lightly….but do not over mix, or you will loose the airy texture of the batter.

This step is very important for obtaining a mix of uniform consistancy, as the fluffy Udad Dal rises to the top while the grainy rice tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl.

For making Idlis

Grease idli moulds, and drop spoonfuls of batter in each mould.

Fill your steamer/cooker with some water, about an inch deep and bring to simmer. Steam idli for 10 minutes. Remove moulds from steamer and rest for 5 minutes. Then gently remove idli from the moulds…a wet spoon can prove very useful here.

Serve idlis warm with ghee, coconut chutney and gunpowder or dunk them in hot steaming sambhar…your choice!

For making Dosa

Mix batter to a uniform mix. Heat tava till very hot, squeeze water and wipe with wet cloth to cool top surface slightly.

If you like, cut an onion into half and dip lightly in oil.

Rub this over your dosa tava for delightful aroma.

Now spread dosa batter in concentric circles, starting from the middle and moving out. Spread as thick or thin as you like. Here practice is your best friend.

Once spread, drizzle, lightly with ghee/butter/oil. As the base starts to become lightly golden, fold and transfer to serving plate.

For Masala dosa

Fill lightly with alu-onion Sabzi, beore folding.

You may sprinkle with gunpowder for extra spice!


Coconut Chutney


Alu/potato filling




  1. Dear Ruchi I have a query. What is idli rice? We most probably will not get it in usa ,what do we do . Affectionatey Rajni

  2. Hi Ruchi! perfect fabulous looking idlis and dosas, awesome presentation and clicks …
    love the the simple neat explanation , and thank you so much for the mention .Wishing your blog and your work all the very best .

  3. You do get it in indian stores as poni rice. Otherwise you can use idli rawa

  4. Hey ruchi!! Awsome idlis!! Can you please tell me what brand of grinder are you using for having a such a perfect consistency?

  5. Is there a brown rice variation for this recipe?