Dosa from South India – The Fermented Crepes

Dosa, the naturally fermented rice-lentil crepe makes a healthy breakfast which helps in good digestion and provides good amount of nutrients to your diet. This makes a great breakfast also.
South Indian Dosa – Fermented Rice- Lentil Crepes

Dosa is a famous South Indian breakfast dish. Dosa is also served as a street food now-a-days. Although the exact birth-place of Dosa is uncertain (Tamil-Nadu or Karnataka), it’s origin is definitely from South India. Dosa is even mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature. A dosa recipe is mentioned in a 12th century  Sanskrit encyclopedia.

Again, dosa is a naturally fermented food which is considered to aid good digestion. Every culture have some form of fermented foods which they include in the regular and healthy diet. The fermented foods are also rich in vitamins and force the micro-organisms to produce enzymes that helps digestion. The best example for fermented food is the cultured milk – yogurt.

As batter is fermented overnight, dosa is rich in vitamins. They are also high in carbohydrates with no sugar or saturated fats. The black grams makes it a good source of protein. But because of the busy schedule, most people depend on instant dosa mix easily available in the stores. The instant mix will be low in nutrients compared to the homemade batter. 

If you can easily prepare a nutritious food at home then why depend on store-bought ones. Take a few minutes of your weekend to prepare the batter, ferment and prepare the most nutritious food for breakfast. Refrigerate the remaining batter for evening or the other day.

Lots of variations can be made using the same dosa batter and here is video on how to make a simple plain dosa with homemade batter. The printable version of the dosa recipe is below.

Dosa – Fermented Crepe

Dosa, the naturally fermented, gluten-free rice-lentil crepe makes a healthy breakfast which helps in good digestion and provides good amount of nutrients to your diet.
Dosa- Fermented Crepes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
18 hr 40 mins
A highly nutritious fermented crepes which aids in good digestion and helps your gut feel good. Dosa is a staple healthy South Indian breakfast dish.
Servings: 2
  • 1 cup raw white rice or idli rice
  • 1/2 cup split black gram lentils urad dal
  • 1/4 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seed methi seed
  • 1.5 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the white rice and black gram 2-3 times separately in cold water.
  2. Drain and soak the rice and black gram in water in separate bowls.
  3. Add the fenugreek seed to soak into one of the bowls.
  4. Since the black gram absorbs water and double in size, add more water while soaking.
  5. Cover and let it soak for 6-8 hours.
  6. Drain the rice and black gram along with fenugreek seed after 8 hours.
  7. Grind the soaked rice, black gram, fenugreek seed, and cooked rice with water to make a smooth, free-flowing and medium-thick batter. Do this in batches.
  8. Transfer the batter to a large vessel. Mix well with a spoon or ladle.
  9. Cover and let it ferment overnight in a warm place, preferably in the oven during cold conditions.
  10. The batter will ferment and rise by morning.
  11. Add salt to the fermented batter and mix well.
  12. You can refrigerate the batter at this point until you wish to make dosa.
  13. Heat an iron griddle or non-stick pan on medium heat. Brush the griddle with cooking oil.
  14. Pour a ladle of batter into the griddle. With the back of the ladle, spread the batter spirally outwards starting from the middle to make a thin crepe (dosa).
  15. Cover and cook until the bottom of the crepe begins to brown.
  16. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  17. Serve hot with chutney or Sambar.
Recipe Notes
1. Any cooked rice can be used. Cooked rice makes the dosa more soft.
2. Add more water if necessary to make the right consistency of the batter. See the video.
3. Adding a little sugar helps the fermentation process which is optional.
4. In extreme cold conditions, place the batter in the oven to help the fermentation. Preheat the oven for 5 minutes. Switch off the oven and place the batter inside.
5. For better fermentation, do not cover the vessel completely. Leave a little breathing way for the air-flow.

 Serve hot with coconut chutney or Sambar – a mixed vegetable stew. In Tamil Nadu, tomato chutney is also served with dosa. Try including this healthy dish in your diet at least once a week.

Happy Cooking

author @ my eating space

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