Fermentation of dosa batter

Reasons Why the Dosa Batter Is Not Fermenting

Dosa is one of the highly recommended protein rich, nutritious, and delicious breakfast as well as evening snack item. Whether it is traditional masala dosa or plain dosa a perfect fermentation of dosa batter is essential for dosa to taste better. Fluffiness and texture of dosa depends on fermentation. Well and perfectly fermented dosa is easy to digest. Generally fermented foods increase the availability of nutrients in the body. Fermentation process promotes methionine an amino acid  that elevates protein and, fermentation also brings Vitamin C and B.

If the dosa batter does not prepared properly then it does not taste good.

Why sometimes dosa batter does not ferment well? Here are the reasons:

  1. Not soaking rice, dal for enough time
  2. Not fermenting batter enough time according to seasonal requirements
  3. Not adding enough water
  4. Not adding methi seeds!
  5. Your mix does not have proper ratio for the season
  6. Storing batter in fridge immediately after preparing batter

How to get good consistency and fermentation of dosa batter in summer and winter? What are the ingredients and what should be the ratio of the ingredients? Grandma has below recipe for you.


  1. Idli rice – 3 cups
  2. Urad dal – 1 cup
  3. Channa dal – 1 tsp
  4. Fenugreek/ Methi seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Poha – ¼ cup
  6. Salt – as per taste
  7. Water – for soaking and grinding.

How to make good dosa batter?

  • Idli rice is available in most Indian shops. It is good for making both idli and dosa. If idli rice is not available, use sona massuri rice.
  • Combination of idli rice and urad dal is 3:1. During winter and cold season, increase urad quantity to 1.5 cups.
  • Adding methi seeds promotes good fermentation and adding channa dal gives golden brown color to dosa.

Steps to prepare dosa batter and fermentation of batter:

  1. Wash and soak idli rice, urad dal, channa dal, methi seeds minimum for 8 hours, for best result soak the mixture overnight.
  2. Next day, give one or two more wash to soaked mix.
  3. Soak poha in little water.
  4. Grind the mixture by adding little amount of water.
  5. At the end of the grinding add soaked poha and grind -add water if necessary.
  6. Dosa batter should be not too thick. You should be able to pour the batter on dosa tava using ladle and able to spread it easily using back of ladle.
  7. Add little salt to the dosa batter, mix and transfer to a vessel and close the lid.
  8. Proper fermentation is important to get tasty and crispy dosa. For good fermentation place the batter vessel in a place where sun light hits the floor and temperature is between 82-85F (28-30C). Generally, at this temperature fermentation will complete between 7-8 hours. If you are using oven for fermentation, pre-heat oven at 375F and turn off. Let the temperature drops -8down to 82F. Turn oven light on and keep the batter vessel near the oven light inside.
  9. During fermentation, dosa batter starts keep coming up and gives fermentation odor.

Too much fermentation can cause acid reflux in those who cannot handle sourness.

After fermentation, you can store batter in a box in fridge or prepare dosa and serve with side dishes.  

Image credit: Anil sharma from Pixabay & Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay (CC by 0)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 28, 2023

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