Both idli and dosa are made from rice and lentils. "Idli" is a type of savory steamed cake and "Dosa" is a crepe. They have originated from the southern part of India but are now very popular breakfast items almost everywhere in India.
Idli and dosas are best served hot with sambar (lentil-based vegetable stew) and chutneys. Ease of making and light on the palate has made them popular and can be served at any meal of the day including lunch and dinner.
Perfect ratio for idli dosa batter
The key to good idli or dosa is its batter. If the batter is perfect they turn out truly awesome. And the key to a good batter is the dal (lentil) ratio and rice. I used
I experimented with various proportions of dal and rice and settled at a 1:4 ratio. A higher percentage of dal gives a dominating taste to lentils. Hence, using the 1:4 ratio of dal and rice eliminates that taste, idlis are softer and dosas also turn out nice and crispy.
You can also make the batter using idli rice and urad dal. The ratio of 1:3 for urad dal and idli rice works fine as well.
Making the dosa and idli batter in Vitamix
Vitamix is one of the best blenders suitable for Indian cooking and it can grind idli, dosa, and other batters to a very fine and smooth consistency.
To make the batter, first, wash and soak the urad dal and sona masoori rice (1:4 ratio) in water for 10-12 hours. If you are using idli rice then use the ratio of 1:3 for urad dal and idli rice.
Soaking dal and rice for a long helps in fermentation, especially in cold weather. They can be soaked and ground separately however, to keep things simple I grind both together along with salt and 1.5 cups of cold water in Vitamix.
Cold water is used so that the batter does not get warm during grinding in Vitamix. The "Smoothie" setting of Vitamix works best and the batter is ready in a couple of minutes.
In case, your Vitamix does not have the preset settings for frozen desserts, smoothies, and soups, you can manually start from 1 and gradually increase up to 10 (highest). Grind the batter for a total of one minute with 40-45 seconds on setting 10.
How to ferment idli dosa batter?
Before the idli dosa batter is ready for use, it must be fermented for 12-14 hours. Depending on where you live it can be as easy or difficult to ferment the dosa batter.
Fermenting dosa batter in cold temperatures is always challenging. In warm places, you can just leave the batter on the counter and it will ferment in 10-12 hours or even sooner.
The good old oven works well for fermentation, especially in cold weather. Put the batter in a big glass or stainless steel container (less than half full), and cover it with a lid. Leave it in the oven for 12-14 hours.
In cold weather turn the oven on "warm" mode for 10 minutes and then place the batter container in it for fermentation with a closed lid. After 12-14 hours, the batter will rise and will be bubbly and light. It will increase in volume and that means it has fermented well.
How to use the idli dosa batter?
This batter can be used for making idli, dosa, and uttapam. For making idli, the batter must drop freely but it should not be runny. Using 1.5 cups of water while grinding usually works well and I have never had to add any water later for idlis or dosas. But if needed, you can add some water to get the desired consistency.
The idlis can be steamed in an idli stand for about 10-12 minutes. Add a little water if you are making uttapam (pancake version). The batter can be refrigerated for 4-5 days.
Can you make idli dosa batter in a food processor?
Idli dosa batter is very fine and smooth. Only a powerful blender can grind dal and rice to the required consistency. Food processors cannot grind the idli dosa batter to a fine smooth consistency and the batter will still have coarse particles of dal and rice.
What to do if idli batter is not fermented?
If the idli batter has not fermented or risen less, turn the oven on "warm" mode for 5 minutes and leave the batter inside for another hour or so. If you do not have the time, add about a teaspoon of fruit salt (Eno) and mix the batter, it will be ready to make idlis.
Should you use an instant pot for fermenting idli dosa batter?
Using the instant pot on the yogurt mode setting can ferment the batter. However, if you use the lid to cover it, it can get locked and make it difficult to open.
If you are thinking, covering the instant pot with a lid would solve this problem, it comes with its own risk and I have read about many incidents where the batter has overflown into the instant pot which would be a really messy and frustrating situation to deal with.
- Soak the rice and dal in warm water for at least 12 hours to help with the fermentation process.
- To ferment in the oven, turn the keep warm setting on for 5 minutes and then turn it off. Place the batter in a bowl covered with a lid in the oven for about 12-14 hours.
- Avoid using an instant pot for fermenting as the lid can lock the instant pot and make it difficult to open. Covering the instant pot with a glass lid is a better option but has a risk of batter spilling in the instant pot after fermentation.
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Perfect Idli Dosa Batter in Vitamix
- Convection Oven
- Wash the rice and urad dal and soak for 10-12 hours.
- Discard the water and put the soaked dal and rice in vitamix. Add salt and 1 ½ cup cold water.
- Select the "Smoothie" setting in vitamix and let it complete the cycle.
- Transfer the batter into a clean bowl, cover it and place it in the oven for fermenting.
- Start the oven on "Warm" setting for 10 minutes and then turn it off.
- Leave the batter in the oven for fermentation for about 14 hours.
- Batter is ready for making idli or dosa.
- Mix the batter well before using. Add water if needed.
- Soaking dal and rice for long (10-12 hours) helps in fermentation, especially in cold weather.
- You can also make idli dosa batter with idli rice (1 ½ cup), urad dal (½ cup), cold water (1 ½ cup), 1 teaspoon salt.
Hi, do you use 1.5 cups of water for both the 1:4 and 1:3 ratios? I’m planning to use 1:3 with idli rice and can never get the water/consistency right. Thanks!
Alpa Jain says
1:4 ratio is for sona masoori rice. 1:3 ratio is for idly rice. Yes, I use 1.5 cup water for both. They both turn out perfect with these ratios. Once fermented, if you want to adjust the consistency you can add 1-2 tablespoon water. Hope this helps.
Vitamix smells like burning i got e320 new.any suggestions?
Alpa Jain says
Does it smell like burning when you make the batter or just otherwise? You can check this link on Vitamix and it looks like the burning smell in a new Vitamix is normal - https://www.vitamix.com/us/en_us/owners-resources/product-support/faqs/service-returns-troubleshooting
Hope this helps.
SHRADDHA MADHANI says
Really soft and yumm !!!
Which vitamix do you use? I am thinking of purchasing one but only if I can use it for both batter and general use. I wondered if only certain models would work.
Hi Sejal, I have an older model (6300) which may not be available now. I believe the newer models will be equally good or even better. From personal experience Vitamix works great for batter, smoothies and general blending.
Idlis looks soft n fluffy…will surely give it a try!!
For the idly/dosa batter in Vitamix,
What exactly is the smoothie setting? How long do u run it (or does it run)?
Mine has speed dial from 1 to 1o and a side pluse switch. I tried around 4 to 5, problem is batter gets very warm to borderline hot
Depending on the Vitamix model, you may have preset settings for smoothies, soups and frozen desserts. If you don't have the presets, you can manually increase the speed from 1-10. Smoothie setting runs about a minute starting from low to max (10) and it runs at the highest (10) for about 40-45 seconds. You can try increasing the speed gradually and let it run on speed 10 for about 40-45 seconds. Please ensure that you use cold water and all the water needed for the amount you are making. Running Vitamix at lower speeds like 4-5 will not make the batter fine, also it will take longer and will heat up the batter. Hope this helps.