Wednesday, 3 September 2014

About Idli_Dosa Batter .... Kitchen Basics

In my home Idli_Dosa batter is made once a week and Idli is made immediately after the first round of fermenting. Idlis only made an appearance the day after the batter was ground. From day two onwards, it will be dosa time - soft, fluffy and slight thick for small Kids, roasted and crisp for all of us. This would go on for about 4 days until the next round of batter was made. Sometime Dosa is prepared for dinner too with different kinds of chutneys and side dishes.


1. Dosa is white even after it is cooked. Why?
Couple of reasons are - Batter is too cold - just bring it to room temperature before making. Cold batter would yield hard idlis and rubbery dosas. or, the proportion of rice in Batter is too high. Adjust proportions to make the Batter. Adding too much dal in batter will contribute to dosas that are too red in colour. Adjust accordingly while grinding next batch.

2. Dosa batter grainy. Why?
To get smooth consistency Batter remember to soak the rice and dal for enough time and grind it to a very smooth consistency before fermenting. An Indian mixie is good to make small quantities. A wet grinder is obviously the best option for making Idli_Dosa batter at home.

3.Why does Dosa stick to the pan?
·        Use a well-greased pan - if your tawa is new, you need to season it to make sure it's ready to make dosas. Using a non stick pan works but , the dosas turn out bit dry compared to tawa. Use a pre-seasoned iron tawa and it will be fine.
·        Also, Keep one tawa exclusively for dosa, never use a dosa tawa to make rotis.
·        Grease Dosa pan properly, by using anything you can dip into oil - like a piece of onion, potato, a wooden spoon, etc. Dip into the oil and rub generously all over the tawa. So always grease tawa fully and don't pour the oil before spreading dosa.
·        Batter is too old and sour. That's another reason why it would stick to the pan.

4. How to ferment Idli_Dosa batter in a cold place?
The best option to ferment in cold country is to leave the batter in a bowl covered with a plate in the oven with the light turned on. Do not turn on the oven itself. The heat from the light is enough to give it that extra push. It also helps if you mix the batter for 2-3 mins with your hand before keeping the Batter for fermentation.

5. How much salt need to add to the dosa batter?
I actually don't measure salt. Add required amount of salt and you can taste the batter and see if it seems salty enough. Adding enough salt is important for right amount of fermentation.

6. Why are my Idlis hard?
Because of two reasons. Cold batter or too less urad dhal. The batter should always be in room temperature before making Idlis or Dosas. The urad dhal should be ground to fluffy consistency to make soft idlis. If the ground urad dhal batter is tight it would lead to hard idlis. Having said that, do not add water to make it loose. It doesn't work that way. Adding water little by little while grinding gives the fluffy cloud like consistency.

7. Why are my dosas not crispy/ Why are my dosas are white?
There are two known reasons for this. First, the batter should have fermented well and slightly sour (compared to idly) for crisp golden dosas. Second, the batter should be in room temperature for golden dosas.

8. Dosas are very sour. Why?
Batter is over-fermented or too old. If you have some Ragi flour or wheat flour, add it to the old batter and make Instant Ragi Dosas or semi-wheat dosas. Another trick is to add equal amounts of fresh batter and make dosas.

9. How do I use store-bought Idli_Dosa batter?
The quality of store-bought batter really varies a lot. With different brands we usually have different experiences. One thing that's common is, although they all claim to also make good idlis, they don't. So don't waste your time making idlis with store-bought batter. To prepare Dosas, add some water to bring it to the right consistency. Use up all batter within 3 days, they don't last as much as homemade batter.

10. What about variations to the Idli_dosa batter - like adding poha, Ragi, Saagu, cooked rice, quinoa, brown rice, etc?
U can find different variations of Dosa and Idlies in my blog for recipes plz click the following links.

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