Are you attempting to make dosas with your leftover idli batter and wondering what the rules are? If yes, read on….
Obviously, this post is not for the veteran 60-year-old South Indian mami – a pro – who is probably wondering what the fuss is all about. Take idli batter, water it down, make dosas – “is this rocket science, Swetha? Itha ellam oru post aa??” Ok, sorry, sorry mami, you please carry on with another blog post!! Might I suggest my healthy rava laddoo recipe to you? Just kidding, of course!! 🙂
Honestly though, with all the info on batters – there’s so much to understand – idli batter vs dosa batter, can I make dosas with idli batter, what are the do’s and don’t while making dosas from idli batter – it might as well be rocket science!! I am sure there are plenty of people who are still stuck with many doubts and questions.
Fear no more, there is no shame in having basic, fundamental questions with regards to batters. I have been there myself, and I am here to help you navigate those questions as I did in the past.
Idli vs Dosa batter
While an entire book can be written on batters (poha, raw rice, parboiled rice, idli rava (yada, yada, yada…); here’s the gist of it:
- Idli batters have more urad dal compared to dosa batter. The urad dal in the idli batter gives the lift and the sponginess.
- Dosa batters have more rice content. The rice in the dosa batter gives you the crispy texture and deliciousness. A friend of mine does (8:1 gasp!!) proportion of rice: urad dal and has fed me one of the most fantastic dosas I have ever had.
The urad dal in the dosa batter is there only for the pure purpose of activating the fermentation process. I know, I know, it kills me a little on the inside knowing that the carbs provide the yumminess factor here (truth hurts!!).
- Adding fenugreek seeds to the dosa batter (which is optional or less in idli batter) gives a unique, authentic taste to the dosas. You can skip it, no major harm, but the foodies will not approve!!
- Dosa batters are more watery than idli batters and you are going to see below the proof for it.
Dosas with leftover idli batter
So, often there’s leftover idli batter. Can you make it into dosas?
Heck, yes!! Abso-freakin’- lutely!!
So, there are no rules, really or no dosa police waiting to handcuff you :)!! Find batter, try dosa – now whether or not people are going to enjoy said dosa is another matter.
Dosas made from idli batter: An experiment
Experiment part 1: Dosas made directly from idli batter
Say, you got some leftover idli batter (1:3.5 ratio urad dal:rice). Hmm, you think “looks runny enough, seems spreadable. can I make dosas with it?”
Take Idli batter
Get tava heated, pour on tava
Spread on tava:
Experiment part 2: Dosas made with the same batter, but watered down a bit:
Water down batter with 1/2 cup water:
Pour on heated tava
Spread on tava
Just the addition of water makes the batter thinner, increases the level of surface heat and creates a much better dosa.
Let us compare them side by side:
Idli batter dosa: – Look below – Not porous enough, a little hard & gets tougher as it cools.
Watered down Idli batter: More porous, soft and delicious. They also stay soft for a longer time.
So, can you make a dosa with plain idli batter? – Yes, of course!! But you can make a better dosa by watering it down just a bit.
If you are in the very early stages of cooking, where even the making of any dosa is good enough, then all these details don’t matter.
But, if you are like, “I got to up my dosa game to the next level”, then I hope these tips help. I hope the pictures helps in adding to the knowledge base of batters. [Homework exercise (hahaha)- look at the picture of urad dal dosa (made from plain urad dals) and now look at the regular dosa. Are you now starting to see patterns and the connection between the batter and the resultant dosas?]
What are your common batter questions? Or do you have a favorite tip or technique? Post your thoughts and comments below. As always, I look forward to reading them.