Mastering Dosas: Decoding The Ideal Dal-To-Rice Ratio For Dosas
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Dosa, also known as dosai in Tamil, is a crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is a well-known and well-liked South Indian breakfast or snack that is enjoyed both in India and outside. Prior to making the batter, the rice and lentils are soaked in water for four to five hours. After that, they are each ground to a fine consistency individually.

Subsequently, the rice and lentil batters are combined with salt in a large skillet or dish. After that, you may let this batter ferment for eight or nine hours, or overnight.

The batter tastes somewhat sour, becomes heavier, and has a nice fermented smell once it's matured. The finest dosa is made using a well-fermented batter. Numerous little air pockets will also be seen in the batter.

The fermented batter is spread out like a pancake on a seasoned cast-iron pan or skillet (tawa), then fried till crispy and golden while drizzled with oil or ghee.

But there are some complexities you need to understand to get the tastiest dosas and the most crucial is the dal-to-rice ratio when preparing the dosa batter. Here's what you need to know.

Ideal Dal-To-Rice Ratio For Dosa Batter

The ideal dal-to-rice ratio for dosa batter is a foundational aspect of dosa making, influencing its texture, flavour, and overall quality. The standard ratio of 1 part dal to 3 parts rice, such as using 1 cup of urad dal with 3 cups of rice, forms the basis for many dosa recipes.

This ratio strikes a balance, yielding a batter that ferments well, resulting in dosas with a crispy exterior and a slightly chewy interior. However, the beauty of dosa-making lies in its adaptability to various preferences and circumstances. Here are some elaborations on adjusting the dal-to-rice ratio:

Types Of Dal And Rice For Batter

Different types of dals can be used in combination with urad dal, such as moong dal or chana dal, to create variations in flavour and texture. Experimenting with different dals can lead to unique dosa experiences. Similarly, using different types of rice, such as raw rice, parboiled rice, or a mix of both, can alter the texture and taste of dosas. Parboiled rice, for instance, can result in dosas with a slightly firmer texture.

Desired Dosa Thickness

If you prefer thinner and crisper dosas, you can increase the rice proportion relative to the dal. For example, using a 1:4 ratio (1 cup dal to 4 cups rice) can result in thinner dosas that are more delicate and crispy.

Conversely, if you enjoy thicker and softer dosas, reducing the rice proportion can achieve this. A ratio like 1:2.5 (1 cup dal to 2.5 cups rice) can produce dosas that are thicker and softer, with a more substantial bite.

Dosa Recipe

Here's a quick dosa recipe for you to try:


  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 3 cups rice (raw or parboiled, or a combination)
  • Water for soaking and grinding
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil or ghee for cooking dosas


  • Wash the urad dal and rice separately under running water to remove any impurities.
  • Soak the urad dal and rice in separate bowls with enough water to cover them completely. Let them soak for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • After soaking, drain the water from the dal and rice. Grind the urad dal first in a wet grinder or blender. Add water gradually as needed to make a smooth and fluffy batter. The consistency should be thick yet pourable.
  • Transfer the ground urad dal batter to a large bowl. Next, grind the soaked rice into a slightly coarse batter. The texture should be like fine semolina (rava).
  • Mix the rice batter with the urad dal batter in the bowl. Add salt to taste and mix well to combine both batters thoroughly.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or cloth and let the batter ferment in a warm place for about 8–12 hours or until it doubles in volume. The fermentation process is essential for developing the characteristic tangy flavour of dosas.
  • Once the batter is fermented, gently mix it without deflating it. The batter should have a smooth consistency but be slightly thick, similar to a pancake batter.
  • Heat a dosa tawa (griddle) over medium-high heat. Grease it lightly with oil or ghee.
  • Pour a ladleful of batter onto the hot tawa and spread it in a circular motion to form a thin dosa. You can make it as thin or thick as you prefer.
  • Drizzle some oil or ghee around the edges of the dosa and cook until it turns golden brown and crispy on the bottom.
  • Flip the dosa carefully using a spatula and cook for a few more seconds on the other side.
  • Remove the dosa from the tawa and serve hot with chutney, sambar, or your favourite dosa accompaniments.