Best Recipe for Idli and Dosa Batter

One batter, so many ways to enjoy!
This is my go-to Idli and Dosa batter recipe. You can never go wrong with this. This recipe gives perfect soft and spongy Idlis and crisp Dosas every time.  This batter can be used for making various south Indian preparations like Idlis, Dosas, Uttapam and Paniyaram.

All you have to do is soak, grind, mix and ferment and you will be prepared for quick, delicious, and healthy breakfast ( on those hurried mornings ) or enjoy a lavish south Indian spread for lunch or dinner!

I have made this batter, both in Instant-Pot and without it. It always turns out perfect.


1. For perfect Idli-Dosa batter if using a mixer-grinder, always grind the ingredients in batches. Do not overload.

2. Drain the water used for soaking and use fresh cold water.

3. Use cold water for grinding. ( I keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for grinding )

4. Grind Dal and Rice separately.

5. Once the batter is fermented, scoop out only the necessary amount of batter and refrigerate the rest. It is good for about 1 week.

6. Add extra salt if needed into the scooped out portion for making Idlis and Dosas.

7. If your batter does not rise after following these steps, use about 1/4 cup of store bought batter in your mix as a starter for fermentation.

Soak Time: overnight or 8 hours
Grinding Time: about 15-20 minutes
Fermentation Time: 8-12 hours

  • 1 cup Urad Daal ( split skinless Black Gram )

  • 3 cups Idli Rice ( or other short or medium sized grain rice )

  • 1/2 cup Poha ( Flattened Rice )

  • 1 tsp Methi ( Fenugreek ) seeds.

  • 1 tsp of table salt. ( Non Iodized preferred but you can use regular too )

  • 1 - 1 and 1/2 cup of cold water for grinding.


1. Wash the Idli Rice and Urad Daal very nicely till you see clear water.  Add a teaspoon of Methi Dana ( Fenugreek seeds ) to the washed daal. Soak the daal and rice separately for 8 hours or overnight.

2.  Next day, before grinding daal and rice, wash and soak 1/2 cup Poha in 1 cup water. ( Needs to be soaked for 15-20 minutes ). The poha will absorb all the water it is soaked in as shown below.

3. Everything is ready to be grinded.

4. Grinding the rice
Grind the rice in  batches depending on the size of your grinder.
Add cold water while grinding. I used almost 1 cup cold water for grinding all the rice.
The rice does not need to be grinded very fine.

5. Grinding the Daal
Grind the daal along with methi seeds, using about 1/2 cup of cold water.
Grind it into a fine paste.

6. Similarly also grind the poha ( flattened rice ) into a fine paste.

7. Mix all the grinded ingredients together, along with 1 tsp salt.

8. Mix everything together very well for about 3-5 minutes.

9. The consistency of the batter should not be very runny or thick. It should be of pouring consistency as shown below.

10. Cover and let the batter ferment in a warm to hot place. If its summer, place it outside in the sun or you can use the Instant-Pot in yoghurt mode for 8-10 hours on Medium setting.

11.  After 8 hours, the batter will double in volume and will be frothy as shown below. The batter is now ready to make Idli / Dosa / Uttapam / Paniyaram.