Idly / dosa batter


12 hours min


15 min
My mom announced idly for breakfast today and our face frowned a bit.“Ooopsss idly again for breakfast?? Oh god please don’t bug us like this” exclaimed my cousin. 

This is the typical reaction for idly in any Tamilian’s household and that was the incident that came across my mind when I soaked rice and dal for the dosa party on Saturday. Nobody can really imagine the frequency with which this dish gets repeated in every house. No wonder it annoys the family members but trust me your reaction would be totally different when you are miles away from your nest.

I crazily missed idly (ofcourse the spicy-spicy idly podi) during my student days in UK. Ask any true-blue Tamilian for the taste of steamy idly and millagai podi. That person will definitely spare a very bright smile as an answer! Yes, such delightful is the taste of it.

Idlies and Idly podi are every Tamilian’s pride and it is THE specialty of Tamilnadu. They have been loyally wedded to each other for ages. Though mistress like sambhar and chutney have tried their best to mesmerize the idly, no one other than this podi can complement it better. Idly and idly podi always a winning combination.

I met Charissa & Patrick of Zest Bakery & Deli at a blogger’s meet in Berkeley. Zest bakery at San Carlos specializes in gluten free foods and desserts. Hop over to their page to know more about them. Zest bakery recently completed its first year anniversary and “A foodie and her cooking hat” takes this opportunity to wish them all the luck in the world for more success and fame. 

I was lucky enough to taste few of their magical creations and for now, I am in love with their chocolate fudge, they were soft, moist and tastes just the same way as the ones made with traditional bakery ingredients. As their website says their products are great for Celiacs, but still good for everyone. Yes, I totally agree to that statement. Charissa was telling about thier sun dried tomato pasta made with brown rice and herbs and I am waiting to get my hands on that.

They are such warm and friendly couple who will be liked anyone. And I am no exception. I met Charissa again at the SFO food blogger’s sale and when she mentioned about the liking for Indian food. I extended my invitation for dinner at my place in July. Since they prefer gluten free diet and since I wanted a meal that would speak about my heritage and about the place I came from, I decided to serve idly and dosa. I prepared dishes that were made from a single batter. Yes, one batter and infinite possibilities!

The menu: 
3. Mini idlies
4. Masala dosa with sweet potato stuffing
5. Sadha dosa
7. Drumstick sambhar


Here is the recipe for the magical Idly / Dosa batter.

4 cups idly rice
1 cup urad dhal/ uluntham paruppu 

2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds 
1/2 tablespoon salt
Water to soak
A wet grinder, a popular equipment in South Indian homes. Read more about how to make dosa at Sala Kannan’s blog – Veggie Belly.
MethodFor the batter
Soak the rice, urad dhal and fenugreek in separate vessels overnight or for 4-5 hours. The next day or after few hours, start with grinding the urad dhal and fenugreek together in a grinder. Wait till they get a smooth texture.Transfer to a fresh bowl. Then add the soaked rice. Grind them to a fine paste. Add salt and mix them thoroughly with hand. Let them ferment at room temperature overnight.

Will share pictures on how to make idlies and dosa on my next post. Stay tuned!

Thanks Ramya Bala and Pavithra for sharing your tips on the rice to urad dhal ratios.

Don’t forget to participate in the summer drink giveaway. Click here to enter. 

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  1. This truly was a magical dinner! We enjoyed every bite!

    I'm looking forward to trying to make it myself. Hopefully I was a good student! 🙂 Thanks again for having us!

  2. Woww.. looks so tempting and perfect.. thanks for the lovely recipe 🙂

  3. I used to detest idli's until we moved out from India and suddenly I started loving these steamed beauties.. I love them hot with chutney and sambar.. I hate the idli's served in hotels.. not sure why 😀

  4. I love dosa idly vada but again I make these very rarely! This is an excellent post.
    BTW what SFO blogger meet you mentioned! Can you send me more info on this please 🙂

  5. Wow those look super stunning! I need to try this batter recipe 🙂

  6. I think I will reserve this for the times when I want to make dosa at home..very useful tips for a north indian like me 🙂

  7. Amazing post..Bookmarking it..Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful changes to the usual idlis..

  8. Charissa told me about making this with you. So fun! I had my first idlis and rawas in Delhi many years ago. The coconut rawas and dosas are so tasty, but I have a soft spot for idli. I'm definitely going to try this at home sometime Vijitha!

  9. What a fun day for the 2 of you. I just had Dosa's a couple of years ago and I wish there was a place nearer to me that had them. Now I dont need it!

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