Dosai And Coconut Chutney


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By – Veena Sashikumar 

I grew up like this with dosai as an go to option if I did not feel like eating what was made at home. We always had dosai maavu (batter) at home. But when I moved to Sydney I was not very confident about making it. It took a lot of self-persuasion to make my first batch of dosai batter which made me realise that its very easy to make and after one or two tries you get the hang of the thickness and consistency.

In this issue, I am sharing my grandmother’s recipe for dosai / idli batter and a simple coconut chutney. The batter is easy to make and it stays for a good week to 10 days if you store it well in the fridge.

I have added a few variations and suggestion at the end of the recipe. Enjoy & do let us know your comments.



  • Boiled rice / Idli rice – 4 cups
  • Urad Dal – 1 cup
  • Poha – ½ cup
  • Methi seeds – 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and soak boiled rice with the methi seeds in water for a minimum of 4 hours. You can soak longer if you like. I generally soak overnight especially if I am using red boiled rice.
  • The urad dal doesn’t need to be soaked for very long. It need minimum 40 mins to one hour of soaking
  • Poha needs a minimum of 15 mins of soaking.
  • If you don’t have poha then you can substitute that with cooked rice.
  • In a mixer / grinder first blitz the urad dal till it becomes into a smooth batter. Don’t add a lot of water because it has been soaked. Set aside
  • Grind the half the rice in the mixer grinder to make a semi smooth batter. Not too rough and not smooth. The roughness will help will aerating the batter and you will get fluffy idlis. Again don’t use a lot of water while grinding because if the batter is too thin you will not get very good idlis but if you are looking at making only dosais then you can afford to thin a batter a little.
  • Add the soaked poha with the other half of the rice and blitz to get a similar semi smooth batter.
  • Mix all the batter well and add salt to the batter.
  • You will need to let the batter ferment a little, with the cold season it will take a little longer but you can cover the vessel with a blanket and leave it for a few hours. I leave mine overnight.
  • Make sure that you don’t fill the vessel to the brim with the batter, leave some space for the batter to rise when it ferments.
  • Your batter is ready for the pan.
  • Whether you are using the non-stick dosai / roti pan or the iron one let the pan sit on the gas for a good 3 – 5 mins in sim before you start making the dosais. Start your first dosai with a thick and small dollop of batter on the hot pan to see if the pan is hot enough and ready for the dosai batter. Or you will get sticky dosai & the pan will get messy.
  • Keep a small kitchen paper dipped in oil to wipe the pan after every round of dosai.
  • After you spread the dosai batter on the pan put some drops of oil on all sides to cook it well. Especially when you are using the iron pan.
  • They generally don’t turn out like the hotel dosais but they are equally delicious & irresistible.


  • For some healthy twists – You could use red boiled rice instead of white boiled rice; you could substitute one cup of rice with one cup of ragi and follow the rest of the recipe the same way.
  • You can add some veggies of your choice to make your own version of uttapam.
  • To inspire the young ones you can call it Dozza (combination of Dosai and pizza) and have slices of tomato, onion, grated cheese, coriander, etc
  • If you have simple potato bhaji or any dry bhaji that you think will go great with dosai you can place it in the middle of the dosai and create your version of masala dosai


Dosai is incomplete without the sides. I am sharing the simple version of chutney that is quick and easy to make.



  • Grated coconut – 1 cup (you can use frozen coconut too)
  • Green chilly – 2 (you can add more or less)
  • Coriander leaves, chopped  – ¼ cup (if you want a white chutney you can leave this out)
  • Asafoetida / hing – 1 pinch
  • Tamarind – small 20 cents size ball  soaked in a little hot water (if you are using concentrate use a little less than ½ tsp)
  • Roasted Bengal gram – 3 tbsp (optional, mainly adds thickness to the chutney, especially if you are low on coconut)
  • Salt to taste


  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Chana dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Dried Red chilly – 1 or 2, broken into smaller pieces
  • Curry leaves – 3 -4
  • Hing / asafoetida – 1 pinch


  • If you are using frozen coconut then soak it in hot water for a 3 – 5 mins for it to thaw fast and then strain the excess water.
  • Add all the ingredients under the TO GRIND section into a mixer jar and grind to make a smooth paste.
  • Make sure you check the taste and adjust the flavours to suit your taste.
  • In a small pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds. After it sputters add the chana dal & urad dal.
  • After they turn slightly brown add the hing, red chilly and curry leaves.
  • Now top the chutney with this tempering and serve with your hot homemade dosai.

The continuation to this recipe will follow in the next few issues where I will talk about making idlis, medu wada, tomato chutney, molaga podi or gun powder and sambar. All together you can put up a south indian tiffin feast.

About Veena:

I am a food and nutrition enthusiast. I love baking and experimenting with new recipes while trying out the lovely traditional recipes.

Some of my cakes are displayed on my facebook page – annibunnycakes. And my recipe blog is Do post your thoughts & comments when you try a recipe or like a cake.

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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