Here is my perfect idli-dosa batter recipe for soft idli and crispy dosa. Check out how to make the basic idli dosa batter in bulk in wet grinder also how to ferment it in Instant Pot as well as in the oven.
3 to 3.5cups water to grind plus to rinse and soak
Wash & soak-
Wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together for atleast 4 to 5 times. Similarly, wash the rice for 4 to 5 times. Soak the dal and fenugreek together in one bowl and rice in another bowl with sufficient water for 6 to 8 hours. Overnight is fine as well.
Before grinding, drain the water thoroughly. I don't use the soaked water for grinding.
Grind the urad dal-
Soak the poha - before starting to grind the urad dal, wash and soak the poha.
Now wash the grinder along with the stones and add ¼ cup of water and turn it on. Slowly add the drained urad dal. Sprinkle some water as required and grind it until it is smooth and fluffy for about 30 to 35 minutes. Here is how I add the water in intervals.
After 5 minutes of grinding, I added about ¼ more cup of water.
After that, I drizzled about 2 tbsp of water every 5 to 7 minutes. Overall I added about 1.25 cups of water while grinding the urad dal.
Now turn off the grinder and remove the dal batter into a bowl. Don't need to clean the wet-grinder now.
Grind the rice and poha-
Add ¼ cup of water and start the wet-grinder. Slowly add the drained rice. Let it run for 5 minutes and now add the drained poha. Add ½ more cup of water and grind the rice until it is smooth but slightly coarse for about 25 to 30 minutes. In between, add water as required.
Again you don't need to add all water at once. I added about 1.25 cups of water for this batch.
Mix the dal and rice batter and add salt-
Now take out the rice batter. I usually add ¼ to ⅓ more cup of water to the grinder and rinse it and add it to the batter mix. If you notice, I would have used 2.5 cups plus ¼ cup of water for this batch. As I mentioned before, usually, you need about 2.5 to 3.5 cups. You don't need to water exactly at the intervals that I mentioned. You go with your instinct.
Mix the dal batter and rice batter thoroughly. Mix it from the bottom with a clean hand. We don't want the dal batter and rice batter to be separate. Incorporate it well. Then add the salt and gently mix. You have a thick but free-flowing batter.
Ferment the batter-
At this stage, I separate the batter into two bowls. Now ferment it in your preferred way.
I kept this inside my oven with the lights on for about 8 to 10 hours.
Fermenting the idli batter in Instant Pot -
If you are going to use IP for fermenting, I would recommend transferring the urad dal and rice batter directly to the inner pot of IP from the grinder. Mix and add salt and place the inner pot inside the IP. Close it with the glass lid.
Press the yogurt button and set it to 8 to 10 hours. Here it is after fermentation.
Store the batter-
After fermentation, refrigerate the batter, and it stays well for up to 1 week.
Mix the fermented batter and see the consistency of it. I have explained it in the post. Add about 1 cup of water to the idli cooker and let it come to a boil. Meanwhile, grease the idli plates with gingelly oil and pour the idli batter. Steam it for 10 minutes over medium heat and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes inside and then remove the idli plates. Let it cool a bit for a couple of minutes before you spoon out. Serve hot with sambar, chutney.
The batter should be slightly thinner than idli batter.
Heat a well seasoned cast-iron pan, and when it is hot, reduce the heat to medium.
Take a spoon/ladle full of batter and pour it on the pan. Spread it evening from the center towards the edges. Spread some oil around the edges; ½ tsp should be sufficient. Allow it to cook. Usually, it takes about 45 to 50 seconds. Now using a flat spatula, loosen the edges and flip the dosa. Cook for 15 to 20 seconds and remove it from the pan.
I will soon post about cooking idlis and making dosa in a separate post.
As I have explained everything on the dos and don'ts, I don't want to repeat it. Please check them all in the post.
I have given the rough estimate of water and also what I used for this measure. Be cautious while adding water.