Why Do We Ferment Dosa Batter? – An A-Z Insights

Dosa Batter is a South Indian pancake, which is mostly loved by people who prefer quality and spicy foods. Processing dosa batter to be sweet and likable, it has to pass numerous stages for the addition of flavor and nutrients. For dosa to be ready for eating it must be passed all the stages hence needs more time to bring out a finished product.

Fermenting dosa batter is among the last processes of adding a better taste and feel of the dosa before cooking. After fermentation most delicious dosa comes out, in fact, the best. Fermenting dosa batter helps you to get the top quality of the dosa which means the batter becomes spicier, brittle, and soft with a favorite blend of fleecy.

In my article, I will explain the reasons for fermenting dosa batter with different ways of fermenting. Henceforth, you will be able to get solutions to your unanswered questions and make a more delicious dosa batter. Don’t forget to check the solution in the frequently asked question section and finally, the conclusion of the whole article.

Ingredients to use for the fermentation process

Ingredients to use for the fermentation process

Fermented yeast in various sugars:

  • Ardent spirits
  • Glycerol
  • Carbon dioxide

In various bacteria

  • Butanol
  • Propanone
  • Homocysteine
  • Sodium glutamate
  • Ethanoic acid

In-mold fermentation

  • Sour salt
  • Dextronic acid
  • Antibiotics(little amount)
  • Cobalamin(little amount)
  • Riboflavin(small amount)

The meaning of dosa

The meaning of dosa

I think many people have seen dosa, whether in real life or through the media. From what you can understand, you know what makes dosa so unique and differentiable. Dosa on the other hand can appear like a rolled thin piece of paper that can be identified by users who are well versed with it.

The word dosa itself originated from the Tamil language and the tasty crepes adapted the name dosai. It is by surprise that dosa is the favorite breakfast for South India and that is interesting. But in other western countries, dosas are preferred for lunch and dinner times. The dosas have come a long way to be used and liked by most people nowadays.

Dosa has some unique characteristics that make it to be liked and preferred by everyone. The unique favor in them makes it gain much popularity among people. Dosa is one term, with different types including masala dosa, Rava dosa, neer dosa, benne dosa, and cheese dosa. All the mentioned types above have oil, water, fenugreek seeds, potatoes, lentil flour, and rice flour. However, some might have different ingredients types.

When you cook dosa the taste and its sweetness make it a perfect food for every person. Dosas are best for filling the blank canvas. Initially, people fill the space with meat, vegetables, or a mixture of starch. Remember dosas are nut-free and gluten-free which makes them perfect for persons that do have food sensitivities.

Reasons for fermenting dosa batter

why do we ferment dosa batter

Fermenting dosa batter is done for the benefit of all humans who take it. Fermentation makes the dosa to be delicious, spicy, and be a healthy food for people to eat. Its softness creates room for every person at an age to eat and feel the taste of the dosa batter.

ReasonsFunctionsEssential products
Source of nutrientsProvides a healthy growth and development 
Soft textureEnhances fast and easy digestion for every person who uses 
SpicyCreates a good taste and make it delicious 

Is it required for dosa batter to undergo fermentation?

Is it required for dosa batter to undergo fermentation

Fermentation is the key to producing a smooth textured and fluffy dosa batter. If you have ever had a chat with someone familiar with preparing dosas or even who has ever tried once they will tell you fermentation is a key thing to produce a delicious dosa batter. It is when you get the exact texture and taste after passing through fermentation then you’ve reached the expert level of preparing dosa.

But keep in mind that fermentation is not only for adding taste and flavor to food as it has other advantages. Through fermentation, the raw ingredients in dosa batter release products that are efficient for use in the human body. More so the digestion process is highly maintained with the increasing nature of vitamin B and C.

Fermentation helps the protein level as it catalyzes the amino acid methionine. Even if you make crepes with batter after fermentation you will get the best taste and nutrient value compared to when you use the unfermented batter. Their chemical composition is really when fermentation takes place.

Ways on how to ferment dosa batter

Ways on how to ferment dosa batter

Now you understand why people ferment dosa batter and love it. It is good to understand how we can do it in a more précised way. The climate variation affects the fermentation period of the dosa batter. From what I know during winter seasons the fermentation process occurs approximately for seven hours and you get the batter fermented very well.

In the case where it is winter seasons, where it is cold through the day and night it takes more than a whole day or even more without fermentation to occur. When you experience that there are a few ways you can use to fasten the process.

1. Correct soaking

 Soaking is always the first step you do before anything else and no matter the ingredients you will use. Some ingredients like white rice, urad dal, lentils, and seeds are recommended to soak separately.

After that, remember to drain all the water in components by rinsing the ingredients with a rinsing machine  and finally grinding each component in separate ways using a grinder. After following all the procedures correctly the fermentation is catalyzed and the volume ratio is increased.

2. Filtered water

It is good to use filtered water when passing the rice, beans, and seeds through a grinder. This is because when chlorinated water or any other type of water is used besides filtered water the growth of yeast is tampered with and inhibits the fermentation process.

In the case where you don’t have filtered water at home, you have to use preferred water at least.

3. The correct consistency of the batter

Before fermenting your batter ensure you are using the right products to achieve the taste and texture. The imbalance ratio of water drags the fermentation process.  You can even use clean hands to mix the batter because it provides a better measure of ingredients. More so heat from the body helps in fermentation or using a temperature controller.

Frequently asked questions;

  • Can fermentation of Dosa Batter occur without salt?

Yes, the fermentation process can occur without salt but salt adds quality to the dosa if used. When fermentation fails it is not due to a lack of salt. It is always good to insert salt before fermentation begins for better batter consistency and spiciness.


Making dosa at home is a bit tiresome but helps you bring out the delicious dish on the table. Remember fermentation is a very essential step to do when you want your meal to look tasty and sweet. So, don’t ever skip the fermentation process; it plays an important role in the dosa batter you make.

If you follow the tips in my article above you will be able to do fermentation for a very short time. The microorganisms present as a result of fermentation are rich in nutrients and help for better body development. Add salt before fermentation and always use filtered water while soaking the ground ingredients on a separate basis to achieve higher value content.