Soft, spongy, and healthy kal dosa recipe with brown idli rice and whole black urad dal! A perfect dosa that you can pack for lunch.

soft and spongy kal dosa served with vada curry in black plate

Yesterday I shared the jini dosa recipe, and today I am back with another dosa recipe, and it’s the popular kal dosai or kal dosa.

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What’s kal dosai?

South India offers a wide variety of dosas, and this kal dosa is one among them. It is slightly thicker than regular dosa and soft and fluffy, making it perfect for packing for lunch or travel. Kal refers to the dosa tawa or the griddle, and typically kal dosai is prepared in a cast iron griddle or soapstone griddle. 

It is very similar to the set dosa recipe with a subtle difference, and you can find kal dosa and set dosa used synonymously. Poha/flattened rice/aval is the key ingredient in the set dosa recipe. With kal dosa, you can find a recipe with and without poha. Both set dosa and kal dosa are served as a set of two or three along with assorted sides. You can serve this dosa with veg sagu (popular in Karnataka) or with kurma or vada curry(popular in Tamil Nadu)

My mom and mother-in-law don’t add poha or any other ingredients to the idli dosa batter except for idli rice, urad dal, and fenugreek. Like every other recipe, every South Indian state and family has its way of preparing this kal dosa batter. Now I will share my recipe, and I am not claiming this to be a traditional or authentic one. 

Let’s get straight into the ingredients and procedure.

Ingredients required

Idli rice: I have brown idli rice, and I did not use any raw rice or pachaarisi. You can also use regular idli rice. PS – I received brown idli rice from Indus foods for trying. This is not a sponsored, paid, or review post either. 

Black urad dal – Instead of whole white urad, I used the whole black urad as it’s highly nutritious. I did not remove the skin; hence dosai color is different. As I mentioned in my kollu adai recipe, whole urad has a higher protein value than most legumes. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B complex, and other minerals. 

Sago pearls: Recently, I have been experimenting with idli dosa batter proportion and switching between flattened rice and sago pearls. Like flattened rice, sago also yields soft and fluffy dosa, and for this recipe, I have used ½ cup of sago. Use the big sago pearl variety, not the nylon ones. (PS – You can use flattened rice instead or skip this ingredient. Refer notes)

Apart from these ingredients, we also need fenugreek seeds, salt, water, and oil to make the dosa. Please check the recipe card for the measurements.

two kal dosa served in black plate

Dietary specifications and serving suggestions

Kal dosai is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free. If you are not particular about the vegan diet, you can use ghee to make the dosa. But I highly recommend groundnut oil for making the dosa as it yields an excellent flavor which reminds me of the dosa that we get in small eateries(mess) in Tamil Nadu. 

You can serve this dosa with assorted chutneys, sambar, kurma, or vada curry. I served it with vada curry and will share the recipe soon. 

How to prepare kal dosa

Prepare the dosa batter and ferment.

kal dosai preparation step set 1
  • Rinse and soak: Add the idli rice, black urad dal, sago pearls, and fenugreek seeds to a bowl. Wash them together atleast 4 to 5 times until the water runs clear. Now add sufficient water and soak for atleast 6 to 8 hours.
  • Grind the batter: Drain the water from the rice and dal after the soaking time. Add ¼ cup of water to the blender, add half of the rice, dal, and sago mix, and slightly grind it into a fine batter. It should be slightly coarse. Transfer this ground batter to a vessel. Similarly, grind the next batch. I used the smoothie setting in Blendtec to grind the batter. I used 2 cups of water while grinding and used ice-cold water. Also, rinse the Blendtec with ¼ cup of water and add it to the batter. Add salt and mix well. 
  • Ferment the batter: I used my Instant Pot to ferment the batter. While fermenting the batter in Instant Pot, I do not use the IP lid, and I recommend the same. Use any other lid to cover the IP and set the IP in yogurt mode for 10 to 12. The fermenting time varies between 8 to 14 hours, depending on the weather.
  • After the batter is fermented, mix the batter gently, add ¼ to ½ cup water and mix well. It should be in pouring consistency. 

Prepare the kal dosa.

kal dosai step set 2
  • Heat a well seasoned cast-iron pan, and when it is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low. Take a spoon/ladle full of batter and pour it onto the pan. Slightly spread it, and do not make it too thin or spread as we do for regular dosa. Spread some oil around the edges; ½ tsp should be sufficient. 
  • Cover it with the lid and let the kal dosa cook in the steam. Typically flipping is not required for kal dosa as we let the dosa cook completely in steam. But I flip the dosa and cook for just 10 seconds. That’s optional. 
  • When the top part is fully cooked, loosen the edges, cook for 10 seconds, and remove from the pan.
  • Similarly, make the dosa with the remaining batter and serve hot with chutney, sambar, or vada curry. 
over head shot of kal dosai served in black plates with vada curry on the side

Recipe notes

  • You can use regular idli rice instead of brown idli rice and white urad instead of black urad. Also, you can use an equal measure of raw rice (short grain variety) and idli rice instead of 2 cups of idli rice for this dosa.
  • Typically, you can make kal dosai without sago or poha/aval. All we need is a good quality of rice and urad dal. Adding these two aids in soft and fluffy dosa. So add either sago or poha, or you can entirely skip it.
  • I have fermented the batter in Instant Pot. Alternatively, you can keep the batter inside the preheated oven or place it in the oven with the lights on. If the weather is warm and if you live in a warm place, leave the batter outside. 
kal dosai topped with vada curry and small piece from dosa is placed on top

Explore other dosa varieties

PS If you try this kal dosa, please don’t forget to comment and rate this recipe. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I will get to it ASAP. Follow me on my Pinterest for more healthy and delicious ideas! Follow me on Instagram or join my Facebook Group for more recipe updates! You can also sign-up for my newsletter for weekly updates.

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square image of kal dosa served with vada curry

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Kal Dosai | Soft Kal Dosa Recipe

Soft, spongy, and healthy kal dosa recipe with brown idli rice and whole black urad dal! A perfect dosa that you can pack for lunch.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Soaking + fermentation time16 hrs

Total Time16 hrs 35 mins

Course: Breakfast, Entree

Cuisine: South Indian

Servings: 6 yields 12 to 15 dosa

Calories: 319kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Tawa or Griddle
  • 1 Blender like Blendtec

Ingredients

Measurement Details: 1 cup = 240ml; 1 tbsp = 15ml; 1 tsp = 5ml;

Instructions

Prepare the dosa batter and ferment.

  • Rinse and soak: Add the idli rice, black urad dal, sago pearls, and fenugreek seeds to a bowl. Wash them together atleast 4 to 5 times until the water runs clear. Now add sufficient water and soak for atleast 6 to 8 hours.
  • Grind the batter: Drain the water from the rice and dal after the soaking time. Add ¼ cup of water to the blender, add half of the rice, dal, and sago mix, and slightly grind it into a fine batter. It should be slightly coarse. Transfer this ground batter to a vessel. Similarly, grind the next batch. I used the smoothie setting in Blendtec to grind the batter. I used 2 cups of water while grinding and used ice-cold water. Also, rinse the Blendtec with ¼ cup of water and add it to the batter. Add salt and mix well.
  • Ferment the batter: I used my Instant Pot to ferment the batter. While fermenting the batter in Instant Pot, I do not use the IP lid, and I recommend the same. Use any other lid to cover the IP and set the IP in yogurt mode for 10 to 12. The fermenting time varies between 8 to 14 hours, depending on the weather.
  • After the batter is fermented, mix the batter gently, add ¼ to ½ cup water and mix well. It should be in pouring consistency.

Prepare the kal dosa.

  • Heat a well seasoned cast-iron pan, and when it is hot, reduce the heat to medium-low. Take a spoon/ladle full of batter and pour it onto the pan. Slightly spread it, and do not make it too thin or spread as we do for regular dosa. Spread some oil around the edges; ½ tsp should be sufficient.
  • Cover it with the lid and let the kal dosa cook in the steam. Typically flipping is not required for kal dosa as we let the dosa cook completely in steam. But I flip the dosa and cook for just 10 seconds. That’s optional.
  • When the top part is fully cooked, loosen the edges, cook for 10 seconds, and remove from the pan.
  • Similarly, make the dosa with the remaining batter and serve hot with chutney, sambar, or vada curry.

Notes

  • You can use regular idli rice instead of brown idli rice and white urad instead of black urad. Also, you can use an equal measure of raw rice (short grain variety) and idli rice instead of 2 cups of idli rice for this dosa.
  • Typically, you can make kal dosai without sago or poha/aval. All we need is a good quality of rice and urad dal. Adding these two aids in soft and fluffy dosa. So add either sago or poha, or you can entirely skip it.
  • I have fermented the batter in Instant Pot. Alternatively, you can keep the batter inside the preheated oven or place it in the oven with the lights on. If the weather is warm and if you live in a warm place, leave the batter outside. 

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

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