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Set dosa


Set dosa has different definitions for different people. I was introduced to it in Bangalore and I instantly became a fan. A stack of 3 spongy dosas is served with sagu - a vegetable side dish. I absolutely adore this combination. Recently, one of my friends told me, the set dosa he knows is a stack of 3 different varieties of dosas. Anyway, I have seen so many different recipes for these spongy dosas. I loved this version which is very simple. This recipe is from some old Kannada recipe collection. I served it with a simple potato side dish.

1 cup rice
3/4 cup flattened rice (poha)
1 tea spn fenugreek(methi) seeds
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tea spn sugar
1/2 tea spn soda

Soak rice and fenugreek seeds in water for 4-5 hrs. Grind to a smooth batter.
Soak flattened rice(poha) in yogurt. Grind it and mix with rice batter. (I grind both together). Do not make the batter too thin. Leave over night for fermentation.
Add sugar and soda next day.
Make thick small dosas. Serve hot.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20mins

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{ 58 comments… add one }

  • Ramya April 25, 2009, 10:17 pm

    Wow, set dosa looks very soft and a perfect breakfast…

  • swethaskitchen.com April 25, 2009, 10:39 pm

    hi shipa,
    your dosas looks yummy……

  • Purnima April 26, 2009, 3:20 am

    Dosa has made an appearance here after quite long! Wow..tks for sharing this recipe as well. (Raw rice or Dosa rice?)

    Shilpa: You can use any kind. I have used sona masoori and basmati. You can also use dosa rice, I haven’t seen dosa rice here anytime, so I use anything thats available

  • Parita April 26, 2009, 4:20 am

    Set dosas looks lovely, have never used poha in dosa batter, will def try ading it next time, i usually like my dosa thin and crispy :)

    Shilpa: As far as I know, set dosa is made spongy and thick. I love my dosas crispy too, but not this variety.

  • Esther April 26, 2009, 8:21 am

    Just one doubt. The rice – idli rice or the rice we eat?

    Shilpa: You can use any kind. I have used sona masoori and basmati(because these days thats what we eat daily).

  • Aruna April 26, 2009, 11:42 am

    What is Set Dosa in Karnataka, is Chepi Surnali in Konkanis.(coconut is the addl ingredient) My mom makes the surnali batter and divides into two, adds jaggrey and a pinch of haldi in one of them for Godi Surnali, the other batter is the Chepi Surnali.

    Last time i made this the dosa’s got stuck to the non-stick pan, even after using oil. Must try this proportion. Thanks.

  • kanchan gharse April 26, 2009, 12:05 pm

    Hi! this is something which we make as surnoli. I add kurmura, [charmuro in konkani and puffed rice in English.] instead of beaten rice,. Add jaggery n salt to batter. If you do not want to make saperate chutney, I add 1 green chilli,a small piece of ginger and a pinch of cummin seeds [jeera] while grinding. Turns out soft even without adding soda bi carb.

  • musical April 26, 2009, 2:17 pm

    I miss set dose+sagu, I miss Bangalore! Thank you, Shilpa for evoking the beautiful memories…..

  • anagha April 26, 2009, 10:56 pm

    The dosas look inviting…as always.thnx fr the recipe..wl try out today.

  • Purnima April 27, 2009, 3:30 am

    Thanks! It is same here…Indian stores are stocking sona mussorie, which is my regular, but idli=dosa rice is missing since many months now! Shall try this wt sona- mus.rice n post my feedback! :D Tks again!

  • sudha April 27, 2009, 4:53 am

    your dosa looks very soft…… next time i am going to try this…
    thanx for sharing…….

  • Geetha April 27, 2009, 8:02 pm

    Just to confirm…there is no Urad dal used for this ??

    shilpa: no

  • indira April 28, 2009, 5:40 am

    Set Dosaaa
    you made it so simple Now Iwill enjoy every other day

  • Purnima April 28, 2009, 9:42 am

    All at home liked it totally. I served it along wt karbeva-pallya chutney. Tks for sharing this lovely brkfast recipe!!

  • Ashwin April 29, 2009, 12:53 am

    The first time i ate this was in mysore. It was in the college canteen. The best thing I liked about set dosa was that you would get 3 dosas :). I think they serve chutney as well. Your dosas look so lovely and soft.

  • shirley April 29, 2009, 3:51 pm

    What is Sagu and can you post a recipe?

  • Debashree April 30, 2009, 3:28 am


    This is a new veriety of Dosa for me. Looks yummy! I just wanted to ask whether the poha used is the thick variety or thin variety, as we get both types here.

    Shilpa: You can use any one. I have tried with both.

  • Divyamanish May 1, 2009, 10:31 am

    i cant believe that the dosas i made today morning came out so nice and tasty … wow….the same taste i had in my home town udupi….thanks a lot

  • Divyamanish May 1, 2009, 10:37 am


  • wilma May 2, 2009, 12:41 pm

    I tried this dosa today morning and it was perfect. I never expected it to come out like in the restuarants but it did. shilpa ….your recipies are amazing.

  • Pallavi May 2, 2009, 4:36 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Your Set Dosa looks just great!! I tried this one and it came out very good. We loved it very much. My husband usually likes crispy dosas but he like it too.
    I was thinking to write you from so many days, but I couldn’t.. may be because of my laziness..;) I like all your recipes. Whenever I want to try something new then your site is the first choice for me..and I usually find everything whatever I search for.
    One more thing I like is your narration. It feels like somebody is talking to you in person.You write in detail with each and every single tip.

    Great site!! Keep going..Good Luck..:)


  • Ganga May 4, 2009, 6:50 am

    I made these today, and they were so light and fluffy. Delicious. Thank you so much for posting them.

  • Sandhya May 14, 2009, 4:53 pm

    Shipa, try soaking rice, poha, methi seeds together in yogurt(butter milk gives a better dosa) for around 6 hours and grind into batter a bit thicker then dosa batter. The dosas should be thick and once u pour the batter on the pan, cover it so tat if the consistency is correct the dosas become almost double the size once u remove the covering pan. U can garnish with onions, chopped green chilies and ginger and cumin seeds.
    The propotion of rice and poha is 2:1.
    This is called Majiga dosalu in telugu-Andhra (buttermilk dosas).
    Try this.

  • Lubna July 12, 2009, 10:23 pm

    Hi shilpa.
    I too make set dosa but with regular dosa batter.yours look very spongy and nice will surely try this version.so you dont add urad dal to this is it?
    And plz give me a recipe for sagu.i love it.

  • Anupama October 4, 2009, 6:26 am


    Have been referring to this site for many recipes, and thanks to everyone contributing, I can cook descently now.

    Just an addition to what you have said for Set Dosa.

    When i grind the rice and poha, i also add powered jaggery. By the time i prepare the dosas next day after it has fermented, it tastes really nice. Have got that feedback from others also.


  • urvashi October 10, 2009, 2:29 am

    hi shilpa, tried this dosa..came out really well….tell me one thing is it necessry to add soda….

  • jessie March 8, 2010, 8:06 am

    Do you know chittiappams ? how do you make them ? I am from South Kanara.


  • kanchan March 27, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Dear Shilpa, I made the set dosas today. My family loved it! thank you for all your efforts to provide the perfect recipes. :-)

  • navya June 15, 2010, 10:08 pm

    can i use Basmati rice? Im new to US..not found sona masuri anywhere yet..

    • Shilpa June 16, 2010, 11:51 am

      Yes, I have tried this with basmati and it works great

  • Kavitha June 16, 2010, 7:55 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    I tried this receipe today..it was very tasty..Thanks..

  • geeta June 25, 2010, 4:13 pm

    hi Shilpa,
    I want to try this recipe today.. I got a huge (25 lbs) packet of parboiled rice from sams.. :)
    I have 1 important question.. when should we add salt.. Before keeping the batter for fermentation or after fermenting it?
    Salt slows down the fermentation process, so we should add it after.. right? Pls let me know..


    • Shilpa June 26, 2010, 9:43 pm

      I always add salt before fermentation for idlis and dosas

  • aparna June 27, 2010, 8:04 am

    Nice dosas. Is soda compulsory?

    • Shilpa June 27, 2010, 11:13 am

      No, but it makes dosas very spongy

  • Veena Kuwait July 25, 2010, 5:55 am

    Hi shilpa, I tried this dosas for brekfast & they came out excellent. Thanks a lot.

  • Geetha August 18, 2010, 3:39 am

    Hi Shilpa, I tried this recipe and for the first time in my life i was so happy to make such a super Dosa!!! Thanks a ton for the recipe!!

  • Geetha August 18, 2010, 3:41 am

    Hi Shilpa, I tried this recipe and for the first time in my life i was so happy to make such a delicious Dosa!!! Thanks a ton for the recipe!!

  • divya February 4, 2011, 11:45 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    I am trying this recipe tomorrow.I have soaked the rice and poha.Wish me luck.I am very bad preparing dosa so just scared to try new.

    I tried your kesari bhath recipe.It was good.Thanks.

  • divya February 7, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Hi shilpa, Set dosa came out very nice.I was so happy.My husband enjoyed it too.I served it with kurma.I didnt get a sagu recipe.

  • kasturi May 11, 2011, 5:34 am

    i made this dosa today but instead of soda i used urad dal. Dosa was soft but, sticky.

  • shwetha August 12, 2011, 8:20 am

    hi shilpa ,

    i tried your set dosa recipe today . it tasted excellant , but it was thick not spongy .no holes were formed in dosa :(
    can u just tell me what went wrong ????
    i stay in dubai its hot here . whether its not fermented properly or any other reason .

    • Shilpa August 12, 2011, 9:35 am

      Probably it wasn’t fermented. Did the batter rise in volume after the fermentation?

  • shwetha August 13, 2011, 7:55 am

    hey thanks for the immediate reply . i could see the pores in the batter nex mng . it was a bit sour .but i din notice abt the volume :(

  • Sanchari Mukherjee October 25, 2011, 2:28 am

    Thanks for such a nice easily digestible recipe. One thing I’ve notices while making with this above measurements that initially it did not bind but after adding 2-3 tablespoons of Maida and Upma Rava the Dosas came out really well and it was so soft like a Sponge. Thanks for such easy cooking Tiffin recipes.

  • Ashwini December 20, 2011, 1:36 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    Thank you for posting such tasty recepies …this particular recepie was a big hit….it is really really good…i make it atleast once a week…Thanks once again.

  • uma March 3, 2012, 5:29 am

    very nice

  • radha April 21, 2012, 11:29 pm

    Tried it. Loved it.

  • Sudha Bhat June 19, 2012, 8:10 pm

    can we make set dosa without soda?

    • Shilpa June 20, 2012, 8:47 am

      Yes, they are good without soda too. Just leave it out and follow the recipe.

  • Rasika July 12, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Thanks Shilpa for such an easy and tasty recipe. I prepared set dosas today and it turned out great. So spongy and yummy dosas. loved it. I am a big fan of any kind of dosas. Can eat it in breakfast lunch and dinner. :) Once again thanks.

  • Rasika July 12, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Thanks Shilpa for such an easy and tasty recipe. I prepared set dosas today and it turned out great. So spongy and yummy dosas. loved it. I am a big fan of any kind of dosas. Can eat it in breakfast lunch and dinner. :) Once again thanks.

  • Sumathi August 13, 2012, 9:42 pm

    My grandma says for dosa and all we have to use grinder to make it perfect.but now a days ppl are started using mixer.so what is ur suggestion.how ur preparing it

    • Shilpa August 14, 2012, 11:17 am

      I use wet grinder now. But I have used mixer for many years, it works well.

  • viji September 17, 2012, 10:12 am

    Hi, when does the salt get added, pre grinding or next morning with sugar n soda?. I live in Bangalore, but prefer home made dosa’s :)

    • Shilpa September 17, 2012, 9:48 pm

      You can add while grinding

  • Minnie September 21, 2012, 3:41 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    Thank you so much for your recipes…I’ve tried a few of them including set dosa, it came out so well. I have shared this link with couple of my cousins & friends stating tried and tasted…go for it. Have received positive response from them too

    Thanks once again.

    Minnie, China

  • Prem October 11, 2012, 4:08 am

    Hi shilpa,

    Tried this dosa…and they came out really wonderful, very soft and tasty…even my huby loved them..definitely goes to my dosa list….Im new to cooking & so far have tried (in the dosa category) the neer dosa, mashti dosa, masala dosa, rava dosa recipes and they are in my collection. I refer ur site for my daily cooking and its of great help. the preparation and taste is just what i want in my cooking. thanks to you :)

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