How To Know If Dosa Batter Is Spoiled?
To put it simply, Dosa batter does go bad or can spoil and there are signs that indicate that. To know if a Dosa batter is spoiled, you will have to keep a check on its smell and appearance. If there is a thick or yellowish layer on top of the batter then it has gone bad.
Idli Dosa Batter is a central component in dosas, thin, crisp crepes popular throughout south India, made from fermented mixtures of rice and lentils. Dosa is a South Indian thin pancake made of fermented dough made mostly from pulses and rice. A dosa is a South Indian dish made from a thin crepe made from a fermented batter made with rice flour and lentils. Dosa is a South Indian dish consisting of fermented batter of rice, typically served with a spicy lentil curry.
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Dosa batter is made from only five ingredients: rice flour, salt, urad dal (blackgram), water, and ghee (clarified butter). The usual ingredients that form the basis for a dosa batter are rice, urad dal, methi seeds, and poha. Rice and blackgram are the key ingredients that are mixed together into a smooth, silky batter, along with a small amount of salt. The same batter is also used to make the crepe called a dosa, which is usually filled with spicy potato fillings, amongst a lot of other things.
|To know if Dosa batter gone bad||Shelf life|
|It smell when it has gone bad||2 weeks in refrigerator|
|It changes its appearance if there is a thick or yellowish layer on top of the batter then it has gone bad||Sambar and Chutney for 3 to 4 days|
I do not like adding soggy poha and rice residues in the batter because that changes the texture of the batter. I have never made this kind of batter in India, but if I did, I would likely skip adding the salt until it ferments.
Over-fermented batters are easy to deflate and end up with an idli with lots of holes in them and warped shape. A well fermented batter will raise nicely and idli may touch the base of upper layer, which will end in idli with distorted shape. If you are trying to do a dosa or an idli using the batter from an idli, then you can expect a little bit of fermentation, as the yeasts are live in this kind of batter.
Idli batter is thicker and denser than dosa batter, but you can use both of them to make idlis or dosas, depending on how thick you want your final product. Always use a big container for fermenting dosa batter idli, that should double the batters volume, to give the batter plenty of space to ferment. Refrigerate the idli/dosa batter if it is not used immediately so as not to cause any further fermentation and to make the batter sour.
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Once stored in refrigerator, removing the batter and keeping it for minimum 30 minutes outside is recommended before making Dosa. Remove Dosa on plate and serve immediately, or keep the dosa hot till you are done making more dosa. If the dosa pan gets too hot, wipe down the surface using a slightly dampened towel. Then, add a few drops of oil, clean up with a paper towel, and make more dosas.
After soaking rice for at least 14 hours, throw out the water from the rice, wash again, so that it gets rid of fermented odors, and let it dry thoroughly. After the soak, strain out the water and grind urad Dal with sufficient amount of water first. Take out into a large container. Then, grind 9 cups idli rice, add salt, and stir it well with the batter from the urad Dal using hands. Insert a back of spoon after 7 minutes, and if it comes out clean with no dampened batter, idli is ready.
Adding salt helps to retain freshness in idli dough, you can either do it post-grinding or after the fermentation process is complete. Grinding results in an increase in volume, as well as helps with fermentation. Use water that is non-chlorinated and/or filtered, as chlorine hinders growth of the wild yeasts, which are necessary for fermentation. While I do not have any scientific reasons to support this theory, based on my personal experience, I find using soaker water (in which you soak the urad and rice) for grinding your batter helps with fermentation too. Sometimes, failure to add sufficient salt in your batter after grinding may be the cause of lack of fermentation.
Avoid adding ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, and yogurt before fermentation as ingredients such as baking soda inhibits growth of wild yeast. Over-sanitizing our home (air filters, etc) and closing windows all day suppresses wild yeast growth in the batter, leading to lack of fermentation. If you live where it is warm enough weather (say, 70+F) then it is easy for your batter to ferment if left on a counter.
In tropical countries such as India, it takes only 6-7 hours for a batter to ferment on a kitchen counter. If you live in a country that has a tropical climate, chances are that your batter will be fermented and ready within 10 – 12 hours. You just cannot hurry the fermentation process; it is generally better to let it sit overnight (8-14 hours is fine), but if you live somewhere extremely warm and humid, the batter may take only 6 hours to finish.
The trick is to heat up your oven to 80-90 degrees C, shut down, cover, and put your batter in the oven overnight. If you have a stovetop in your house, turn the light on to a burner, and then place the batter inside the oven. After grinding urad dhal mixture, mixing it thoroughly (after adding the salt) cover it with lid (not tightly fitted) and put it inside the normal oven or a radiator (basically anywhere warmer than rest of your home).
My batter needs to stay in a container with at least 3 – 5 inches space to allow the batter to raise. Transfer a flattened out dough into a stainless steel pan or glass Pyrex bowl with plenty of room to ferment the dough.
When a batter is fermented for longer than 12 hours (typically in colder climates), it is possible for the color at the top of the batter to become a little yellow. Once fermentation process goes beyond the viability stage, dosa batter is essentially spoilt and cannot be used anymore. Containment means if you are trying to make idlis or dosas using dosa batter, you are going to have zero fermentation as the yeasts in the batter die off because there is a lack of oxygen.
If you are making just dosas, then soaking the rice and the dal together will still work, but if you are making idlis, then soaking separately is better. It is mainly parboil rice which is used for making the idli or dosa batter, since it ferments better than white rice; the idli rava is parboil rice mashed. If in a pinch, Sona Masoori, which is another variety of short-grain rice, can be used too. Urad Dal, or skinned whole blackgram — Urad Dal is used in the batter to get that creamy, puffy texture.
What do I do if my dosa batter is sour?
Add some fresh milk, let’s say half a cup if it is sufficiently thick but too sour. The sourness is lessened as a result. Add half a cup of rice flour or semolina (Rava) if it is too watery and sour, stir, and let soak for 15 minutes. then pour into dosas or idlis.
How do you know if idli batter is fermented?
You can also test by placing a tiny drop of batter in a bowl containing clean water. The batter should float, indicating fermentation. If not, the fermentation process takes extra time. The batter for idli and dosa is now ready to be used!
How long does it take for dosa batter to go bad?
About eight hours are required for the dosa batter to ferment. The fermented batter can be frozen for up to one month or kept in the refrigerator for up to four days in an airtight container. Defrost thoroughly before using. Overmixing the fermented batter risks destroying the air bubbles that give your idlis their soft texture. Before making idlis or dosas, add salt.