Red Rice Idli or Dosa Mau

Red rice idli
These pretty pink idlis and dosas are surprisingly tasty, filling and healthy being made of all whole ingredients. Once you get hooked on these the white ones don’t appeal any more.


  • 4 cups unpolished red rice
  • 1 cup whole (black) urad dal
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste


Separately soak the red rice and the urad dal for 6-8 hours. Soak 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds either with the rice or dal.

Grind the soaked rice in the blender (or idli grinder) till you get a slightly coarse (but almost smooth) paste. Pour into a large bowl.

Grind the soaked urad dal in the blender till very smooth and mix with the rice paste.

Allow this mixture to ferment for 8-12 hours depending on the room temperature. In summer days 8 hours is sufficient, but on cooler days it takes longer. You can smell it to tell whether it is ready or not. It should have a slightly sour, fermented smell (I like it a bit more sour so I always keep it out 14 hours).

Add salt to taste and pour into an idli steamer to make idlis.

Add water so that it is of the consistency of dosa batter (somewhat similar to pancake batter) to make dosas.


Dosas can be made on a thick iron dosa tawa without any oil by rubbing it with a chopped potato or onion before pouring the batter. Placing a lid of another vessel over the dosa will create steam which will help lift off the dosa once its ready. If all else fails, put a drop of oil on the tawa. Spray water over it to scatter the oil. Make your first dosa and do not use it. After this the next dosas will be easy to make without oil.

Variation for Dosas

An equal volume or less of finely grated lauki (dudhi) or pumpkin can be mixed with the mixture along with ginger chili paste to taste. This makes tasty, slightly thicker dosas which are a big hit with children and a good way to feed them the vegetables they don’t care for.

Serve with sambhar and coconut chutney

Serves 8-10