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Idli dosa batter is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes that are incredibly easy to make and with minimal cooking time.
Easy to make and incredibly healthy, this baseline ingredient is hugely popular in a range of classic South Indian dishes, and also around the world.
It’s no wonder our fridges and freezers are always well stocked with this frozen batter and recent mixes; but what if you experience a power cut and find yourself without the facilities to properly store your mix?
What is idli dosa batter?
Dosa batter is the core ingredient of dosa, a thin and crispy crepe popular in South India, made with fermented rice and lentil mixture.
Crispy dosas are easy to make for breakfast or even dinner, and their rich protein content makes them a healthy option, too. Fenugreek seeds and methi seeds can also be included, and if you have an idli steamer to hand you can impress your friends with a plate of soft idlis in no time.
While its versatility is impressive, one of the problems people often face when making idli batter is just how quickly fermented batter can go bad, especially for people without a fridge to help extend its lifespan.
While those who live in cold regions – or cold countries – might not experience too many problems keeping idli dosa without access to a fridge, anyone from a warm place will no doubt have experienced wasting batter because it has gone bad, and missing out on their crispy dosa breakfast.
Storing idli dosa batter mixture without a fridge
The best way to keep dosa batter from spoiling is to put it in the refrigerator or freezer. Because dosa batter is a fermenting batter which means there is an ever-changing chemical process going on within the batter and cooling the mixture helps slow this process down.
Once the fermentation process runs away past a viable state, the batter is basically spoiled and can no longer be used. But what if you don’t have a fridge available to store the dosa batter?
In all honesty, don’t expect to store dosa batter for more than 24 hours outside of a fridge or freezer. While you won’t be able to store the batter long-term without one, you can, however, make that 24 hours a bit more guaranteed, or maybe even stretch it a bit.
Essentially, you can create a chambered storage solution that can help minimize the exposure to air and keep the moisture level consistent. This is probably your best bet for storing dosa batter without a fridge:
- Keep the batter as cool as possible, and add some extra salt to the mixture.
- Pour the dosa batter into a pot or bowl that can fit into another larger pot or bowl.
- Pour some cold water into the larger bowl. This should be enough water to mostly cover the bottom portion of the smaller bowl but not spill over the top of it.
- Cover the smaller bowl with a wet cloth or towel. This cloth should be large enough to fully cover the bowl and then wrap over the rim into the water below–this will act as a wick to ensure the cloth stays damp.
- Cover the larger bowl with a plate or lid to keep the air out and retain the moisture.
This will help keep the batter suitable for use for longer, allowing you to reuse the same batter and make delicious idli rice or urad dhal later on. The addition of salt helps to keep it fresh, and you can do this either after the grinding process or at the end of the fermentation process.
The only other option to try and store dosa batter without a fridge is to make smaller batches and just make more as you need to prepare meals.
While dosas are delicious and the batter is easy to make, storing dosa batter without a fridge over an extended period of time isn’t really possible unless you’re in an abnormally cold environment.
But if you have any tricks or tips to help make storing dosa batter easier in the absence of a fridge, please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!