If you are new to making dosa/idli batter at home, you must have this question in mind – What type of rice to use? Well, to start with, do not use a long grain variety such as Basmati. Second, if you want your idli and dosa to come out just perfect, you cannot use the same batter for both.
The type of the rice used for dosa batter is different from the one used for idli batter. I will elaborate.
1. How To Choose The Best Rice For Dosa Batter
For dosa batter, any short grain variety of raw white rice (not brown) and preferably broken, can be used. I have used kolam rice for dosa batter, and it worked. When buying rice for dosa batter, make sure that you are buying raw rice and not parboiled (commonly called “boiled”) rice.
2. How To Choose The Best Rice For Idli Batter
To make idli batter, you will need to use parboiled rice. If you are buying rice in a store where South Indian provisions are sold, you just have to say “boiled rice” and they will give you the rice that is used for making idli batter.
A very popular variety of rice used in the making of idli batter is “Idli rice”. This is a very short grain rice that looks shiny, rather glassy. Almost any South Indian provision store will have this type of rice in the stock.
Of course, you can use boiled rice or idli rice for making idli batter but if you are looking to make the softest melt-in-the-mouth idli, do not use rice. Use ‘cream of rice’ instead. Cream of rice is also known as ‘idli sooji’, ‘idli rava’ or ‘rice rava’. When we say “Sooji” or semolina, it usually means wheat semolina. But here, we are talking about rice sooji. Please read my detailed article on why you should use cream of rice for making idli.
You can buy idli sooji in any South Indian provision store. It can also be bought online. If you have not used idli sooji so far, I will suggest that you watch this video on making idli with cream of rice. Once you watch it, you will have all the information and guidance that you need.
However, if you already have some variety of short grain boiled rice at home and do not want to take the trouble of going out to buy idli sooji, use the rice.