This food experiment pits Idli, Dosas made with parboiled rice, and raw rice batter against each other

12:24 PM Dec 13, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

Food science appears to be a simple discipline, but it is just as significant as other fields of science. All of the food recipes we faithfully follow when preparing our favourite foods at home are the result of many hits and trials, as well as, more significantly, research.


Swetha Sivakumar, a culinary researcher and blogger, has made this concept abundantly clear. Swetha conducted a cooking experiment using the classic South Indian meals Idli and Dosa to demonstrate why recipes call for boiling the rice before preparing the batter.

She talked about her experiment on Twitter and on her blog, ‘Upgrade My Food.’ “Why do idli/dosa recipes always call for parboiled rice?” Swetha writes in the thread, explaining the basis of her investigation. What happens if we use raw rice to make idli and dosa batter? I conducted an experiment to find out.

Swetha prepared two batters: one with urad dal and parboiled rice, and the other with urad dal and uncooked rice.


She utilised the exact same water ratios and mixing time for both batters and compared the texture before leaving them out in the sun for one day to start the fermentation process.

She then looked at how the two batters differed in terms of fermentation. The parboiled rice batter fermented more quickly than the uncooked rice batter. Swetha adds that because parboiled rice has already been cooked a little, it gives the lactobacillus bacteria a leg up on the sugars in the rice. If the rice has already been boiled, it gives the bacteria a head start.

Now that both batters were prepared, it was time to create idlis and dosas to observe how different the dishes would turn out. In comparison to the raw rice batter, the parboiled batter produced thicker idlis, indicating that it had’more lift.’ When it came to dosas, though, the raw rice batter triumphed. Swetha’s food experiment revealed that the uncooked rice batter dosa was crispier and tastier.

This cooking experiment demonstrated that using raw rice batter is not always a terrible idea. Rather, it can improve the flavour of your dosas, if not idlis.


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