Substitutes for Rice Flour in Dosa Recipes

The Best Substitutes for Rice Flour in Dosa Recipes

Dosa is a staple of the South Indian breakfast table. It is a thin, crisp and savoury crepe made from fermented rice batter. You can find dosa vendors at almost every street corner in South India. But the authentic version is rarely available outside of India. If you can’t find dosa made with rice flour, what can you substitute it with?

The easiest and most common replacement for rice flour in dosa recipes is tapioca starch. It is a relatively easy to find substitute. So, let’s take a look at the different ways you can substitute rice flour with tapioca starch.

What is Tapioca Starch

Tapioca or cassava root is a starchy vegetable native to South America. It is processed into a white, flaky, tasteless and odorless powder. It is commonly used as a vegetarian and vegan alternative for foods that rely on eggs or dairy for texture and flavour.

Why use Tapioca Starch in Dosa Recipes?

Besides being an easy and cheap alternative to animal products, Tapioca starch is also gluten-free. This means it can be used to make various gluten-free dosa, idlis, idli-dosa, tikkis and other South Indian recipes.

How to substitutes Rice Flour with Tapioca Starch

If you can’t find dosa made with rice flour, you can try this easy method to substitute it with tapioca starch. It’s a good idea to use a kitchen scale for weighing out the ingredients.

First, measure out 1/4 cup (60 g) of rice flour or rice hulls or rice bran in a bowl. Next, add 1/4 cup (60 g) of tapioca starch. Mix well to combine. Transfer the batter to a piping bag and use it to pipe the batter on to the hot griddle.

Use a spatula to spread the batter out into a thin and uniform layer. Cook the dosa until the first side is crisp and golden. Then, use the spatula to flip the dosa and cook the other side until golden.

Tips for Substituting Rice Flour with Tapioca Starch

To get the best results when using tapioca starch in place of rice flour, it is important to maintain the following factors in mind:

Choose a high-quality brand.

Use a scale to measure the ingredients.

Cook the batter until it is a little thicker than normal to prevent the dosa from getting too thin.

Use a thin and large spoon to ladle the batter so that the batter reaches the bottom of the skillet in an even layer. This prevents the dosa from getting too thin and crispy on the edges.

How to tell if your Dosa is Authentic or not?

Authentic dosa are almost never made with rice flour. The only time you would see this in an authentic restaurant would be if a restaurant doesn’t have any other option for the flour. All other times, you should be able to tell by the taste and texture of the dosa.

Wrapping Tips for that authentic Dosa flavour

You can wrap your dosa in a variety of ways. You can eat it right away, or pack it for lunch the next day. You can also freeze dosa for up to 6 months.


Tapioca starch is a great substitute for rice flour. If you can’t find your favourite dosa made with rice flour, try this easy substitute. It is also the base for various other Indian snacks and desserts.