What is the science behind dosa batter and hot tawa

By Madhurie Singh, January 02, 2015

I was getting my dosa tawa ready for dosa. So it had been on high flame since 5 minutes, till it started to smoke. I was about to pour oil, when it occurred to me that both kids were doing States of matter, molecules and heat in their science subject.

dosa on tawa

So I asked them this simple question. ” Why should I pour oil on the pan before pouring the dosa batter?” My older one who knows more in this subject answered “So that dosa can flow easily!”

The younger one has to compete, so he said “So that the dosa does not stick to the tawa.”

“Yes, you both are right. But its the result of something that is happening to the tawa and oil, not the cause.” I said.

Both were thinking hard, so I thought of dropping a hint. “It has to do with the molecules.”

That’s when both of them yelled at the same instance ” Heating make the space between the molecules of the Tawa wider and allows oil molecules to go in the gaps!”

“Yes, and that is why the surface of the tawa becomes so smooth that the dosa batter flows easily.”

But one bummer was waiting for me.

“But mumma, when tawa is cold, then also dosa flows easily, why ?” my younger one had to ask.

“Buddhu, because to cook dosa you have to heat the tawa, that time, the dosa molecules will go inside the tawa molecules” answered my older one and winked at me, as if he won a medal, by giving this answer.

Well, the point here of this learning is that kids have to be encouraged to think by constant questioning. Once they start in this path, you have won half the battle.

Just to add here. Non stick tawa’s work on this fundamental. When they are heated, there is no gap created in between the tawa molecules as its like a plastic sheet (and harmful). Hence there is no need to pour oil too. Now you know why they are called non stick oil free tawas.


There you just taught your children the science of molecules and heat and how to avoid sticky dosa.

Enjoy your dosa and think, what happens to the nonstick tawa’s teflon meterial when it’s partially scraped off by the darling maid. How much do you ingest and how much is going to pollute the rivers.

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