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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Masala Dosa Recipe


Masala Dosa needs no introduction to at least in India. It is one of the most popular South Indian breakfast dishes. It is basically a thin crisp crepe made using fermented rice and lentil batter that is stuffed with flavorful spiced potato and served with sambar and coconut chutney. Masala Dosa is a healthy delicious and comforting meal that is served at tiffin centers and restaurants across India. The recipe is vegan.


What is Dosa?

  Dosa is a crispy savory rice pancake that resembles a crepe. It is a popular South Indian dish and a staple food there. Dosa is made from fermented rice and lentil (black gram) batter and is typically served with Sambar and coconut chutney. The main ingredients of dosa, rice, and black gram are soaked and ground separately to a fine paste. The batters are mixed together and allowed to ferment overnight. Thin crepes are then made on a heated pan with the fermented rice and lentil batter to get a crisp, golden brown dosa. Dosa can be served plain or can be stuffed with a filling of vegetables and podi to make a quick meal.


Different Dosa Varieties

Dosa has a slightly tangy taste due to the fermentation and is a savory dish. There are many variations to the traditional rice and lentil dosa.
  • Plain dosa or sada dosa - a simple crepe without any filling that can be paired with a variety of vegetable curries.
  • Paper Dosa -  a thin and crisp version of plain dosa.
  • Masala Dosa - the most popular dosa variety which has a savory potato filling inside it. As per Wikipedia, masala dosa has its origins in Tuluva Mangalorean Cuisine of Karnataka.
  • Adai Dosa - a protein-rich thin and crisp dosa made from a mixture of different lentils and rice.
  • Onion Rava Dosa - a popular South Indian crepe made from semolina and rice flour, that is seasoned with onions and green chilies.
  • Pesarattu - a gluten-free vegan dosa made from whole mung beans(green gram)and rice.
  • Mysore Masala Dosa - a spicier version of the masala dosa in which a hot garlicky chutney is smeared on the dosa. Do check out this Karnataka style dosa from Priya's space.
  • Neer Dosa - a vegan and gluten-free thin crepe made from rice flour. I have bookmarked this recipe from Renu's blog.
  • Set Dosa , another spongy and fluffy dosa variety from my blogger friend, Priya. Set dosa uses beaten rice and curd along with rice and lentil to make dosa batter.
  • Mixed Millet and Dal Dosa a healthier variety of dosa from Archana's blog.
  • Sprouted Moong and Quinoa Dosa a nutritious and wholesome dosa from Swaty's space.

Dosa Den @FoodieMondayBlogHop

Foodie Monday Bloghop is a Facebook Gourmet group where a bunch of like-minded bloggers share their food recipes every Monday depending upon a chosen theme for the week. The members of the group take turns in proposing two themes each week while the rest of the members vote for any one of those. The theme with maximum votes is finalized and all participating members showcase their creations based on that theme the following Monday. It is the 257th week on this group and Priya suggested that we share different types of dosas. It could be the traditional ones or the healthy variations to the regular rice and lentil dosa. This Masala dosa is my humble contribution to the theme. Meanwhile do check out Priya's space, Thephotowali.wordpress.com for some traditional South Indian recipes. Her Karnataka Style Mysore Masala Dosa and Mixed Vegetable Paneer Dosa are on my to-do list.


What goes into my Masala Dosa?

Masala dosa is the most popular breakfast dish from South India. We love it to the core and it is easily available in many restaurants and food joints even here in North India. Now, that we are homebound from the last 4 months owing to the worldwide COVID pandemic, I make it at least twice a month at home. We enjoy it as our Sunday brunch. I agree, making dosa at home is a bit time consuming but trust me it is worth the energy and time we put in. I usually follow a simple recipe in which the ratio of rice to lentil is 3:1 and the same batter is used to make, idli, dosa, and uttapam. Here, I have made a few changes like adding a little Bengal gram (chana Dal ) along with the black gram to get crisp and golden dosa. I have also used little flattened rice (thick poha) which imparts a soft inside and crisp outer texture to the dosa. Fenugreek seeds aid in the fermentation process. sharing a few tips to get a good Restuarant style masala dosa at home.
  • I have used my regular basmati tukda rice to make this masala dosa. You may use parboiled rice or the idli rice if you can source it. Any short-grain rice like the sona masuri also works fine and gives crisp dosas.
  • The masala dosa turns out good only when the batter is well fermented. For that, the rice and lentils have to be ground to a fine paste and the batter is to be kept covered in a warm place. Fermentation time can be around 8-12 hours depending upon the weather of your place. In the winter season, more time will be required for fermentation. You may keep the batter bowl overnight inside an oven with the light on to aid fermentation if living in the cold region.
  • The temperature of the dosa pan plays a crucial role in getting that perfect golden crust and crisp dosa. You may use an iron-cast pan or a non-stick pan for i making dosa. The dosa turns out crisp when cooked on a medium flame and the pan is hot when you pour the batter but again you cannot spread the dosa if the pan is very hot. So after making every dosa, little salt water is sprinkled on the dosa pan which lowers the temperature of the pan a bit and you can easily spread the dosa batter on the pan. This method works well with a cast-iron pan. But if using a non-stick pan sprinkling cold water on a heated pan may affect its coating. So you have to lower the flame each time after a dosa is made, allow the pan to cool down a bit and then make the next one.
  • Once fermented, the batter has to be refrigerated or else it turns sour.
  • The addition of flattened rice (thick poha) makes the dosa crisp from outside and gives a soft inner texture.
  • A little chana dal is added to the dosa batter to give it a golden crust and a crisp texture.
  • Fenugreek seeds aid in fermentation.
  • The proportion of rice to lentils used in this recipe is 3:1. I have used 1.5 cups of raw rice and 1/2 cup of black gram.
  • The leftover dosa batter can be easily refrigerated and used up to a week. The same batter can be used to make uttapam or paniyaram.
  • Apart from getting a crisp dosa with a golden crust, making a good potato masala is also crucial while making restaurant-style masala dosa. The potato masala is a delicious dry curry made from boiled potatoes that gets a subtle sweet taste due to the addition of lots of onions. I have also used little chana dal (Bengal gram) and urad dal( black gram) in the potato masala which gives a bite and compliments very well with the caramelized onions and soft boiled potatoes. The potato masala should be moist and easily spreadable on the dosa but at the same time should not have water in it. 
  • The regular masala dosa will have potato filling in it and is served with sambar and coconut chutney. For variation, you may add vegetables like carrots, peas, and cauliflower to get a vegetable masala dosa or simply add grated paneer or cheese to get paneer masala dosa or cheese masala dosa respectively. If you use butter to roast the dosa, then it will become butter masala dosa and give a rich flavor.
  • The recipe is vegan and if you skip asafoetida in the potato masala, then the dish is gluten-free as well.
                               

Preparation Time: 16-20 hours depending upon the weather (includes soaking, grinding and fermentation time)
Cooking Time: 1/2 hour
Makes 1 dozen dosa

Ingredients for Dosa: Measurements used 1 Cup=240 ml
  • 1 1/2 cups raw rice (use any short grain rice like sona masuri, I have used basmati tukda)
  • 1/2 cup skinned and split black gram/ dhuli urad dal
  • 1/4 cup thick flattened rice/poha
  • 2 tablespoon Bengal gram/chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds/methi dana
  • Rock Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking the dosa
Ingredients for Aloo subzi/ Potato masala for Dosa
  • 4-5medium sized potatoes
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Bengal gram/chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon split and skinned black gram/urad dal
  • 1/2 inch ginger/adrak
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds/rai
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
I. Method for making Dosa Batter:
  1. The first step in making dosa batter is to soak the rice and lentils. Take rice in a bowl and rinse it multiple times under running water. Now soak it in 2 cups water for around 5-6 hours. Take the black gram, Bengal gram and fenugreek seeds in another bowl, rinse well and soak them in 1cup water for 5-6 hours. 

2. When the soaking time of lentils and rice is about to over, rinse and soak the flattened rice in 1/2 cup water. We will grind it at the end. Next, strain the water from the soaked lentils and reserve it to be used while grinding. Transfer the soaked lentils in a grinder jar. Add little water that we reserved after straining the dal. Grind the soaked urad dal, chana dal and methi dana to a fine batter that is light and fluffy.


3. Transfer the lentil batter to a large mixing bowl. Next, add the strained soaked rice to the same jar and adding very little water at first, grind it to a coarse paste. Now add more water and grind it to a fine grainy consistency. You may grind the rice in 2-3 batches depending upon the size of your grinder. Add the rice batter to the ground lentil batter.


4. Lastly, add the soaked flattened rice and grind it also to a fine batter adding enough water. Transfer it to the rice and lentil batters. Give a good stir so as to blend all the batters well. 


5. Add 1 teaspoon rock salt and mix it with the batter using a clean hand. Cover and keep the bowl in a warm place overnight. Fermentation time can be around 8-12 hours depending upon the weather of your place.



6. It is monsoon here, and my batter got fermented within 8 hours and I woke up to this delightful sight. A well-fermented dosa batter. I kept the batter on the kitchen shelf itself. In the winter season, I cover the bowl with a shawl and place it inside an oven. 


7. The dosa batter will rise in volume and you can see small bubbles in the batter which indicates that the batter is well fermented.


II. Method for Aloo Subzi/ Potato Masala for Dosa:
  1. Rinse and soak the Bengal gram and black gram in a bowl in enough water for around 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker. Peel the boiled potatoes on cooling and roughly chop them. Slice the onions and keep ready.

2. Heat oil in a wok or saucepan. Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle, add cumin seeds followed by curry leaves, grated ginger, and chopped green chilies.


3. Next, add the soaked and strained black gram and Bengal gram and saute for 1-2 minutes or until it turns golden. Add sliced onions to it and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until the onions turn soft and translucent.



4. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida to the onion masala and season it with salt, mix well. Now add around 1/2 cup of water and simmer for around 2 minutes so that the mixture thickens.


5. Add boiled, peeled, and mashed potatoes and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the potato masala to simmer for 3-4 minutes until all the water has dried up and the potato mixture thickens. Our potato masala should be moist and easily spreadable on the dosa. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from catching the bottom. Put off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander. Our delicious potato masala for dosa is ready.



III. Making Masala Dosa:
  1.  Smear the dosa pan with little oil and heat it on a medium flame. Stir the dosa batter lightly and take a ladle full of batter, lower the flame and pour the batter on the pan in the center and spread it in a circular manner using the back of the ladle.



2. Add little oil on the top and the edges of the dosa and cover it with a lid and allow the dosa to cook on medium flame till the base becomes golden and crisp.


3. Place 2-3 tablespoons of potato masala on the dosa once its base turns golden brown. Fold the dosa and serve. Make all the dosas similarly. When you take off a dosa, the temperature of the pan is very hot, sprinkle little water on the pan to lower its temperature, or wait for few minutes before pouring in the batter to make the next dosa. The batter will not spread on a very hot pan and the dosas will not become crisp and golden brown if the temperature of the pan cools down completely, so monitoring the correct temperature of the pan is crucial while making dosa.



4. Serve the delicious masala dosa with sambar and coconut chutney and enjoy with your loved ones!


Recipe Notes:
  • I have used my regular basmati tukda rice to make this masala dosa. You may use parboiled rice or the idli rice if you can source it. Any short-grain rice like the sona masuri also works fine and gives crisp dosas.
  • The masala dosa turns out good only when the batter is well fermented. For that, the rice and lentils have to be ground to a fine paste and the batter is to be kept covered in a warm place. Fermentation time can be around 8-12 hours depending upon the weather of your place. In the winter season, more time will be required for fermentation. You may keep the batter bowl overnight inside an oven with the light on to aid fermentation if living in the cold region.
  • The temperature of the dosa pan plays a crucial role in getting that perfect golden crust and crisp dosa. You may use an iron-cast pan or a non-stick pan for i making dosa. The dosa turns out crisp when cooked on a medium flame and the pan is hot when you pour the batter but again you cannot spread the dosa if the pan is very hot. So after making every dosa, little salt water is sprinkled on the dosa pan which lowers the temperature of the pan a bit and you can easily spread the dosa batter on the pan. This method works well with a cast-iron pan. But if using a non-stick pan sprinkling cold water on a heated pan may affect its coating. So you have to lower the flame each time after a dosa is made, allow the pan to cool down a bit and then make the next one.
  • The addition of flattened rice (thick poha) makes the dosa crisp from outside and gives a soft inner texture.
  • A little chana dal is added to the dosa batter to give it a golden crust and a crisp texture.
  • Fenugreek seeds aid in fermentation.
  • The proportion of rice to lentils used in this recipe is 3:1. 
  • The leftover dosa batter can be easily refrigerated and used up to a week. 
  • The potato masala gets a subtle sweet taste due to the addition of lots of onions. It should be moist and easily spreadable on the dosa but at the same time should not have water in it. 
  • The regular masala dosa will have potato filling in it and is served with sambar and coconut chutney. For variation, you may add vegetables like carrots, peas, and cauliflower to get a vegetable masala dosa or simply add grated paneer or cheese to get paneer masala dosa or cheese masala dosa respectively. If you use butter to roast the dosa, then it will become butter masala dosa and give a rich flavor. There is one more popular variation to the masala dosa, the Mysore Masala dosa in which a spicy red garlic chutney is smeared on the masala dosa
  • The recipe is vegan and if you skip asafoetida in the potato masala, then the dish is gluten-free as well.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
                     
                          
                            
                            
                          



14 comments :

  1. you have made it like a pro, Poonam !! such perfect masala dosa.. I would love to invite myself over for breakfast !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kalyani for your kind words. You are most welcome.

      Delete
  2. I'm a masala dosa fan. That's the kind of dosa we order most often when eating out, and make it frequently at home too. Your masala dosa looks so delicious - very inviting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perfectly made masala dosa Poonam. So tempting and after Mysore masala my choice is masala dosa. I too use normal basmati rice as we don't get special idli rice and the batter turns out fine. Like the suggestion of adding a bit of chana dal. I guess that makes the dosa more crispy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes di, chana dal makes the dosa crisp and get ves it a lovely golden crust. Do dive it a try. Thank you.

      Delete
  4. Love your masala dosas . They look so crisp and beautifully filled in aloo masala.. masala dosas are always a weakness:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Priya. Masala Dosa is a hot favourite at our place too.

      Delete
  5. Perfectly made masala dosa Poonam. Lovely write up with tips too. I love crispy masala dosa . A regular at my place too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Masala dosa looks so perfectly crisp and delicious. Thanks for the idea of using broken basmati rice. I normally use long grain basmati rice which is used to make regular rice for lunch. Loved your well explained recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you di. Sourcing idli/ dosa rice may not be practical for everyone, hence I have shared this recipe using basmati rice.

      Delete
  7. Awesome dosa Poonam. I must come over to enjoy garam garam dosa and coffee with you. Crisp and delicious. I normally use ration rice my maid gives me for dosa. Else I buy it but like the idea of broken basmati.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you di. Do give it a try amdshare your feedback with us.

      Delete

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