‘Masala Dosa’ is a popular dish from South India .’Masala’ refers to the spiced potato filling and ‘Dosa’ refers to the rice and lentil crepe. It is usually a breakfast item in most households back home .It is also a popular lunch or dinner menu item as well, as it is quite filling! The crepe is made by grinding soaked rice and lentils to a smooth batter which is then fermented. Traditionally, the filling or stuffing of the dosa is mashed potatoes flavored with spices. These days there are many different types of dosas to suit each and every palate. There are batters made of different combinations of ingredients, of which, lentils and rice are the most common ones .One can also get creative and have variety of stuffings like cheese, spinach, meat, veggies, eggs ,spices and so on. You may enjoy this interesting article on dosa on how it’s gaining poularity as a culinary ambassador in America and many other interesting facts .
How is the dosa batter made ?
The first step is to soak all the required ingredients in plenty of water overnight or for six to eight hours . Idli rice (short grain parboiled rice), raw rice , fenugreek seeds and urad dal (split black gram lentils) are the main ingredients. A little chana dal (split chickpeas) and tuvar dal (split pigeon peas) can be added optionally to get the light yellowish tinge for the dosas. In addition , cooked rice and salt is added while grinding as well. The batter can be mixed well with your hands, which they say is the trick to kick start the fermentation process .You can then keep the batter in a warm and humid place for fermentation. It is usually fermented and ready by eight hours.
To ferment the dosa batter :
The recipe posted here is what I normally make at home .To make a perfect dosa , the batter needs to ferment and rise well .The typical tell -tale sign of a good fermented batter is the tart like pleasant smell with a light , frothy and airy consistency .A dosa batter made perfectly is pure bliss .I am sure most of us who make this often will agree . The dosa that is fermented well ,will form nice visible pores on cooking .I usually prefer fermenting the dosa batter overnight in a warm place in the oven .This works perfectly when the weather is warm and humid. Many folks use the instant pot with the yogurt option button for fermentation.I have not tried it so far, but am sure it is a great option . It will especially help in winters when temperature drops and fermentation can be challenging.
How to make the dosa ?
To make the dosa, pour a ladle full of batter on a non stick pan and spread it into a large circle by forming smaller inner circles from the center or in other words concentric circles (see the picture for reference) . Dosa making process is indeed an art in itself . When pouring the batter, take care not to overheat the pan ,else you will not get a smooth round crepe. If the pan gets overheated , sprinkle cold water and continue making.
Serving Masala Dosa
The Dosa is served with different kinds of chutneys like coconut , tomato or mint , peanut , coriander and sambar (lentil soup) .The Masala dosa by itself is a great option as the crepe with the potato filling tastes out of the world. You do not even need any sides to go with it .Optionally you can spray it with butter and oil to make it rich. If you are health conscious ,you can make it in a non stick pan with very less oil as well.
Can this batter be used to make Idlis ?
Yes, this batter can also be used to make idlis as well .However I normally skip the split chickpeas and split pigeon lentils addition for the idli batter .They are usually added to get the yellow tinged dosas. We normally prefer white idlis and so can skip that. I have a post for the Idli where you can see the difference in the batter preparation .
Masala Dosa (Rice and Lentil Crepes with Potato Stuffing) is a very delicious South Indian breakfast made using fermented rice and lentil batter to get crispy mouthwatering crepes filled with aromatic and spiced potato stuffing.
- 4 cups Idli Rice (parboiled short grain rice)
- 1 cup Raw Rice
- 2 cups split black gram lentils
- 2 tbsp split chickpea
- 2 tbsp split pigeon lentils
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3 medium potatoes boiled and peeled
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 green chillies
- 1 tsp ginger finely chopped
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp split black gram lentils
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves chopped finely
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Soak the rice in a big bowl submerged in plenty of water for 6 to 8 hours
Soak the lentils, fenugreek, cooked rice in another bowl submerged in plenty of water for 6 to 8 hours.
Grind the soaked rice , lentils, fenugreek, cooked rice in a mixer or grinder until you get a smooth batter .
Add salt and mix well . Use your hand to mix the batter well and keep it in a warm and humid place.
The batter will double and rise up after about 8 to 10 hours . It can be used immediately or stored in a refrigerator for later use.
Heat a pan with a little oil .
Add mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter.
Add split black gram and wait until it turns brown.
Add onions , ginger and green chilies.
Add turmeric and salt .
Add mashed potatoes , curry leaves and coriander leaves and mix well.Cook for about 5 minutes with a closed lid . Remove from heat and keep aside.
Heat a non stick pan .
Take a ladle full of batter and go in circles inside out or concentric circles to form a thin crepe.
Spray oil, butter or ghee and wait till it browns .
Filp it over and make sure its cooked well. Flip it back again.
Place a little potato filling in the center and fold it as you like, either into a semi circle or like a envelope.
Serve it hot and while still crisp with a little coconut chutney or sambar (lentil soup).
Hope you enjoyed this post on the Masala Dosa . I would love to hear your comments .Have a wonderful day!