Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa, pronounced “Masaala Dosa”, is a gourmet dish even in India, except for South India where Dosa is a staple food item, enjoyed almost every day. It has become very popular in North India too, during the last few decades.

The process of making Masala Dosa seems more complicated than it really is. It may seem cumbersome because it is a multi-step process. First you have to soak the grains. After several hours of soaking, you have to grind them and prepare a batter like pancake mix. Then you have to ferment it overnight in a conventional oven with just the warmth of the lights turned on. Then the next day you have to actually make the Dosas. But once you have the batter, you can refrigerate it and use it over several days, in several ways.

While the Dosa can be prepared quite simply like a pancake, it can also be made into a large, thin and crispy Dosa. An assorted variety of side dishes and condiments can be prepared to go with a Masala Dosa. The Links for the Recipes of all these side dishes have been provided below.

The left over Dosa dough or batter can be used the next couple of days to prepare another gourmet item, “A Veggie Dosa with onions, green chillies and cilantro”. This is usually made like a thin pancake.

Masala Dosa...Crispy

Masala Dosa…Crispy

Masala Dosa...with spicy veggies

Masala Dosa…with spicy veggies

Masala Dosa

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Dosa Mix
  • 1 Non-stick Large Flat Griddle
  • 1/4 cup Olive, Avocado or Sesame Oil
  • 2 cups Masala Potatoes
  • 2 cups Coconut Chutney
  • 2 cups Sambar
  • 1/4 cup Coarse Idli Powder (Condiment - available in indian grocery stores)
  • 1 Non-stick Flat Spatula (To turn and invert the Dosa)

Note

Dosa is like classical music. It is an acquired taste, but once you like it, it grows on you. It can be dressed down and be simple and extremely healthy. Or, it can be dressed up with filling, stuffing and spicy side dishes, but still healthy.
Making a Dosa is, in some ways, an Art. But the steps appear difficult only when you prepare the dish for the first time. It is like describing how you walk; it is easier done than described. When you make it a few times, it will be found that the efforts are worthwhile.
The left over batter can be refrigerated and used to make Veggie Dosa's (with Onions, Green Chillies and Cilantro) another day. (Recipe will be coming up soon.)

Serving Suggestions:
1) Serve hot with a bowl of hot Sambar, Coconut Chutney and/or Coarse Idli Powder mixed with one teaspoon of oil as a condiment.
2) You don't have to always serve the Dosa as a Masala Dosa with filling. You can serve what is called 'Saada Dosa', meaning 'Plain Dosa'. For this you make the Dosa, just fold it and serve it with a side dish.
3) It is customary in India to sometimes serve children with the Plain Dosa accompanied by jam or sugar mixed with clarified butter.

Recipes for the Side Dishes:
My Recipe for "Preparing Dosa Mix" is here.
My Recipe for "Masala Potatoes" is here.
My Recipe for "Coconut Chutney" is here.
My Recipe for "Sambar" is here.

Directions

Step 1
Place a large flat griddle or skillet on medium heat. Griddle can be square or round. Non-stick griddle or skillet is preferable.
Step 2
Add one teaspoon of oil. Using the non-stick spatula, spread the oil all over the griddle. The 'pancake turner' shown here has a short handle. It would be preferable to use one with a longer handle, especially when you are making large Dosas.
Step 3
Have a bowl of water and a paper towel handy.
Step 4
The griddle should be warm but not too hot. Keep the heat low. To start with, add one ladle of Dosa mix in the center of the griddle. Use a ladle or a large deep spoon as shown in the picture.
Step 5
As soon as you add the Dosa mix, start gently swirling the batter from the center, spirally outward, as large and as thin as possible, to make it look like a flat swirled Frisbee, if you will. (See picture). If the griddle is too hot, you will not be able to swirl the batter smoothly. The batter will cling to the center in bunches. In that case, just smooth the batter as best as you can. The Dosa will still be edible and tasty, but will not be as flat, thin and crispy as it can be. With more and more practice you will be an expert pretty soon!
Step 6
Increase the heat to medium. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon oil all around the edges of the Dosa. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of clarified butter or ghee over the Dosa.
Step 7
Let it cook until the batter looks dried up and cooked and the edges look golden brown.
Step 8
Using the spatula or turner, gently loosen up the edges around the Dosa, little by little. If the batter sticks, let it cook a little more.
Step 9
Loosen the Dosa around the edges deeper and deeper until the center is also free of sticking on to the griddle.
Step 10
Using the turner or spatula, gently lift the whole Dosa from the center, and quickly invert the Dosa back on to the griddle. If it folds up or falls somewhere else, don't worry, unfold or place it back. You can always trash it and start fresh!
Step 11
Usually the first one never comes right. That is why, you should start with a small Dosa so that it is easy to lift it up, invert it and remove it.You can either continue to make small ones, or graduate and make those large ones that look professional.
Step 12
I am now going to show you how to make a large Dosa.
Step 13
Lower the heat. Using a folded wet paper towel, swipe all over the griddle carefully. This will help to swirl the batter smoothly. Pour two ladles of batter onto the center of the griddle.
Step 14
Perform Steps 5 through 10.
Step 15
Keep the heat on the lowest possible setting. Spread a tablespoon of Coconut Chutney all over the Dosa.
Coconut Chutney...Yummy
Step 16
Place 1/4 cup of Masala potatoes in the center of the Dosa.
Masala Potato..Delicious as a layer in a sandwich
Step 17
Gentle fold one side over the mix, then the other side over. Place the Dosa with the folded side down on a serving plate.
Masala Dosa...Crispy
Step 18
Serve hot with a bowl of hot Sambar, more Chutney and Coarse Idli Powder mixed with a teaspoon on oil on the side.
Step 19
Perform Steps 13 through 18 for the rest of the Dosa's.
Tasty Okra Curry
Sambar with Bell Peppers

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