Masala Dosa is a famous recipe not only in India but abroad too. Masala Dosa is on the menu list of many North Indian Specialty restaurants too. Though making Masala Dosa is a long process, but its worth it.
Usually the first day i make idlis from the batter and then the next day i make dosa. For making dosa the batter has to be slightly thin than the idli batter. The leftover batter can always be refrigerated and used when required.
The basic plain dosa recipe calls for soaking urad dal/skinned black lentils and rice. The soaked lentils and rice are then finely ground and fermented overnight. Warm temperature is important for the idli-dosa batter to ferment well.
I have used regular rice and parboiled rice in half-half ratio. Plus have added poha too. Poha make the dosa crisp and at the same time the Dosa retains its softness too. It also gives a nice golden brown color to the dosa.
Methi seeds are added to aid the fermentation process. You could use 2 cups of regular rice or 2 cups of idli rice for making the dosa as well. So this masala dosa recipe is for a crisp, golden brown masala dosa but one which is still soft.
The Masala in the Dosa is a potato sabzi. Thats what i think. I may be wrong. There are some different variations in preparing it. This potato sabzi recipe is the way i always make it.
It is the easiest and simple version of it where lot of onions are added to the potato filling. This adds a hint of sweetness to the the potato filling and is much like the masala dosa we get in restaurants. Without the Masala or Potato filling in the Dosa, the Dosa becomes a plain Dosa which can be had with coconut chutney and sambhar.
To make the Masala Dosa taste more better, you could use butter or ghee instead of oil. You could also apply red chutney made from garlic and red chillies on the dosa while making it. Do check out the notes mentioned below which make life easier while preparing the dosa.
I have divided the whole masala dosa post in three steps so that it is easy to understand and follow:
- Preparing the dosa batter
- Preparing the Potato Filling for the Dosa
- Making the Masala Dosa
So, here is a step by step method of making masala dosa.
Preparing the dosa batter
1: Firstly clean and wash the rice and urad dal. Soak, both the rice and urad dal separately for 4-5 hours. Soak the urad dal & fenugreek seeds together. Soak the rice and poha together.
2: Drain the urad dal, but don’t throw away the water. Reserve the water.
3: In a wet grinder, add the urad dal.
4: Add 1 or 2 tbsp of the reserved water and grind the urad dal. Keep on adding a few tbsps of water in between grinding. The batter should be light and fluffy when completely ground.
5: Pour the urad dal batter in a deep pan or bowl.
6: Drain the rice & poha. This pic is before i drained the rice and poha.
7: Add these in the wet grinder.
8: Use the urad dal strained water to grind the rice and poha too. Keep on adding a few tbsp of water while grinding. The rice should be completely ground. When you feel the batter with your finger tips, the batter should not feel grainy. It should be smooth and paste like. Don’t add too much water in the beginning. Keep on adding little water in between. Remember that batter should not be thick or thin. I hope all the pics give you an idea about the consistency of the batter.
9: Now add the rice batter to the urad dal batter and mix well.
1o: Add salt and some water if necessary and mix well . This is the basic idli – dosa batter.
11: Mix the batter well. Cover the bowl or container with a lid and keep the batter in a warm place.It should be left undisturbed for 8- 9 hours. Don’t use an air-tight lid. If you stay in a place where the temperature is cold, you could keep the batter in a warm place.
3: After fermentation, the dosa batter rises and doubles up as you can see in the picture below.
Method to make the Potato Masala filling for Dosa:
1: Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker or microwave. Cut them into small pieces. You could also mash them. In a wok or a shallow pan, heat oil or ghee. Add cashew nuts and fry them till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
2: In the same pan, add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Then add the cumin seeds and chana dal.
3: Fry the chana dal till they turn golden. Take care not to burn them.
4: Now add onions and curry leaves.
5: Fry the onions till they get softened. Then add the chopped green chillies, ginger and fry for a minute.
6: Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida and fry for 15-30 seconds. Isn’t that a lovely vibrant yellow color…..
7 : Add the chopped boiled potatoes.
8: Mix the potatoes properly with the masala. Add salt and fried cashew nuts. Cook this potato mixture for 2-3 minutes. Keep on stirring it so that the potatoes do not get burnt.
9: Finally add chopped coriander leaves to the potato sabzi. mix well.
Making masala dosa:
1: Now heat a flat iron griddle or a non stick pan. Apply 1-2 tsp oil on the griddle. If using non stick pan than no need to apply 1-2 tsp oil on the griddle. Take a a big spoonful of the dosa batter. Pour it on the griddle. As soon as you pour it, quickly spread the batter in a circular manner to get a thin and round dosa . Pour some oil on the top and edges. Some folks also use onion half dipped in oil and then smear the pan with it. At home my mom does this way.
2: Flip and cook the other side.
3: Flip again. Now add the potato masala on the dosa.
4: Cover the dosa with its remaining half and let it cook for 15-30 sec.
Update: masala dosa post updated with new pics on 1 May 2012
printable version of Masala Dosa Recipe is below:
- 1 cup regular rice
- 1 cup parboiled rice
- ½ cup spilt black lentils or urad dal
- ¼ cup poha/flattened rice
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
- salt to taste
- water as required
- 4-5 potatoes
- 10-12 cashewnuts (optional)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp chana dal
- 3 onions sliced or chopped
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 or 2 chopped green chillies
- 1 or 1.5 tsp chopped ginger or grated ginger
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- a pinch of asafoetida
- 3 tsp oil or ghee
- Soak the rice-poha and the urad-methi separately.
- Grind the urad dal with methi to a fine and fluffy batter.
- Grind the rice and poha to a smooth batter.
- Mix both the rice and urad dal batter with salt.
- Cover and let the batter ferment for 8-9 hours.
- Heat oil or ghee.
- Fry cashew nuts and keep aside.
- Splutter the mustard seeds. add cumin seeds and chana dal.
- Fry the chana dal well.
- Now add the onions and curry leaves.
- Fry the onions till they become soft.
- Add the green chilies and ginger.
- Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida.
- Mix well.
- Now add the boiled chopped potatoes.
- Add the fried cashew nuts and salt
- Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring well.
- Add chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir and keep aside.
- Heat a flat pan or a flat non-stick pan.
- Smear some oil on the pan.
- Spread the dosa batter in a circular way on the pan. Add some oil on top
- Flip and cook the other side.
- Flip again.
- Spread the potato sabzi filling on one side of the dosa.
- Cover with the other half and let the dosa cook for 15-30 seconds.
- Serve masala dosa hot with coconut chutney and sambar