South Indian Masala Dosa Recipe with step by step photos. This is a detailed post to make both the dosa batter and potato masala filling.
Masala Dosa is one of those recipes that is popular within India as well as outside India. Preparing Masala Dosa takes time but the results are worth it.
To make a basic plain dosa recipe urad dal (skinned black lentils) and rice soaked for some hours. Then the soaked lentils and rice are ground and fermented overnight. For the dosa batter to ferment well, warm temperature is helpful.
I have used regular rice and parboiled rice in half-half ratio. You could use 2 cups of regular rice or 2 cups of idli rice for making the dosa as well. I have also added poha (flattened rice, parched rice) too. Poha makes the dosa crisp and at the same time the Dosa retains its softness too. It also gives a nice golden color to the dosa.
A few fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) are added to help with the fermentation process in the batter. So this south indian masala dosa recipe is for a crisp, golden brown masala dosa but one which is still soft and tastes good.
The Masala in the Dosa is the potato sabzi. There are many variations in preparing it. This potato sabzi recipe is the way I 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 or Sada Dosa which can be had with coconut chutney and sambar.
I have also shared a restaurant style masala dosa. You can check its recipe here – restaurant style masala dosa recipe.
If you are looking for more dosa varieties then do check:
South Indian Masala Dosa
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
Ingredients for the Dosa Batter
- 1 cup regular rice (sona masuri or parmal rice)
- 1 cup parboiled rice or idli rice (ukda chawal)
- ½ cup spilt black lentils (urad dal)
- ¼ cup thick poha (flattened rice)
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- salt to taste
- water as required
Ingredients for the Masala - Potato filling
- 4 to 5 medium sized potatoes (aloo)
- 10 to 12 cashewnuts (kaju), optional
- 10 to 12 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 1 tbsp chana dal (bengal gram)
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced or chopped
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 to 2 chopped green chillies (hari mirch)
- 1 to 1.5 teaspoon chopped ginger or grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- salt as required
how to make South Indian Masala Dosa
Making Dosa Batter
- Rinse the rice and urad dal separately first.
- Soak the parboiled rice, regular rice and poha in a bowl or pan.
- In another bowl soak the urad dal-methi in enough water
- 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.
Making Potato Filling or Sabzi for Masala Dosa:
- Soak the chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Later drain the chana dal and keep aside.
- Heat oil or ghee. Fry cashew nuts and keep aside.
- Splutter the mustard seeds. add cumin seeds and drained 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.
Making South Indian Masala Dosa Recipe
- Heat a flat pan or a flat non-stick pan. Smear some oil if using an iron pan or griddle. don't smear oil on a non stick pan, as then you won't be able to spread the dosa batter.
- 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 masala dosa cook for 15-30 seconds.
- Serve masala dosa hot with coconut chutney and sambar
- If you are unable to spread the batter on the pan, then add some water to the dosa batter. this will help you in spreading the batter evenly on the pan.
- To get golden brown dosa, the pan should be hot. But the flip side is that if the pan is very hot, then you cannot spread the dosa batter nicely. Either sprinkle water on the pan and then wipe it. This brings down the temperature of the pan. Do this method on an iron pan. Don't do this on a non stick pan. It might affect the non stick coating.
- If using a non stick pan than as soon as one dosa is done, reduce the flame. Spread the dosa batter on the pan. now increase the flame and let the dosa cook.
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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
How to make South Indian Masala Dosa Recipe
a) Preparing the dosa batter
1: Firstly clean and wash both the parboiled rice & regular rice and also urad dal. Soak, both the parboiled & regular rice and the urad dal separately for 4-5 hours. Soak the urad dal & fenugreek seeds together. Soak both 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.
b) 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. to get a more softer chana dal, you can soak the chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes. drain and then add them.
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.
c) Making South Indian 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 masala dosa with its remaining half and let it cook for 15-30 sec.