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Masala Dosa Recipe

Masala Dosa

An Ideal Recipe for Vegetarians
Mamtha Sunil Kumar

Recipe by  

Masala Dosa is an all time favourite South Indian breakfast. Made with rice batter with filling of spicy mashed potatoes. Widely believed to have originated in the south Indian town of Chennai (old Madras) this has now found its way across India in different forms. Although there are lots of ingredients (mostly spices), this dish is easy to make and if you like spicy food you will relish this for a long time.

Masala Dosa has two main ingredients of rice batter and a spicy mashed potato filling. The only thing you need to do is plan ahead, because ingredients need to be soaked overnight and then again, left to ferment for several hours. Served with sweet and spicy coconut chutney, Masala Dosa is a runaway hit with kids and adults alike.

      Preparation Time: 30 Minutes + waiting

      Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Masala Dosa

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
If you want to know more about Indian ingredients, check our Indian Spices and our Indian Pulses, Rice and Seeds pages.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 3 - 4:
7 oz
black gram (urad dal)
1lb 5oz
uncooked rice
6 oz
boiled rice
2 tablespoons
bengal gram
1 tablespoon
fenugreek seeds
6 oz
beaten rice (flattened rice/rice flakes)
1 small
1 pinch
baking soda
4 medium
1 teaspoon
turmeric powder
2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon
mustard seeds
1 teaspoon
cumin seeds
1 teaspoon
black gram (urad dal)
1 teaspoon
bengal gram (chana dal)
curry leaves
green chilies
finely chopped cilantros
1 inch
fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 oz
fresh coconut (not desiccated)
green chilis
curry leaves
tamarind (the size of a grapefruit)
1 teaspoon
chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


How to Cook Masala Dosa

  1. First of all, prepare the rice batter... Cook a small amount of Boiled Rice. Wash and soak all the batter ingredients overnight, except the beaten rice (often referred to as flattened rice or rice flakes) and the onion. The following day, drain off the water in a sieve or colander. Peel and roughly chop the onion then place all the batter ingredients including the beaten rice and the onion into a blender or mixer and grind it to a fine paste (batter).
  2. If necessary, you can add a little water whilst grinding; the batter should be of dropping consistency (see hot tip below). Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda, mix then cover and put aside for at least 8 hours to ferment.
  3. The chutney can be made a little in advance, so best start with that. If the coconut is frozen be sure to defrost it before using and if it's still in chunks, grate it into flakes. Mix all the chutney ingredients together, place them in a blender and pulse until it becomes like a stiff dough (don't allow the mix become too fine. It should remain a little 'chunky'). If necessary you can add a little water, but don't overdo it or the chutney becomes too watery which spoils the taste.
  4. Now use the 4 potatoes and follow our recipe for Creamed Potatoes. While they are cooking, peel and finely chop the ginger. Add this to the mashed potato, mix in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and set aside.
  5. Peel and finely chop the onions, slit the chilies lengthways and chop the coriander leaves. Be sure you have the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black gram (urad dal) and bengal gram (chana dal) ready to use. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and, when smoking hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to burst, add the black gram and bengal gram.
  6. Keep stirring for a minute and then add the chopped onion, the curry leaves (whole) and the split green chilies. Sauté gently until the onions become light brown then add the mashed potato, the coriander and the salt to taste. Mix well.
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook gently on a low flame for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat (but keep the potato mix warm).
  8. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed wrought iron or non stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Grease with little oil or butter, then place 4 fl oz (120ml) of the batter (dosa) in the centre of the pan (save the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge). Spread evenly using circular motions with the base of the ladle, starting from the centre and progressing outwards. Let the dosa colour a little, then sprinkle a few drops of oil on it. Spoon the mashed potato filling into the centre of the dosa, fold the dosa over to envelope the filling from both sides and cook until crisp.
  9. Using a spatula remove the dosa once it is crispy and serve with the chutney. It's a real delight!

Dropping consistency means neither too thick so it sticks to a spoon, nor too thin, so it runs off easily. If you place some in the spoon and turn the spoon over, the batter should just drop.
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