Masala dosa – Start your day with the wholesome goodness of these crispy savory crepes. Made with rice and lentils, the batter is fermented overnight to create these tasty golden South Indian breakfast favorite. Fill with the classic potato masala, and enjoy with your favorite chutneys.
There are a few traditional recipes that becomes a regular on our menu in summer. Well, I’m talking about recipes that call for overnight fermentation. And that includes the classic breakfast recipes like dosa (rice and lentil crepes), idli (steamed rice and lentil cakes), and appams (rice pancakes). All these recipes require fermentation of batter which in turn needs the ideal warm weather.
Despite the fact that these recipes need a longer prep time, I try to include them in our diet as they are loaded with nutritious ingredients like lentils that are so good for you.
And whenever time permits, I love the idea of making an elaborate version of my favorite dosa complete with three sides. Enter this masala dosa with a spicy potato filling served with sambar (mixed vegetables and lentil curry), tomato chutney and coriander (cilantro) chutney.
Watch masala dosa recipe video below:
Basically, masala dosa is just dosa (rice and lentil crepes) filled with potato masala. I see this as a fabulous weekend breakfast or even brunch idea. If you ask me about my favorite South Indian breakfast, these crispy delicious crepes will be my obvious choice. Yum!
So, this dosa recipe starts with making the basic dosa batter. And this is my simple formula to make perfectly crispy dosas – 1 1/4 cups rice, 1/2 cup urad dal (skinned black lentils), 1/4 cup poha (beaten rice), and 1 tsp fenugreek seeds. All you need to do is grind all the ingredients together to make batter with thick pouring consistency, and leave it to ferment overnight.
The filling that makes this masala dosa so unique is made with potatoes and few spices. Cook the potatoes in tempered spices, and mash them lightly to make the potato masala. Apart from potatoes, beetroots, mushrooms and paneer also make delicious fillings. That said, the masala made with potatoes is the classic version, and it’s my favorite too. The delicious masala of pav bhaji (a popular Indian street food) is a great filling idea, and is undoubtedly a perfect mashup of North and South cuisines.
- 1¼ cup rice, rinsed (idli rice, long grain rice, basmati rice, short grain rice)
- ½ cup whole urad dal, rinsed (skinned black lentils)
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ¼ cup poha (beaten rice flakes)
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chana dal
- 1 tsp urad dal (skinned black lentils)
- A pinch asafetida
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 2 green chilies, split
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric (turmeric powder)
- 2 cups cubed potatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal and urad dal. Sauté for few minutes or until the mustard seeds splutter and dal turn golden.
- Add asafetida and ginger. Sauté for a few seconds. Add onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown. Add ground turmeric and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add potatoes. Season with salt. Pour in water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Use a fork to lightly mash the potatoes. Stir in coriander (cilantro) leaves. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Place rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside. Place urad dal and fenugreek seeds in another bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside. Place poha in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside. Soak for 4-6 hours. Drain. Set aside.
- Place rice in the bowl of a food processor with 1 cup water. Process to a smooth batter. Pour this into a large bowl. Place urad dal and fenugreek seeds into the food processor. Add 1 cup water. Process to a smooth batter. Pour into the bowl with the rice mixture. Place poha in the food processor with ½ cup water. Process to a smooth batter. Pour into the bowl with the rice and dal mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and place the bowl in a warm spot for about 8-10 hours. Leave to ferment.
- Season the fermented batter with salt. Stir.
- Heat a tawa or pan over medium-high heat. Use a cut onion or paper towel to lightly grease the tawa with oil. Pour a ladleful of dosa batter onto tawa. Use the back of the ladle or spoon to spread the batter thinly onto the tawa in a circular motion. Pour a little oil on top of the dosa. Cook. When the bottom of the dosa starts to turn golden, add the potato masala, fold, and remove from tawa. Serve hot.
*** Get the recipe for tomato chutney here