Masala dosa recipe – One of the most popular south Indian breakfast served in tiffin centers and restaurants. Dosa is a thin crispy crepe made using fermented rice and lentil batter. Masala dosa is one that has potato masala or spiced and seasoned potatoes stuffed in it. These crispy crepes are quite addictive and delicious. These are not a regular food in most homes since it takes a considerable amount of time to prepare.
I have already shared 2 masala dosa batter recipes earlier. Today I am sharing a udupi restaurant style masala dosa recipe which yields flavorful, delicious and crispy dosas. To make a good masala dosa, different restaurants follow different proportions of rice, lentils and other ingredients. This is one such recipe which we have been making at home for years now. This batter can also be used to make paniyaram and onion uttapam.
This is quite a lengthy post with lot of pictures, so sharing only a single recipe here. Will be sharing more versions of masala dosa recipe in a separate post.
How to make masala dosa batter – step by step photos
1. This recipe uses 5 main ingredients apart from salt and water. Urad dal, chana dal, poha, rice and idly rava or semolina / upma rava. I have used idli rava here, a better and healthier choice than semolina .
2. Wash dal and rice and soak them separately for 4 to 5 hours.
3. About 30 mins before blending the batter, wash and soak the poha. Set this aside. Rinse rava quickly a few times.
4. Squeeze off the water completely and add to a pot. Make sure there is no water not even little left in the rava. If using semolina, skip the next two steps.
5. Add water – half cup minus 1 tbsp. Stir well to prevent lumps. If using semolina, just skip this step.
6. Cook until the entire water has absorbed completely. Switch off the stove when it is just about to stick up to the bottom. Set this aside to cool completely. Cooling this is very important otherwise it will turn the batter sour. Once cooled break up the lumps. Skip this step if using semolina.
7. Blend dal and poha with enough water and salt as needed. You can skip salt if you live in a hot place. Without adding salt, my batter doesn’t ferment. So I use while blending.
8. It must turn frothy and bubbly. The batter must not be very thick or very runny at this stage.
9. Add the cooled rava or semolina and sprinkle 2 tbsps of water.
10. Pulse it a few times for uniform mixing. Do not over blend else dosa will not turn crisp. This is very important. The original recipe suggests only mixing the rava with batter but that way it is too hard to get uniform batter if using cooked rava. The batter should not have any lumps.
11. Transfer that to a bowl. Use ceramic bowls if you live in a hot place. This prevents the batter from turning sour. If using semolina, you will be adding it here and mixing.
12. Blend rice in 2 batches to a smooth batter with little water.
13. Pour that as well to the bowl with dal batter.
14. Mix everything well.
15. Allow to ferment in a warm place for 6 to 16 hours depending on your climate or temperature.
16. I left it to ferment for 12 hours at 24 C. Do not over ferment otherwise it may turn sour.
17. The next morning, Steam or boil potatoes without making them mushy. I steam my potatoes over a pressure cooker.
18. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil. Saute 1/2 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp chana dal and 1/2 tsp urad dal. I used yellow mustard since i was running out of stock at home. When the dals turn golden, add hing.
19. Add grated ginger and saute until the aroma comes out.
20. Add sliced onions, slit or chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
21. Saute until the onions turn lightly golden.
22. Crumble the potatoes and add them along with turmeric and salt.
23. Add 1 to 2 tbsps of potato steamed water or fresh water. If your potatoes have turned mushy, just skip the water here.
24. Saute very well for 2 mins and add chopped coriander leaves. Set this aside. If you prefer to have a chutney as well, you can try one from this coconut chutney post. You may also like this tiffin sambar recipe.
25. Making Crispy masala dosa : Grease your tawa with few drops of oil. If using cast iron tawa, it is good to season it the previous night. I usually make the tadka for my chutney on my dosa tawa and prepare it to make dosa.
26. If needed add water to the batter to bring it to the consistency. To get brown dosas you can also try adding one tsp of powdered sugar. This doesn’t work for me. Batter must be of a thick pouring consistency as you see in the picture. Heat the pan very well. Pour a ladle full of batter.
27. Immediately spread the batter. You can even make very thin dosa with this batter. Ferment it lesser and thin down the batter a bit. Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp butter around the edges.
28. When it turns slightly brown and well cooked. Flip it and cook on the other side. Flip it back and cook it until the masala dosa turns light brown. You can even get dark brown dosas with this batter. Just put the flame high when it is half cooked. Place the potato masala on one half of the dosa.
29. Either roll it or just fold it.
Serve hot with chutney or sambar.
- ½ cup urad dal
- 1 tbsp chana dal / senaga pappu
- 2 cups parboiled rice or 1 ½ cups sona masoori rice
- ½ cup heaped idly rava or semolina or chiroti rava
- ½ cup minus 1 tbsp water to cook rava
- 2 tbsps poha / attukulu / avalakki
- Non iodized salt as needed
- 2 cups or 2 large or 3 medium potatoes / aloo
- 1 tbsp oil
- ¼ to ½ tsp. mustard
- ½ tsp. cumin / jeera
- 1 tsp chana dal
- 1 tsp urad dal
- Pinch of hing
- ¾ tsp grated ginger or paste
- ¾ to 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 green chilies chopped or sliced
- ⅛ tsp of turmeric
- Salt as needed
- Few coriander leaves
- Butter as needed (prefer unsalted else reduce salt in batter)
- Wash rice and dal until the water runs clear. Soak for at least 4 to 5 hours in ample amount of water.
- Rinse poha and soak 30 mins before grinding the batter. Rinse rava and squeeze completely to remove the water. Add half cup minus 1 tbsp water to the rava and cook until the water evaporates.
- Cool this completely. Break up the lumps.
- Add dal to a blender jar along with salt and poha. Add water just enough to make a frothy batter. Add the lump free rava to the blender. Pulse it a few times to mix it well. Do not over blend it. If using wet grinder skip adding rava here and do it after blending the rice.
- Transfer this to a large container. Add rice and little water to the blender jar. Blend slightly coarse or smooth batter. Mix with the dal batter well.
- Allow to ferment in a warm place for about 6 to 16 hours depending on your weather.
- Boil or steam potatoes until just done. Do not cook them until mushy.
- Heat a pan with oil and saute cumin, mustard, chana dal and urad dal until the dal turns golden. Add hing and ginger. Fry until the aroma of ginger comes out.
- Add onions, curry leaves and chilies.
- Fry until the onions turn lightly golden.
- Crumble the potatoes and add them to the pan. Add turmeric and salt along with 2 tbsps of water. Skip if your potatoes are too moist or lightly mushy.
- Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Add coriander leaves. Set this aside.
- Drizzle few drops of oil and grease your tawa. If using cast iron griddle, season it the previous night.
- Bring the batter to consistency by adding little water. It must be of thick pouring and spreading consistency. If you are unable to spread the batter, it means the batter is too thick.
- Heat the tawa/ griddle on a high flame. Pour a laddle full of batter on the hot tawa and spread it to a even round layer. You can make it thick or thin to suit your taste.
- Spread ¼ tsp soft butter around the edges.
- Within few minutes, you can see the edges are ready to flip. Flip and cook just for 2 minutes.
- Flip it back and cook until golden. Place the curry in one half of the dosa. Fold it or roll it.
- Serve with chutney.
- To make the next dosa, repeat the process. Make sure the tawa is hot enough and not over hot otherwise it will burn the dosa. Do not cook the dosa on low heat as it makes the dosa hard.
The original recipe requires premium quality Sona masoori rice which lends a delicate aroma to these dosas. But since we do not consume sona masoori rice, I make these with parboiled rice. The results are good. For extraordinary results similar to the ones in restaurants, I suggest using sona masoori.