Masala Dosai is a South Indian classic and can be had at any time of the day as a proper meal or snack. These are basically rice batter crepes. There are several variations available for the dosai but for starters, I am sharing the basic Masala Dosai recipe.
The masala or stuffing is made out of boiled potatoes and is simple yet flavourful. Here’s the recipe I have learnt from my mum.
PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 60 minutes
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Low
For the Dosai –
- Urad Dal/Split Black Lentil without skin – ½ cup
- Rice – 5 cups
- Poha/Flattened rice – ½ cup
- Methi/fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil/ghee(clarified butter) – 2-3 tablespoons
- Salt – to taste
For the stuffing –
- Boiled potatoes – 3, medium
- Onion – 1, small
- Curry Leaves – 4-5
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Asafetida – a pinch
- Chana + Arhar Dal (Pigeon Pea + split Garbanzo): 1 tablespoon
- Raisins – 7-8
- Dried Red Chilli – 2-3
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Lemon – 1/2
- Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Wash and soak the Urad Dal and fenugreek seeds together for at least 5-6 hours.
- Similarly, in another bowl, soak the washed rice and poha for 5-6 hours.
- Once they are thoroughly soaked, remove the excess water and grind the dal and seeds together and keep in a big bowl.
- Grind the rice and poha mix next and add the batter to the same bowl.
- Let this batter to ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours. If you wish the batter to ferment quickly add salt immediately after grinding. If you wish to delay the fermentation process, add the salt just before cooking the dosai.
- Once you are ready, take a non-stick pan and keep it on low flame. Brush some cooking oil/melted ghee on it. Splash some water droplets on it. After that, take a ladle of the fermented batter and keep it on the pan.
- In a circular motion, spread the batter like a pancake. Don’t take the ladle back to the area which you have already spread. This will ensure that you get a nice porous design on your dosai.
- You can turn on the heat slightly now. Once the dosai is cooked on one side for about 3-4 minutes, sprinkle some oil on its surface and flip it on the other side.
- Turn down the flame again and let it cook for 2 minutes or so.
- Your dosai is ready.
Potato stuffing –
- Boil the potatoes and cool them down. Mash them.
- In a pan, take a tablespoon of oil and allow it to get hot and add mustard seeds.
- Once the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies, asafetida and lentils.
- Once they get cooked in about a minute, add finely chopped onion.
- Once it starts to get brown, add raisins and turmeric powder.
- Add the mashed potatoes and salt.
- Mix well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice at last and mix well. Your stuffing is ready.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the stuffing on each cooked dosai and roll the dosai and serve hot.
- Adding salt accelerates the fermentation process, so add it according to the time you wish to cook the dosai.
- Once the batter is fermented, place it in a refrigerator if you are not ready to use it.
- Grease the pan with some oil and splash cold water on it before making each dosai. This will ensure that your dosai don’t stick to the pan and are crisp and light.
- Adding fenugreek seeds makes the whole dal-rice batter light for your stomach and to ease the digestion.
- You could replace the lemon juice with the pulp of a tomato, but will need to add it before the mashed potatoes and will need to cook it completely so that your stuffing is not very wet.
- You could add crushed peanuts to the stuffing as well.