Masala Dosa

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Masala dosa as the name indicates, its masala red chutney spread inside the outer crisp and inner soft dosa. It is famous south Indian breakfast or tiffin usually served in any of the hotels. It’s prepared using fermented rice and lentil batter. The basic recipe of dosa calls for soaking rice and lentil (urad dal) for few hours, then grinding, fermenting overnight and preparing dosa. Rice is rich source of carbohydrates while urad dal is rich in protein, fibre and vitamin B. So this dosa forms a nutritious tasty vegetarian breakfast option.

There are many variations to this batter preparation in South India from one city to another. The addition of thick poha, methi seeds, cooked rice, rice flour and fine sooji to the batter gives good variation. The basic masala red chutney is prepared using soaked red chilies and garlic. Masala dosa is usually served with green chutney and sambar. There are different variants in masala dosa like mysore masala dosa, paper masala dosa, rava masala dosa and onion masala dosa.

Here I am giving the recipe of commonly prepared masala dosa. I have given the recipe under five headings like preparation of dosa batter, red chutney, green chutney, aloo suzi and finally preparation of dosa on tawa.

Here goes the recipe

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: Karnataka

Preparation time: 15 hrs

Cooking time: 45 mins

Serves: 5 nos


For dosa batter

Dosa rice – 3 cups

Urad dal or black lentils – 1 cup

Thick poha or avalakki – ¾ cup

Methi seeds or menthya – ¼ cup

Rice flour – 1 cup

Maida flour – ½ cup

Fine sooji or Chiroti rava – ¼ cup

Cumin – 2 tsp

Salt to taste

For red chutney

Red chilies – 12 to 15

Garlic pods – 10

Cumin – ½ tbsp

Oil – 1 cup or slightly less

For green chutney

Coconut – 1 cup

Roasted gram or hurigadale – ¼ cup

Coriander leaves – ¼ cup

Hing or asafetida a pinch

Oil – ½ tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 5

Green chili – 3

Tamarind paste – ½  tbsp

Salt as per taste

For aloo sabzi or palya

Aloo or potato cooked and mashed – 2 cups

Cooked Peas – ½ cup

Onion chopped – 1 cup

Grated ginger -1 tbsp

Hing or asafoetida – ½ tsp

Urad dal – ½ tsp

Channa dal – ½ tsp

Green chilies – 3 nos

Mustard seeds -1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Oil- 1 tbsp

Coriander leaves chopped- 1 tbsp

Salt as per taste

Water as required


Dosa batter

  1. Soak rice, urad dal, thick poha, methi seeds in water for 5 hours separately.
  2. Grind rice, poha and methi seeds together into fine paste using the soaked water. Keep this rice batter aside.
  3. Now grind urad dal separately. Mix this with ground rice batter.
  4. Make a paste of rice flour, maida and fine sooji with little water.
  5. Add this to main rice-urad dal batter. Add cumin and very little salt to the batter and mix. This forms a thick batter.
  6. Ferment it overnight. Adjust salt as per taste in the morning. Keep this aside for dosa preparation.

Red chutney

  1. Soak red chilies in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Grind together garlic pods and cumin into fine paste. Keep this aside.
  3. Now grind red chilies into fine paste.
  4. Heat oil in a small pan, add all the ground paste.
  5. Start frying it in oil until you get nice aroma.
  6. Red chutney is ready.

Green chutney

  1. Take a mixer jar, add coconut, roasted gram, coriander leaves, green chilies, tamarind paste, salt, hing and grind into fine paste. Keep this aside.
  2. Take a small pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds. After it splutters add curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Pour this on green chutney. mix
  3. Green chutney is ready.

Aloo sabzi or palya

  1. Take a pan, heat oil, saute mustard seeds.
  2. Now add urad dal, channa dal, green chilies and curry leaves, fry this well for a minute.
  3. Add onion, saute well until they turn slightly golden.
  4. Add hing and mix well. Add ginger, turmeric powder, mix well.
  5. Now cooked aloo, peas, mix well. Add salt, lemon juice and mix well.
  6. Close a lid and cook for few minutes. Add coriander leaves and mix.
  7. Aloo sabzi or palya is ready.

Preparation of masala dosa

  1. Heat a dosa tawa and apply oil.
  2. Now sprinkle little water, wipe with clean cloth.
  3. Now spread thick dosa batter on hot tawa. When the dosa is half cooked spread red chutney.
  4. If wish to use more oil, apply plain oil also at this step.
  5. Close and cook for few more seconds.
  6. Place the aloo sabzi or palya at one side of dosa.
  7. Close the lid and cook for few seconds. Now fold the dosa and serve hot.
  8. Masala dosa is ready to be served with green chutney and sambar.


My Notes:

While grinding the batter using rice soaked water is important to get crispy dosa.

Grinding urad dal and rice separately is important for better results.

Methi seeds give the dosa a nice aroma and helps in fermentation.

Good fermentation of batter is the key for good dosa. During winter it takes longer time and summer vice versa for fermentation of batter.

I prefer adding very little salt before fermentation and then adjusting salt before dosa preparation.

Using thick batter is important during dosa preparation.

Applying oil and water on hot tawa gives crisp dosa.

Red chili powder can also be used in red chutney.

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