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Masala Dosa
Masala Dosa, a thin and crispy South Indian crepe made from rice and dal batter, has earned India its place on global cuisine map. Unlike paper or sada dosa, masala dosa contains a spicy and aromatic stuffing (aloo masala) made with boiled or mashed potato, onion and spices in between thin rolled plain dosa or in-between dosa flanks. This masala dosa recipe explains how to make dosa batter, potato masala (filling/stuffing) and combine and cook them together into masala dosa from scratch with step by step photos. Additionally, this recipe also explains few tricks to prevent dosa from sticking to pan. Masala dosa is best enjoyed when served with vegetable sambar and white coconut chutney.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3 servings (6 dosas)
3 cups Dosa Batter
4 to 5 medium Potatoes, boiled (approx. 2 cups when chopped)
1 large Onion, thinly sliced (approx. 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Chana Dal (Bengal gram), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon Urad Dal (split black lentils), optional
A pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
8-10 Curry leaves
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped (or to taste)
2 tablespoons broken Cashew Nuts, optional
A pinch of Turmeric Powder
2 tablespoons Oil
1/3 cup Water, optional
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves
2-3 tablespoons Butter or Oil, for greasing while making dosa
  1. Follow Steps 1 to 10 to make dosa batter at home. Alternatively, you can also use ready made dosa batter if available.
  2. Boil potatoes in 2½-3 cups water in a 3-liter capacity steel/aluminum pressure cooker for around 4-5 whistles or until potatoes turn soft. (Don’t forget to add salt in water before starting to boil potatoes; this would give even taste to masala.) Peel and cut boiled potatoes into small pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy based kadai or a non-stick pan over medium flame. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add asafoetida, urad dal, chana dal and cumin seeds.
  4. Sauté until dal turns light brown. Add curry leaves, finely chopped green chilli and broken cashew nuts.
  5. Mix well and sauté for 2-minutes. Add finely chopped onion.
  6. Sauté until onion turns translucent. Add turmeric powder and salt.
  7. Mix well and sauté for a minute.
  8. Add 1/3 cup water. (If you like extra soft masala, add 1/2 cup water instead of 1/3 cup. If you like dry masala with lightly mashed potato then don’t add any water.)
  9. Let it cook over medium flame.
  10. When water starts to boil, add chopped potatoes.
  11. Mix well and lightly mash them with the backside of a spoon. Cook until mixture turns thick, for around 4-5 minutes. Stir in between occasionally to prevent sticking.
  12. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Stuffing for masala dosa is ready.
  13. Heat non-stick tawa or iron dosa tawa over medium flame. When it is medium hot, sprinkle few drops of water over the surface and wait until water evaporates. Add ½ teaspoon oil over tawa and spread it evenly with a wet kitchen cloth. (sprinkling water and spreading oil with wet cloth prevents dosa from sticking to the sirface of pan. Repeat this process before making each dosa). Place a ladle full batter in the center of tawa and spread it thin and evenly by moving ladle in spiral clockwise or anti clockwise direction. The diameter of spread batter circle should be approx. 7-9 inches.
  14. Spread 1-teaspoon butter around the edges. Cook until bottom surface starts to turn light brown for around 2-minutes.
  15. Place 3-tablespoons potato stuffing (masala) in the middle and press it gently using a flat spoon.
  16. Cook dosa until bottom surface turns light golden brown and crisp. Lift the dosa from sides and fold them such that it covers potato masala as shown in the photo. Carefully lift it with flat spoon and transfer it to a serving plate. Repeat steps 13 to 16 for remaining batter to prepare remaining masala dosas. Serve them with Sambar and coconut chutney
Tips and Variations:
  • Use mashed potatoes instead of chopped potatoes while preparing potato bhaji for variation in texture.
  • If butter is not available, you can replace it with oil or ghee in step-14 while making dosa. For authentic taste, we recommend to use ghee.
  • For ease of preparation, use either ready-made (store-bought) dosa batter or make dosa batter in advance. You can prepare batter one day prior to cooking and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • To get crispy texture for dosa, make sure that tawa is heated properly. If tawa is over-heated, it will be difficult to spread the batter evenly.
  • To spread batter evenly and prevent dosa from sticking to tawa, sprinkle few drops of water over heated tawa and let it evaporate, spread oil over it and wipe it with a wet cloth before making each dosa.
Taste:  Thin and crispy crepe with spicy potato masala filling.
Serving Ideas: Serve crisp hot dosa with sambar and coconut chutney for breakfast or dinner.

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