How to Make Masala Dosa

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This mouth watering dish finds its origin in South India. Dosa is a staple breakfast added to most of India’s menu. Had with Sambhar and Chutney on the side, this thin, rice crispy takes on the flavours of various local palettes. An extension of the dosa is Masala Dosa which is made with delicious potato filling on the inside of the dosa that makes it a complete and slightly heavy meal.

Though dosa is a popular breakfast item, it is enjoyed for brunch, lunch, evening snacks and dinner too. That’s how versatile and tasty it is.  The dosa finds its origin in the Mangalorean cusine and was popularized by Udipi hotels around India and abroad. There are two parts to making a great masala dosa – the perfect tasting stuffing and the crisp brown dosa. The recipe starts with soaking rice (par-boiled) and udad dal over night and then being blended into a smooth batter the next day. The batter has to be slightly more runnier than an idli batter. The way to test this is to pick up the batter in a deep spoon and flow it down. If it has a uniform slow flow, you have the right consistency.

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Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa has taken over as one of the most popular Street foods all over India. Due to it's health quotient, involving overnight fermentation, it is almost a complete meal as it has a yummy,spicy aloo sabji, chutney and sambhar as accompaniments.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Anju Bhagnari


Dosa Batter

  • Rice 3 Cups
  • Urad Dal 1 cup
  • Fenugreek Seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

Potato Masala

  • Potatoes 3 ( medium sized )
  • Onion 1 ( large )
  • Green chillies 2
  • Fresh curry leaves 12
  • Green coriander leaves 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder ½ teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger piece ½ inch
  • Oil as needed
  • Water as needed


Dosa Batter

  1. Wash the rice and soak it for 5 to 6 hours. Similarly,wash and soak the dal too for 6 hours.

  2. Mix fenugreek seeds and grind to a smooth paste. Adjust batter consistency such as it is easily pours out of a spoon by adding more water if needed.

  3. Add salt and whisk well. Cover it and keep overnight for fermentation. Next morning, before use give a gentle whisk.

Potato Masala

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker till 4 whistles on high flame.

  2. Remove when steam releases on its own. Take off the skin and chop coarsely in cubes.

  3. Slice the onion. Chop the green chillies and green coriander leaves. Grate the ginger.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non stick pan. Add the mustard seeds and cook on low flame till they splutter.

  5. Quickly toss in the curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. Next, add the sliced onion. Cover with a lid and let cook till translucent.

  6. Season with salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder
  7. Toss well and add the potatoes. Cover again and let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes till they take in the flavours.

  8. Gently crush a few pieces with the ladle. Garnish with green coriander leaves.

  9. Shut off the flame and use as masala dosa stuffing.


  1. Heat a non stick tawa or pan. 

  2. Put in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter and with a spoon spread in concentric circles. Tawa should not be too hot when you spread batter else it will stick.

  3. Spread as thin as possible to get crunchy and crisp dosas.
  4. Smear about 1 teaspoon oil all over.
  5. Cook till the base turns golden brown. Do not flip to cook the other side.

  6. Remove in a serving plate and spread about 2 tablespoons of masala in the centre.
  7. Fold from both the edges to cover it and flip to straighten the dosa and serve with coconut chutney and sambhar.

The traditional masala dosa stuffing is made by boiling potatoes and then making it into a thick curry. The flavour in the curry comes from the sauteed onions and an array of spices. Coriander leaves and asafoetida are both a  must in this curry as they add an authentic ‘south Indian’ taste to the curry.

For variations, the dosa can be made from rava or oats too. The most basic variation in the potato masala comes in the form of a generous sprinkling of cheese. For all those who believe that cheese makes the world a better place, this dish becomes perfect when you add cheese to the hot masala just before your wrap the dosa. The other way to do it is to add the cheese when the dosa is still on the tava and is 80% done. At this stage, you can place the potato curry inside the dosa and grate cheese directly on to it. By the time the dosa is done, the cheese melts and you get absolutely instagrammable dosa right on your plate.

For those days when you are feeling extra generous, make the dosa using ghee instead of oil. This will give you the traditional ‘naii masala roast’ of Kerala.

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How to make Masala Dosa


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