Have you ever tried having South Indian food when visiting an authentic Indian restaurant? If not, make sure to order a plate full of masala dosa next time you see one. I assure you, you’ll love it.
South Indian cuisine is rich in spices and flavors, and masala dosa is also a spicy, tangy, and flavorful dish. Masala dosa is a soft crepe made with fermented batter and topped with a spicy filling of potatoes or other vegetables.
The batter is fermented in advance to give that crispiness and subtle taste of the crepe. One can make the batter with rice flour, wheat flour, lentil flour, or flour of any other grain of their preference. However, the authentic one is made out of rice flour.
Some of you might confuse masala dosa with pancake as the cooking procedure and process involved look similar.
Although you can easily find this spicy dish in restaurants, you may also opt to cook it in your humble abode just by following a simple recipe.
You will require a few ingredients to make the restaurant-style dosa masala at home. However, please ferment the batter at least a few hours earlier.
In addition, you can prepare the masala filling right before to get that freshness and aroma. One can also make chutneys to complement the dosa masala in their breakfast, lunch, or snack.
Ingredients of batter
- Rice (parboiled preferably)
- Urad dal (black gram; split and husked if preferable)
- Chana dal
- Fenugreek seeds
Ingredients for masala filling
- Green chilies
- Indian spices
Steps Involved In Making Dosa Masala
The process of making dosa masala is a little more elaborate than it seems to be. One needs to prepare the batter in advance, even before making the dish itself.
People usually make the batter one day advance to allow it to ferment overnight. A well-fermented dosa batter will give that crispiness to the dish along with a punch in the taste.
How to make dosa batter?
The dosa batter is straightforward as it involves significantly fewer ingredients. But the intense process of mixing it well and making a perfect consistency could be a challenge to people.
You can create an ideal dosa batter by following the simple steps mentioned below:
- Soak all the grains and lentils you intend to use at least one or two days in advance. This process will make it easier to grind the paste if the grains are soft and well-soaked. But before you soak the ingredients, wash them off very well, and if possible, rinse off the outer coverings of the lentils.
- It is safer to rinse each lentil and grain in a separate container.
- Rinse off the excess water from the grains and lentils. Now grind the ingredients to a fine paste. To make this batter, you can use half of the black lentils, a few tablespoons of gram lentils, and a spoonful of fenugreek seeds.
- Add half portion of rice to another container while soaking and mixing. If the amount of the ingredient is enormous, it is better to grind it in batches to maintain that consistency.
- Do not forget to add a half teaspoon of salt and water to the grains while grinding them into a thick paste.
- After the paste is made, allow it to rest and ferment overnight or at least for a few hours. Cover the container and let it sit in a warm place.
How to make masala filling for the dosa?
You can make masala dosa filling right before cooking. The fillings can be any vegetable based on your preference. However, people usually prefer to use potato-based masala for their masala dosa.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to make masala filling for the dosa:
- Please take a few medium-sized potatoes, rinse them off properly and boil them. Peel off the cover of the potatoes after these get boiled down. Cut these potatoes into small dice.
- Chop off two onions, a few chilies, ginger, and two big-sized tomatoes into small pieces. You may also chop the cilantro and other herbs into the masala filling.
- Take out the whole dry spices like fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida.
- Take a pan and heat it over fame. Add two teaspoonfuls of cooking oil and heat it on the pan. Now, add the whole spices mentioned above and allow them to fry. Now add a pinch of asafoetida to the pan.
- Add the diced ginger to the mixture and allow it to cook until its raw smell goes off. Now add the echoed onions and let them cook until translucent. Do not forget to add curry leaves and sliced green chilies to the pan.
- Then add tomatoes and cook them until they get softer. You may add a pinch of salt to let the tomatoes cook well.
- Now, you may add the diced boiled potatoes to this mixture. Saute the potatoes, then add a pinch of turmeric, garam masala, salt, and other Indian spices to this mixture.
- Now, please turn off the heat and mash these potatoes very well until it becomes soft and well mashed.
Cooking the dosa masala
After making the batter and masala filling, it is now time to fry the batter and layer up the masala filling. For this, please take out a flat pan and add a few drops of oil to the pan and rub it well with kitchen tissue.
Now, place this pan over the flame on medium to high heat and sprinkle a few drops of water to check if it sizzles. Then when the pan is heated well enough, pour a saddle full of dosa batter onto the pan and spread it evenly by circling the batter out of the center.
Circulate the saddle in a clockwise direction to evenly spread out the batter. Now you can lower the flame and allow the batter to cook. Then add potato masala filling, roll it out, and take it off the heat.
Serve this masala dosa with tamarind and tomato chutney.