Popular south- Indian breakfast, the scrumptious Masala Dosa's popularity is ever increasing. These days it is found everywhere in India, and even overseas. It is one of the many variations of the original south-Indian dosa, which is essentially an Udipi cuisine or a Tuluva- Mangalorean cuisine, which is known to be strictly vegetarian. Basically, the southwest coast of India is where this originated. The masala in its name stands for the potato stuffing inside the dosa, which is a thin pancake, made from a fermented batter predominantly consisting of lentils and rice that looks somewhat similar to a crepe. It is served with chutneys and sambar.
Interestingly now it has its own variations like Mysore Masala Dosa, Rava masala dosa, Onion masala dosa, Paper masala dosa, Cheese masala dosa, vegetable masala dosa, etc. In fact, today's Dosas are truly customisable. Masala dosa is generally eaten with servings of sambhar, coconut chutney, tomato chutney and pudina (mint) chutney. Some people also eat the same with idli podi – a powder made of peanuts and mixed with gingelly oil to make a chutney-like paste.
The dosa is soft and spongy from inside and crispy, golden from outside, Originally it was just dosa (now specified as plain dosa). The story behind its origin is quite interesting. It goes like, as alcohol was not permitted to brahmins, one day a brahmin tried to ferment alcohol on his own with rice, but his failed output was the batter which he utilised in making the dosa. The word “dosa/ dosha” means sin, and its companion, “chutney” comes from the word “Chata” meaning bad habit in Kannada. The story of “masala dosa” is no less. It is credited to K. Krishna Rao, in the 1940s, where due to the scarcity of the ingredients for a side potato curry he added the boiled potatoes to onions, increasing the quantity and onions being prohibited for brahmins, he concealed that inside the dosa, and the rest is history.
It is a very common staple food found everywhere in India at stalls and that too as very pocket-friendly. Since it is very popular in Indian households and extra popular in south Indian households, every house has its own recipe variation and no fixed rules, yet a basic overview will assist you to make your own version.
Preparations and Ingredients For Masala Dosa
Collect, half a cup of urad dal, 3 tablespoon channa dal, ½ teaspoon methi seeds, 1 ½ cups of rice, potatoes, 2 teaspoon chanadal, 2 teaspoon urad dal, oil, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, aesephotida, grated ginger, sliced onions, green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric and salt, chopped coriander leaves, turmeric and salt.
Bowls (preferably of glass/ceramic) ,blender jar, pan, oven etc.
Here we go! For the batter
- Add urad dal, chana dal, methi seeds to a bowl, wash and soak it just 30 minutes before the blending.
- Wash and keep the poha aside.
- Wash and soak rice in another bowl but this for 4-5 hours.
- Blend the dal- poha and rice separately, by adding salt for fermenting. The batter should not turn runny or too thick, yet should be frothy and bubbly.
- Mix both batters. Add additional water if needed.
- Cover the batter and keep it at a warm place and let it ferment to turn bubbly. (The time may vary from 5-16 hours depending on the temperature, avoid over fermenting)
For the stuffing
- Steam or boil potatoes in a pressure cooker, a steamer, or a covered pan/bowl. For pressure cooker and let it whistle thrice. Till the potatoes boil, place chana dal and urad dal to soak in hot water for thirty minutes, 1 teaspoon each. Then drain the water and keep them aside.
- Now start sauteeing of cumin, mustard seeds (1 teaspoon each), with chana dal and urad dal. After it turns golden, add some asafoetida (hing).
- Add grated ginger till you get the aroma.
- Now time to add some sliced onions, green chillies and curry leaves and saute until it turns golden.
- Now add the crumbled potatoes, turmeric and salt to it. Saute it well and add some water if the potatoes are not mushy. Add some chopped coriander and your masala is ready.
For the Dosa
- Pour some batter in the non-stick preheated pan, (do greasing if it is a cast iron pan) and start spreading immediately from the centre in a clockwise manner until the edge is reached.
- Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of butter to the edges and once it turns crispy flip it and cook that side too. Flip again and cook till that side is golden brown.
Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar and store them into Casserole Set