Masala Dosa (Potato Stuffed Indian Crepe): Eating India

by Karen on Friday, January 7, 2011

Post image for Masala Dosa (Potato Stuffed Indian Crepe): Eating India

Dosa batter is simple, but you just need to plan ahead since the dosa batter needs 12 hours to ferment.  The sukha aloo, sauteed potatoes with onions, is even easier to put together and perfectly tasty on its own or with a side of rice.

Dosa Batter:

– 1/4 cup dried, skinned and split black lentils (dhuli urad daal)
– 1 cup water, divided
– 3/4 cup plain white rice flour (not glutinous or sweet)
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt
– 6 fenugreek seeds

Pick through lentils and place in a medium bowl and cover with cold water.  Let the lentils and fenugreek seeds soak for 5 hours at room temperature to soften them.  Drain the soaking water and rinse the lentils 3 times by soaking in water and draining.

Process the lentils and seeds and 1/4 cup water in a blender until smooth and creamy.  Mix together the blended lentils, rice flour, salt and remaining 3/4 cup of water in a medium bowl.  Cover the bowl and place the bowl an turned off oven.  Let it sit undisturbed until the mixture ferments and rises to almost double its size, about 12 hours.  Air bubbles will develop along with a slight sour smell.  When ready to use, stir the batter (it will deflate in size).  You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days to use later.

Stir the batter to deflate it and add a couple splashes of water if it is thick.  It should be thick but still slightly runny so it is easy to spread around on a pan.

Heat a large non stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium high heat and ladle 1/2 cup of the batter in the center.  Using the back of the ladle spread the batter outwards in a circular motion.  Do this quickly as the batter will cook very quickly.  With a brush or spoon, lightly drizzle oil around the edges of the dosa and then a sprinkle over the center of the dosa.

The sides should begin to lift when the dosa is done (about 2 minutes).  The top should be light and soft and the bottom lightly browned and crisp.  Roll up and remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the batter.  Enjoy these immediately!

If you've ever made pancakes you know that the first one is usually the tester as the heat of your pan has yet stabilized.  Same goes with dosas.  The dosa should be lightly crispy but slightly soft enough to bend without breaking (If it does, you are overcooking it.)

Sukha Aloo (Sauteed Potatoes with Onion):

– 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
– 2 dried chilies, torn
– 1 tsp of cumin seeds
– 1 tsp of mustard seeds
– 1 fresh serrano chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise and then cut in half crosswise
– 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
–  1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
– 1 small handful of cilantro leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped
– 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
– 1 tsp of kosher salt

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and toast the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and torn dried chilies until fragrant (about 3 minutes).  Take care not to burn them.  Then add the diced potatoes, onions, serrano pepper, turmeric and salt and mix.

Add a small splash of water, mix and cover with a lid and let it simmer until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 minutes).  Add cilantro leaves in and cook until wilted and serve with your dosas along with some coconut chutney!

(Recipes adapted from Entice With Spice: Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People)



Erica January 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

wow, you did it!! it looks beautiful and most importantly, delicious!! dosas are my absolute favorite and I can’t wait to try this!

deana@lostpastremembered January 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

Glorious photos… I can’t wait to try this and luckily have a wonderful NYC resource for the dals. There is nothing like a great wrap full of delicious fillings. FABULOUS!

Valerie January 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm

WOW. The photographs look almost as beautiful as this meal smelled when you cooked it, which was almost as amazing as it TASTED when I ate it (if that made any sense at all). SO yum and I think my fav photos to date! Loved getting a taste of India and also a little reminder of Cape Town. 🙂

Prerna@IndianSimmer January 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Oh wow, you made just perfect dosa! I’m so jealous ‘cos I’ve been eating it forever and still can’t make such perfect looking round and crisp dosas 🙁
Good job! Great post!

Gastronomer January 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Bravo!!! Your dosas and accompaniments look perfectly delicious 🙂

Bailey B. Yamamoto January 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Hey there = ) This is truly a labor of love… I don’t think I’ve had Dosa before… I think… I did have an Indian type crepe, could that be it? I really like the grain in your cutting board = )

Karen January 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Thanks ya’ll!
@Erica: I knew u’d appreciate these 😉
@Deana: that’s great b/c it is so easy to make, u just really need to get a hold of those lentils…
@Valerie: Cape town dosas!!! good memories
@Prerna: Thanks, coming from someone who has been eating them for a long time, that means a lot 🙂
@Bailey: there are a couple other crepe-like Indian breads but perhaps u did? Thanks, it’s a bamboo cutting board (my fav)

Jennifer (Delicieux) January 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Stunning photos!! The crepe looks delicious. I love Indian food but have never made Dosa before. I will be bookmarking this to try 😀

Stephanie M at Together In Food January 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Yum. Yum yum yum!!! I absolutely love dosas and coconut chutney. I need to find a place to get all of the ingredients (spices for the chutney especially) but I am salivating in anticipation.

Lentil Breakdown January 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Wow! I love masala dosas and you’ve done a marvelous job! Do you ever go to Artesia (Little India)? I love going there!

Karen January 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Definitely– if it wasn’t such a trek I’d go there all the time. But love eating there!

Mely (MexicoinMyKitchen) January 14, 2011 at 6:37 am

Very interesting recipe, the work to make the dosas is well explained. But I love more the potatoes recipe and the spice mix they have. That for sure I will make to have with some chapati bread.

Thanks a lot!


mycookinghut March 1, 2011 at 9:43 am

This is absolutely delicious! I love masalah dosa a lot!

Helena June 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

Oooh… now I’m dreaming of spiced lentil stew and tangy fish head curry… I have had these huge cone-shaped dosas once for breakfast (with the said stew & curry) in Malaysia. Was it a breakfast to remember! I want to make your dosa because it looks so good, could almost taste that peculiar sourness. Awh, then I would have to go find a fresh fish head too…

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