Crispy masala dosa

Crispy masala dosa

By
From
I Love India
Makes
9-10
Photographer
Martin Poole

A dosa is a crispy rice and lentil pancake and is normally breakfast food for the locals in Tamil Nadu. These days we eat it for dinner. It takes a day or more to allow the batter to ferment, to give a slightly sour flavour and make it a little fluffy. There are so many different types of dosa, but this is the most popular, stuffed with a spiced potato masala and served with sambhar (a thin lentil curry) and Coconut Chutney. But that is a lot to cook, so we normally have dosa with either potatoes or lentils. The dosa is gluten free, dairy free and fermented – all buzzwords for health these days. Oh, and it is really tasty and fun to make. My ten-year-old tried her hand at it while I was writing this recipe and we had a lot of fun. A dosa is best eaten as soon as it is cooked, so if you have guests over, eat with them at the kitchen counter while you make them.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dosa

Quantity Ingredient
250g basmati rice
75g urad da, (split and skinned black lentils)
25g chana dal
good pinch fenugreek seeds
salt
1/2 onion
vegetable oil, as needed
see method for ingredients, to serve

For the potato filling

Quantity Ingredient
750g cooking potatoes, (or around 4 medium)
salt
5-6 tablespoons vegetable oil
11/2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
2-4 dried chillies, (optional)
2 indian green finger chillies, halved
1 rounded tablespoon chana dal
1 rounded tablespoon urad dal, (split and skinned black lentils)
15-20 fresh curry leaves
2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced
11/2 tablespoons finely chopped root ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
1 rounded teaspoon ghee, (optional)
handful coriander leaves

Method

  1. Wash the rice well in several changes of water until the water runs clear, then soak it overnight or for 5–6 hours. At the same time, wash the lentils well and leave them, too, to soak. Drain the rice and lentils, reserving the water. Now grind or blend the rice, lentils and fenugreek seeds to a fluffy paste with 250–260ml of the reserved water. It should be smooth with few, if any, powdery hard grains left; this does take a few minutes. Stir in 1 tsp salt, cover and leave to ferment in a warm-ish, draught-free place for another half day or so; it needs to start fermenting and be a bit bubbly.
  2. When you are getting ready to eat, make the potato filling. Peel and halve the potatoes and boil until just soft in salted water, or place, skins on, in the microwave and cook until soft. Once done and cool enough to handle, peel and roughly chop.
  3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and, once the popping starts to die down, add all the chillies and chana dal; following 10 seconds later with the urad dal and the curry leaves. Cook until the lentils are just golden. Add the onions and a little more salt, sauté these until golden brown on the edges, then add the ginger and cook for another minute or so. Add the turmeric and a splash of water and give the pan a couple of stirs. Add in the potatoes and mix well in the other flavours. Cook for 4–5 minutes, then add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning. The potatoes should be slightly crushed and in large lumps rather than pieces now. Add the ghee if using and stir in the coriander.
  4. Now cook the dosas. Choose a frying pan, ideally cast iron, but you can use a non-stick one as well. Find a 60ml ladle or serving spoon. Heat the pan over a medium heat.
  5. Take the half onion, spear it with a fork and dip in oil, then wipe the pan with the onion. Using your chosen ladle or spoon, add the batter to the middle of the pan, and quickly – using the base of the ladle – spread the batter out in circular motions before it sets. It should look quite thin in places, if not everywhere. The thinner, the crispier! Leave to cook over a medium heat, drizzling over 1 tsp of vegetable oil. It shouldn’t take more than 2–3 minutes.
  6. Once you can see brown coming through the thinner bits of the dosa and it is rising a little, check the base – it should be golden. Take it off the heat, fill with a few spoons of the potato filling and serve with Coconut Chutney. Repeat to cook the rest of the batter, eating each dosa as soon as it is cooked.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again