masala dosa
Food Recipes Savoury

Tasty homemade Masala Dosas

This delicious South Indian dish is one you have to try. Every one has their own version but the principle is the same.

A rice & lentil pancake filled with an aromatic potato curry and served with a palatable dal made with pigeon peas (toovar), tempered coconut yoghurt, tamarind chutney and green chutney.

Homemade masala dosa

The Dosa (pancakes)

These pancakes are so aromatic and easy to make. The hardest part is getting the consistency right and spreading it on the pancake pan. This comes with practice. The recipe makes about 10-12.

Ok they don’t make the smoothest ones but the taste is the same.

  • 3 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 cup urud dal (the while one without the shell)
  • Salt
  • Water

Wash and soak the rice and dal for at least 5 hours. Then drain and wash again. Blitz the mixture with some water to create a pancake batter. At this stage it will be a bit course. Add in some salt to season and leave this to one side until ready to use.
When you are ready to make the dosas, add in room temperature water to create a batter similar to that of pancakes.

To make the dosa, heat a pancake pan. Oil the pan lightly and then place a spoon of the batter on it and spread it. You need to work fast to get a thin dosa. An old credit card or hard piece of card works well to spread the batter. Let this cook then when the edges start to come up, flip it gently and then put a few drops of oil on the edges so it cooks until golden and crispy. You can flip it again if you want them really crispy and often I do that.

The Potato Curry

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp rye (mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp jiru (cumin seeds)
  • 1/4 hing (asafoetida)
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 small bunch of chopped spring onions
  • 3/4 tsp crushed fresh garlic
  • 3/4 tsp crushed fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed fresh green or red chillies
  • 2 1/2 tsp dhana jiru (coriander cumin spice powder)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 500 gram potatoes (par boiled and cut into small pieces)
  • coriander to garnish

Heat some oil in a flat pan. When the oil is hot add in methi, rye, jiru, hing, curry leaves. Be careful it will splatter. Then add in the spring onions, ginger, garlic & chillies. Give it a mix and cook for a minute before adding in the rest of the ingredients (apart from the potatoes). Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add in the potatoes, mix carefully and continue to cook on low heat until cooked through. If the potatoes are sticking add a bit of hot water to the pan. Garnish with coriander.

The Dal

  • 1/2 cup pigeon peas (toovar)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 large dry red chilli
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 mustard seeds
  • 1/2 jiru
  • pinch of hing
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp peanuts (optional)
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 piece hokum (optional)
  • salt to taste

Soak the toovar 15 minutes. Wash and then place in pressure cooker for about 10 minutes with salt. If you don’t have a pressure cooked just boil it until cooked.

Once cooked, sieve to form a slightly runny base for the dal.

In a pan heat some oil then add in all the other ingredients above the tomato passata. Stir on low heat for a minute.
Then add in the tomato passata. Mix and let this cook on low heat until you notice oil on the edges of the paste.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding in the sieved dal. Mix and let it boil. If it is really thick add in some hot water. You want a medium consistency. At this stage you can add in 2 tsp of lemon juice. Garnish with coriander

The Chutneys

  1. Green chutney: Blitz 1/2 a bunch of coriander , 2 cloves garlic, 1 green chilli, lemon juice and salt to taste. If it is too thick add some cold water
  2. Tamarind chutney: Boil 1/2 pack of a tamarind block with 2 big dates and some water in a pan. Boil it for about 10 minutes ensuring it does not stick. You need enough water to cover the tamarind and dates. Take it off the heat and mash the mixture with a fork just so all the ingredients blend together. Leave it for a few minutes so it all dissolves then sieve it to form a sauce. Add in some salt and red chilli powder to taste. If it is too sour then add some brown sugar.
  3. Coconut chutney: Fresh grated coconut tastes amazing with this. If this is not available then desiccated coconut is fine. In a pan heat some oil then add 1/2 tsp rye (mustard seeds), 1/2 tsp jiru (cumin seeds), 10 curry leaves and 5 tsps of sesame seeds. Get ready to cover the pan because it will splatter everywhere. Let this cook for 1 minute. Then pour into some greek yoghurt, add the coconut, salt and some ground cumin.

Now it is time to tuck in. Some people like to have the dosa plain and dip in the chutneys. Others like to spread a bit of the potato curry in the pancake with bit of the chutneys, wrap it up and pour the dal on it.

Either way these masala dosas are so tasty and I am sure you will enjoy them.

If you have any questions drop me an email.