December 2, 2013

Masala Dosa Recipe - How to Make Masala Dosa at Home

Since it's been the season for various dosa recipes on the site including plain dosa, sago dosa, and wheat dosa, I figured I might as well share the recipe of this easy and basic masala dosa that I make very often. In fact, every batch of dosa batter goes through atleast one round of masala dosa for dinner or breakfast. Masala dosa has reached an iconic status of late but I do have a confession - I never liked it growing up. I would always tell amma I want masala dosa without the filling and she would say "of course" and promptly order me a roast paper dosa which I'd happily tuck in.

masala dosa recipe-how to make masala dosa

Kids, what do they know, eh? My grown up palate very much enjoys the taste and flavours of a well made masala dosa and let me hazard some pompousness here by saying that I do make a mean masala dosa. It's all in the consistency of the filling. I like my potato masala filling to be as lump free as possible and the potato should be cooked creamy lending very little resistance as you dig into them. There has to be a thick coconut chutney on the side otherwise making masala dosa at home is a lost cause. And the onions and chana dal, they need to be on the generous side. See, simple things but they do make a difference to your homemade masala dosa. Check out all dosa recipes here.

Sidenote: if you really have to get your masala dosa fix from a restaurant and you live in a city where you can make it happen, get yourself to Murugan Idli Kadai, ignore their idlis, and go for their masala dosa. Their's is my absolute favourite!

NOTE: Please refer this post on how to make dosa batter at home first before proceeding.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes ~10 dosas

3 cups of dosa batter
3-4 tbsp of gingelly oil or Indian sesame oil
For the potato masala:
2 of large potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 cup of sliced onions
1 tbsp of chana dal, soaked in warm water for 15 mins
1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 of green chilli, minced
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp of minced ginger
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp of oil


To Make Masala for Masala Dosa:

- Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the chana dal, hing, and ginger. Saute until fragrant.
masala dosa recipe-how to make masala dosa

- Add the sliced onions and saute for a few mins until soft
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- To the onions, add turmeric, green chillies, and some salt and saute again for a few seconds.
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- Mash the potatoes without any large lumps and add to the above mixture. You can add a couple tablespoons of water. Mix it well and cook until the mixture thickens.
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- Mix well and add the coriander leaves too. Set aside until you are ready to make the masala dosa. This potato masala for masala dosa can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for a couple days if you want to make masala dosa on a whim or for a small party.

To Make Masala Dosa:

- Using about 1/3 cup of batter (this depends on the size of your tawa), shape a dosa and drizzle gingelly oil generously over it.
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- Using your spatula, gently flatten the top of the dosa to make it as uniformly thick as possible. This will help you get a crisp dosa as they make in restaurants and also ensure even cooking.
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- Add 2 spoonfuls of the potato masala towards one side of the dosa
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- Fold one edge of the dosa over the other when the first side has browned reasonably well.
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Remove to a plate and serve hot with tiffin sambar and hotel-style coconut chutney.

- Make sure to not let the potato masala be too watery. Actually there's no need to add any water to the masala at all
- You can add some optional stuff in like chopped tomatoes, peas, grated carrots, capsicum, curry leaves, etc. Maybe not all in one go but pick what you'd like

For masala dosa recipe in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, etc, please use the Google Translate button in the sidebar.