South Indian Masala Dosa

South Indian Masala Dosa (Delicious, flavorful, aromatic dosa)

South Indian Masala Dosa is a cherished South Indian delicacy that combines a crispy fermented crepe with a spiced potato filling. The key to achieving the perfect dosa lies in the preparation of the batter. Follow these steps to make your Masala Dosa batter:

Soaking and Grinding the Batter:

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of parboiled rice, 1 cup of urad dal (split black lentils), and 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Rinse them thoroughly and soak in water for about 4-5 hours.
  • Separately, soak 1/2 cup of poha (flattened rice) in water for 30 minutes.
  • After the soaking time, drain the water from the rice, dal, and fenugreek seeds. Grind them together with the soaked poha and some water to create a smooth batter. The consistency should be slightly thick, yet pourable.
  • Add salt to taste, mix well, and allow the batter to ferment overnight or for at least 8 hours. Fermentation gives the dosa its distinct tangy flavor.
  • Potato Masala Filling:
  • Boil and peel 4 to 5 medium-sized potatoes. Once cooled, mash them and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), a few curry leaves, 2 chopped green chilies, and 1 finely chopped onion. Sauté until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and the mashed potatoes to the pan. Mix well and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  • Remove from heat and keep the potato masala filling aside.
South Indian Masala Dosa

Sambar: Sambar is a flavorful lentil and vegetable stew that complements Masala Dosa perfectly. Follow these steps to prepare the aromatic Sambar:

  1. Cooking the Lentils:
    • Rinse 1 cup of toor dal (split pigeon peas) and pressure cook it with 2 cups of water until soft and mushy. Set aside.
  2. Preparing the Sambar:
    • In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add 1 small chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
    • Add 1 small chopped tomato, 1 small diced carrot, 1 small diced potato, and optionally, pieces of 1 drumstick. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes.
    • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons of sambar powder, a pinch of asafoetida, and a few curry leaves. Stir well to coat the vegetables.
    • Incorporate 1/2 cup of tamarind pulp (extracted from a small lemon-sized tamarind soaked in water) and 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and allow the vegetables to cook completely.
    • Once the vegetables are tender, add the cooked toor dal and mix well. Season with salt to taste.
    • Simmer the sambar on low heat for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Coconut Chutney: The creamy and fragrant Coconut Chutney is a quintessential accompaniment to Masala Dosa. Here’s how to prepare it:

Grinding the Chutney:

  • In a blender, combine 1 cup of grated coconut, 2 tablespoons of roasted chana dal (split Bengal gram), 2 green chilies, a small piece of ginger, a handful of coriander leaves, and salt to taste.
  • Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. If required, add a little water to facilitate blending.

Assembly: Now that the individual components are prepared, it’s time to assemble the Masala Dosa, Sambar, and Coconut Chutney:

  1. Cooking the Dosa:
    • Heat a non-stick dosa tawa or griddle. Pour a ladleful of the dosa batter and spread it in a circular motion to form a thin pancake.
    • Drizzle a little oil around the edges and cook the dosa on medium heat until it turns golden brown and crisp.
    • Spread a spoonful of Coconut Chutney on the dosa, followed by a generous portion of the Potato Masala Filling.
    • Fold the dosa from both sides to cover the filling, creating a cylindrical shape. Remove from heat.
  2. Serving
    • Serve the piping hot Masala Dosa with a ladleful of Sambar on the side. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves for an added burst of flavor.
    • Accompany the dosa and sambar with a generous portion of Coconut Chutney.


With this comprehensive recipe, you can now recreate the flavors of South India in your own kitchen. The crispy and tangy Masala Dosa, paired with the aromatic Sambar and creamy Coconut Chutney, offers a gastronomic experience that is sure to delight your taste buds. Impress your loved ones with this traditional and authentic South Indian meal, and savor the rich cultural heritage through this delightful culinary journey. Enjoy the vibrant flavors and the delightful combination of textures in every bite of this classic dish.

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