Plate of Masala Dosa - A classic South Indian fare

Plate of Masala Dosa – A classic South Indian fare

If you come to my home on a weekend, there’s a 50% chance you will be treated to a plate of Masala Dosa. I make enough to last 2 days, usually finishing it off by making onion dosas out of the leftover batter. I grew up eating dosas as an after-school snack. I remember my mother making dosa batter using a huge stone mortar and pestle. That must have been a hard task considering it was a family of 6. Then we got the Sumeet mixie and it soon replaced the manual method.

It is difficult to resist a crispy Dosa. Of the 100 different types of dosas that you can make, masala dosa holds a special appeal for everyone. It’s probably because of the sumptuous accompaniments it comes with; spicy potato curry, coconut chutney and that bowl of tangy sambar making a wholesome, satisfying meal. Having enjoyed great-tasting dosas all my life, it was difficult to replicate the same taste here in california. After experimenting with different varieties of rice and the rice-urad dal ratio, I found a happy note in the following recipe.

1 cup ponni parboiled rice

Half cup ponni raw rice

1/2 cup urad dal

1 tea spoon methi/fenugreek seeds

1 tea spoon chana dal

Wash the dal, rice, and methi together under running water a few times. Soak in 8 cups of water for approx. 8 hours. Grind the grains mixture in a grinder until absolutely smooth. This is best tested by rubbing some batter between your fingers. Empty the batter into a big stock pot, cover it and keep it away for at least 10-12 hours. This step is to ensure proper fermentation of the batter. I keep the pot in the oven and turn the light on irrespective of the weather. After about 12 hours, you will see that the batter has risen by about 2-3 inches from its original level.  At this point, you are ready to make dosas.

To make dosas:

Use a big (10” is OK, 12″ is ideal) griddle/tava. Non-stick is good.

Fill a big ladle with the batter and pour it in the center of a hot tava/griddle and spread it out in a circular fashion until it covers up pretty much all of the griddle. Immediately spread a tea spoon of ghee/melted butter/oil along the edge of the dosa. Keep the tava hot during the entire time. After about 15 seconds, flip the dosa and keep it on the tava/griddle for another 10 seconds or so.

Serve with potato curry, coconut chuntey and optinally, a bowl of onion sambhar.