From Benne to Neer: 8 Types of Dosa For Your Breakfast Table
Image Credit: Benne dosa originates from the city of Davanagere in Karnataka.

Be it breakfast or other meals, dosa can form an important part or even the whole of them. Different regions in South India have different takes on the humble dosa, which is prepared using various types of batter and toppings or fillings. We recommend eight types of dosa that you must try if you’re fan of South India’s favourite pancake:

Benne dosa

‘Benne’ means butter and benne dosa originates from the city of Davanagere in Karnataka. The batter for benne dosa uses rice, puffed rice and dal, and the resulting dosa is slathered with a generous amount of butter. It is smaller in size than regular dosa. The story goes that a lady named Chennamma moved to Davanagere and started making dosa with ragi batter, which her children later improvised to create benne dosa. 

Mysore masala dosa

Mysore masala dosa is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The inside of the dosa is covered with a spicy red chilli and garlic chutney and it is filled with regular potato masala. It is golden brown in colour, due to the addition of flattened rice or poha. 

Ragi dosa

The batter for ragi dosa is made with red millet flour. Ragi is a gluten-free grain that’s high in iron and calcium and is used to prepare dishes across India. Dosa made with ragi is dark brown in colour and may be served on its own or with potato masala. It tastes especially good with coconut or ginger chutney. 

Ghee roast dosa

Ghee roast dosa is usually very thin and crisp, similar to paper dosa. It is cooked in ghee instead of butter or oil, which gives it a characteristic flavour. While making the dosa, ghee is poured near the edges and it is cooked until it turns golden brown. Ghee roast dosa is best enjoyed with sambar, coconut chutney and tomato-onion chutney. 

Neer dosa

In Tulu and Kannada, neer dosa translates to water dosa. The batter used to prepare neer dosa is made exclusively with rice and is not fermented like other dosa batters. It has a very fine consistency. Neer dosa is an important part of Mangalorean cuisine and may be enjoyed with chutneys or any gravy dish. 

Egg dosa

Also known as mutta dosai, egg dosa is a popular street food in Tamil Nadu. It is slightly heavier than regular dosa and may be enjoyed for lunch or dinner besides being a staple breakfast. The egg is cracked open and poured into the centre of the dosa while it is being cooked, and the yolk is broken and spread evenly around the dosa or can be kept intact. 

Set dosa

The Darshinis of Karnataka serve set dosa as a stack of three dosas. The dish has been named set dosa not just because of how it’s served, but also because it is served with saagu and coconut chutney. Set dosas are soft and spongy as opposed to being crispy, and are smaller in size when compared to other types of dosa.


Pesarattu hails from Andhra Pradesh and can be considered a variation of dosa. Unlike regular dosa, it does not contain urad dal and is made with green gram instead. It is usually eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack. Pesarattu may be considered a cousin of the North Indian cheela.