Masala Dosa - A Must-Try South Indian Delight
Image Credit: dosa/

Dosa is a popular South Indian dish. While the exact origins of dosa remain unknown, it is believed to have originated in the southern part of India, where it has been a staple food for many centuries. One theory suggests that dosa was first made in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. The word "dosa" is derived from the Tamil word "dosai," which means "pancake." It is believed that dosa was originally a type of pancake made from rice flour and was traditionally eaten as a breakfast food. Another theory suggests that dosa was first made in the state of Andhra Pradesh. According to this theory, dosa was originally a thin, crisp crepe made from a batter of rice and lentils and was typically served with a spicy chutney made from ground coconut and chillies.

One of the most famous types of dosa is the masala dosa. Masala dosa is a popular South Indian dish that originated in the state of Karnataka. The exact history of masala dosa is not clear, but it is believed to have originated in the town of Udupi. The dish was an instant hit and soon became a staple in South Indian cuisine. Over time, the masala dosa evolved, and today it includes many different kinds of fillings like vegetable saagu, lemon rice, chutney podi, and even paneer, which has become popular in other parts of India and around the world.


For the dosa batter:

  • 1 cup rice (any variety)
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • water as needed

For the potato filling:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp oil

For serving:

  • Coconut chutney
  • Sambar


  • To make the dosa batter, rinse the rice and urad dal in water separately and soak them in enough water for at least 4-5 hours, along with fenugreek seeds.
  • Drain the water and grind the soaked rice and urad dal separately in a blender or wet grinder until smooth. Mix both batters well with some salt and enough water to make a medium-thick batter.
  • Cover the batter with a lid and keep it in a warm place for fermentation for at least 6–8 hours or overnight. The batter should have doubled in volume and become bubbly.
  • To make the potato filling, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. Once the seeds crackle, add the chopped onions and green chillies and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the turmeric powder and mashed potatoes, and mix well. Add salt to taste and cook for a few more minutes until the filling is heated through. Set aside.
  • To make the dosas, heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Grease it lightly with some oil using a sliced onion or a brush.
  • Pour a ladleful of the dosa batter into the centre of the griddle and spread it outward using a circular motion to form a thin, even layer.
  • Drizzle some oil on the edges and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom turns golden brown and crispy. Flip the dosa and cook for a minute or two on the other side.
  • Add a spoonful of the potato filling in the centre of the dosa and fold it over to form a half-moon shape.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.