Masala Dosa: A Simple South Indian Recipe Cherished All Over
Image Credit: YouTube @Dawat e Rasoi

Dosas, as one hears this name, a big platter of crispy, crunchy, baked crepe comes to mind filled with potato masala and served with sambar and chutneys. A basic masala dosa is filled with essential nutritioned lentils like urad and chana and with the benefits of curry leaves. The crispy crepes are made with different proportions of rice, beaten rice and lentils (majorly urad dal) paste (batter) fermented overnight. This dish contains the same nutrition as a whole meal of dal, rice and vegetable curry and tastes heavenly. This South Indian Recipe is found in variations all over the country and is also called with different names. There are varieties of dosas available these days apart from the basic rice and dal one. People keep experimenting with other lentils and flours like ‘Rawa Dosa’, ‘Ragi Dosa’, ‘Moong Dal Dosa’ and many more.

Tracing the origins of the delicious crunchy crepes

Masala Dosa is a variation of popular South India Dosa /Dosai/Dosey which originated from the Tuluva Udupi cuisine of Karnataka. Dosa is believed to be invented in the process of a Brahmin Adiga (cook) who tried to commit a sin. In the earlier days, Brahmins were not allowed to consume any kind of alcohol, so he tried to ferment his own rice but was unsuccessful. So he poured the fermented rice on a pan and there a crispy crepe was successfully made. The name given was 'Dosha', as ‘Dosha’ in Kannada means sin and this dish was an invention from sins.  Later the name assigned was Dosa. Another story narrates that Someshvara-III, one of the kings of Mysore was the inventor of Masala Dosa. Wherever the recipe got invented, the fact that matters is, this dish is loved all over the country whether Southern or the Northern part. 


  • 1.5 Cups Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 5 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • A fistful of Curry Leaves 
  • 2 Sliced Green Chillies
  • 2 Medium-size Chopped Onions
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Chopped Tomato
  • A fistful of Coriander Leaves
  • 3 Boiled Potatoes
  • Salt as per required

Method Of Preparation:

For the Batter-

  • Take two separate vessels and soak rice and urad dal overnight
  • Now grind the rice and dal along with the fenugreek seeds separately by adding water as per the consistency
  • Mix both the paste in a big vessel and keep stirring it for good five minutes in one direction
  • Now let the batter ferment for another 6-8 hours 
  • The batter is ready to be turned into crispy light golden crepes

For the Stuffing-

  • Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a wok / pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let all get tempered
  • After tempering, add chopped garlic and a pinch of asafoetida, cook for a minute and then add onions and green chillies and cook for two more minutes
  • Now add the tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt as per taste; let the tomatoes turn mushy and soft
  • Finally add the boiled potatoes and mash it with a ladle, cook for 3-4 minutes and add fresh coriander leaves, mix it all; the masala is ready to be served

For the Crepes-

  • Pour a ladle full of batter on a heating pan and spread evenly throughout the pan
  • Let the batter cook for about a minute, once it gets translucent, pour oil on the sides and spread all over the dosa batter
  • Cook for another 1-2 minute and put the potato masala on the top of the crepe
  • Fold the crepes from both the ends
  • The dosa is ready to be served

Masala Dosa is a healthy breakfast recipe and when served with generous amounts of ghee, it leaves the taste buds with a soulful feeling.