Mysore masala dosa – a popular South Indian dish that has its roots in the city of Mysore is an iconic dish that is a variation of the traditional masala dosa, with a unique twist in its preparation and flavour. With royal origins, here is a comprehensive history of the delicacy and the various types of dosas.
Mysore masala dosa is believed to have originated in Mysore – a city known for its rich culinary heritage. Said to have been created in the kitchens of the Mysore Palace during the reign of the Wadiyar dynasty, which ruled the region, the dosa was originally prepared for the royal family and was known for its unique taste and texture. What made it unique from the regular dosa was the addition of a spicy and flavourful red chutney smeared on the inside of the dosa, which gives it a distinctive flavour.
Two of the key components that make Mysore masala dosa special include the Mysore chutney and the filling. The Mysore chutney is a spicy, red chutney made from a blend of red chilies, garlic, roasted gram and other spices. It is spread generously on the dosa before adding the potato filling which typically consists of mashed potatoes seasoned with spices like turmeric, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Over time, Mysore masala dosa gained popularity not only in Mysore but also throughout Karnataka and the rest of India, where it became a staple on the menus of South Indian restaurants and street food vendors.
Like many traditional dishes, the Mysore masala dosa has seen various regional and contemporary creative adaptations. While ingredients like cheese or vegetables like grated beetroot and capsicum are more popular additions to the filling, some others experiment with the combination of chutneys to suit their preferences. Here are five different types of dosas you should know about:
Masala dosa is one of the most famous and widely consumed types of dosas that consists of a thin, crispy rice and lentil crepe filled with a spiced potato mixture flavoured with ingredients ingredients like onions, tomatoes, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, curry leaves; often served with coconut chutney and sambar.
Rava dosa is a quick and easy dosa made with a semolina-based batter instead of rice. Due to not requiring any fermentation, it can be prepared instantly. Rava dosa is thin, lacy and crispy with a unique chewy texture. It is typically flavoured with ingredients like cumin seeds, green chilies and curry leaves, along with a small amount of onions, which lend a sweet caramelised hint to the dosas, once cooked.
Uttapam is a thicker, fluffier pancake-like dosa that is often topped with various vegetables like tomatoes, onions, carrots and bell peppers. The batter is poured onto the griddle and spread out, with the vegetables are placed on top. Cooked until it's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, it usually has a spicy coconut chutney and tomato-based sambar for accompaniments.
Set dosa is a softer and spongier version of the regular dosa which is usually smaller in size and thicker than the traditional dosa. Set dosa is often served in stacks of two or three dosas, from which it derives the name, it is enjoyed with various chutneys and meat-based side dishes.
Pesarattu is a unique dosa made primarily from green moong dal, instead of the usual rice and urad dal mixture which is finely ground to make the batter. Known for its green colour and earthy flavour, pesarattu is typically served with upma and an earthy-spicy ginger chutney.
Top 5 Places To Eat Mysore Dosa In Mysore
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Mylari Hotel - Agrahara
Mylari is known to be one of the most famous and legendary dosa joints in Mysore that serves a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Mysore dosa, renowned for their unique taste and texture. Mylari’s Mysore masala dosa has gained a large following over the years, due to which they have expanded to other outlets in the city.
Hotel Original Vinayaka Mylari
Another popular destination for classic Mysore dosa enthusiasts is Vinayaka Mylari, located in the heart of Mysore. They serve crispy and flavourful Mysore dosas along with a range of traditional South Indian dishes like benne dosa, filter coffee and fluffy idlis. Known for its traditional ambiance and delectable dosas, this restaurant is a must-visit for tourists for an authentic experience.
Sri Ganesh Bhavan
Vinayaka Bhavan is a favourite among locals and tourists alike for its Mysore dosas. With a wide range of dosa options on offer – that include the iconic Mysore masala dosa, plain dosa and benne dosa, the quality and taste of their dosas make it a must-visit spot for dosa lovers.
Hotel RRR Mysore
RRR Restaurant is a renowned eatery in Mysore known for its Mysore dosa and other South Indian meals like biryani, chicken 65 and more. The dosas here are crisp, with a generous smattering of the flavourful red chutney and potato filling, and served with a side of coconut chutney and sambar, making it a great place to savour authentic Mysore flavours.
Sri Durga Bhavan
The Udupi-style Sri Durga Bhavan is a popular vegetarian restaurant in Mysore that serves delicious Mysore dosas among other small plates like vada-sambar, kesari, upma and idlis for breakfast. With the eatery being a favourite among locals, Durga Bhavan is sure to please even the toughest dosa critics and win them over with its fresh and delicious food.