Masala Dosa – Mysore Style Paper Thin Lentil Crepes Filled with Savoury Potato Masala

Serves 8 – 10

Masala dosa is a South Indian dish popular throughout not just India, but anywhere there are Indian restaurants.  Paper thin lentil and rice flour (usually) crepes are filled and folded with mouthwatering, savoury, amazingly flavourful potato masala and served with assorted condiments such as spicy chutneys and tangy sambars.  There are many differnt ways to make dosas, but this is my mom’s recipe and it’s one of my favourites.  It’s a comfort food for many and is often enjoyed for breakfast in South India.  However, we’ve always enjoyed it for dinner in my family.  I love them and I hope you will too!

The masala is a flavourful and savory potato saute that’s quite different from the usual curries.  This is the yummiest potato curry I’ve had in quite a while.  It’s so savory and delicious that you’ll become totally hooked.  It’s amazing as a stuffing for masala dosas, but is also great with rice and flat breads as well.  Best of all, it’s one of the easiest curries to make and can be enjoyed by even those who are usually afraid of Indian food as it’s not spicy.  It’s flavoured by turmeric, coriander, lemon juice and curry leaves so curry enthusiasts will definitely not miss the usual notes of spice found in most Indian curries.  Make the masala prior to cooking the crepes and keep warm until ready to roll up.  Let’s get started.

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Dosa – Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup urad dhal, soaked in water for 3 hours or overnight
  • 1 cup white rice, soaked in water for 3 hours or overnight (I like Jasmine rice for this)
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds, soaked in water with the urad dhal
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 – 6 cups water
  • Oil, for greasing pan

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add urad dhal and fenugreek seeds and enough water (2 – 3 cups) and blend until smooth.  Pour into a large bowl.
  2. Into the same blender or food processor add the soaked rice and 1 cup of water and blend into a coarse paste.  Add into same bowl.
  3. Add the semolina and enough salt and mix well.  Taste test and add more salt as needed.
  4. Cover and let ferment in a warm place overnight or until ready to make dosas.
  5. When ready to make dosas, place a crepe pan or tawa over medium heat.  Uncover the fermenting mix, it should smell slightly sour.
  6. Add enough water until it’s pouring consistency (similar to crepe batter) and add more salt as needed.
  7. Grease the crepe pan or tawa with a little bit of oil and pour a ladle full (1/4 – 1/3 cup) of batter in the centre.  Immediately swirl a concentric circle on top of the batter with the back of the ladle pushing out batter into a large circle.  Let it set.
  8. You can drizzle a little bit of oil on top if you want in order to to make it crispier.  Flip over and let it toast for a few seconds and remove to plate.
  9. Repeat until batter is used up or you have made enough dosas.  The batter will keep in the fridge for a couple of days so you do not have to use it all at once.  Remove from fridge and let it come to room temperature and add enough water to bring it to pouring consistency again prior to making dosas.

Potato Masala – Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 potatoes, cubed, boiled and skin removed (I used a bag of baby potatoes and sliced them in half)
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground dry red chilies
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ – ½ cup water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. ghee (substitute butter or margarine or oil

Instructions

  1. Melt ghee in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.  Add mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add ginger, green chilies and curry leaves.  Sautee until fragrant, 1 minute.
  2. Add onions and salt and sauté until they start to lightly brown.  Add turmeric and sauté until well combined.
  3. Add cubed potatoes, stir well and sauté until potatoes are well coated.  With the back of a spatula mash some of the potatoes coarsely, but do not over mash.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low and add ground dry red chilies, enough water to cover potatoes half way, cover pot and cook until potatoes are mushy and all the water has evaporated.  You can mash the potatoes a little bit more until desired consistency is achieved.  The mixture should, however, not be runny.
  5. Add lemon juice, coriander and season with more salt according to taste, mix well and remove from heat.  Potato masala should be savoury.

Place dosa on a serving plate, add masala in the centre and fold dosa over into a triangle or roll up.  Serve with spicy chutney or sambar.

Pictorial
Dosa

  1. In a blender or food processor, add urad dhal and fenugreek seeds and enough water (2 – 3 cups) and blend until smooth.  Pour into a large bowl.
  2. Into the same blender or food processor add the soaked rice and 1 cup of water and blend into a coarse paste.  Add into same bowl.
  3. Add the semolina and enough salt and mix well.  Taste test and add more salt as needed.
  4. Cover and let ferment in a warm place overnight or until ready to make dosas.

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  1. When ready to make dosas, place a crepe pan or tawa over medium heat.  Uncover the fermenting mix, it should smell slightly sour.
  2. Add enough water until it’s pouring consistency (similar to crepe batter) and add more salt as needed.

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  1. Grease the crepe pan or tawa with a little bit of oil and pour a ladle full (1/4 – 1/3 cup) of batter in the centre.  Immediately swirl a concentric circle on top of the batter with the back of the ladle pushing out batter into a large circle.  Let it set.

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  1. You can drizzle a little bit of oil on top if you want in order to to make it crispier.  Flip over and let it toast for a few seconds and remove to plate.
  2. Repeat until batter is used up or you have made enough dosas.  The batter will keep in the fridge for a couple of days so you do not have to use it all at once.  Remove from fridge and let it come to room temperature and add enough water to bring it to pouring consistency again prior to making dosas.

Potato Masala
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  1. Melt ghee in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.  Add mustard seeds and once they start to splutter add ginger, green chilies and curry leaves.  Sautee until fragrant, 1 minute.
  2. Add onions and salt and sauté until they start to lightly brown.  Add turmeric and sauté until well combined.

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  1. Add cubed potatoes, stir well and sauté until potatoes are well coated.  With the back of a spatula mash some of the potatoes coarsely, but do not over mash.
  2. Lower heat to medium-low and add ground dry red chilies, enough water to cover potatoes half way, cover pot and cook until potatoes are mushy and all the water has evaporated.  You can mash the potatoes a little bit more until desired consistency is achieved.  The mixture should, however, not be runny.

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  1. Add lemon juice, coriander and season with more salt according to taste, mix well and remove from heat.  Potato masala should be savoury.

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Serve rolled in dosa with spicy chutney on the side for a traditional South Indian masala dosa or enjoy with cooked rice or flat breads.  It’s also a great stuffing for buns and tastes even better the next day.

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