Don't mind spending some extra time in the kitchen? Give this insanely delicious south Indian masala dosa recipe a try! It is loaded with a mix of flavors and makes for a wonderful meal to serve the entire family!
What is Masala Dosa?
If you're new to discovering this common Indian dish, you are in for a treat. Masala dosa is an appetizer or snack that is simply a dosa (crispy crepe) bread filled or topped with spiced potato curry. You then wrap or fold it over (like a taco) and enjoy alongside chutney, soup, or curry.
Can I Make the Dosa Batter Myself?
This recipe is simply for the masala filling and not for the dosa. In this case, I use a ready-made dosa. If you like making your meals from scratch, you can try making the dosa batter yourself too.
You'll find a lot of variations when you're looking for the recipe for the batter, but the basic rule of thumb is to follow the 1:3 ratio when you're soaking the rice and lentils. Another tip you need to follow is to blend the rice in the food processor completely, but still let it be a bit grainy, as opposed to the lentils, which should be blended until they turn into a silky smooth batter.
And of course, let it all ferment well- that's the key to getting your dosa batter right!
How to Eat Masala Dosa
Brace yourself, because your hands are going to get dirty when you dig into the crispy masala dosa. The simplest and best way to eat it is to tear off a bit of the dosa and use it to scoop up some of the potato masalas, and then dip it in any of the accompaniments that you're serving it with.
Of course, this is a great snack or breakfast all by itself, but can also be served as an appetizer to many popular curry recipes. I like to serve this with a bowl of bonda soup with lentil fritters or sambar lentil vegetable stew. It can also be served with any of your favorite curries, but I like it as a starter for something like this chicken jalfrezi or the rajma masala.
You'll need just a few ingredients to make this masala dosa recipe. Bonus points if you have already prepared your dosa batter, or have the store-bought version ready.
For the Masala Filling
- Vegetable oil
- Cooked potatoes
- Black mustard seeds
- Curry leaves
- Dry red chili
- Turmeric powder
- Dosa batter to cook or prepared dosa
- Chutneys of choice
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make the Masala Dosa
In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, and red chili then saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
Add in the turmeric powder and salt. Stir to combine and cook for 1-minute. Next, add the mashed potatoes and mix to combine with the seasonings.
Cook for 2 minutes until heated through, then remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare the dosa, heat a flat pan over medium heat.
Spread a ladle of batter onto the pan and spread it evenly. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 1 minute.
Carefully remove from the pan and set aside. Cook 4 to 6 dosas as needed, and then begin assembling the masala dosa.
Spoon the potato filling into the cooked dosa, and fold in half.
Serve hot with various chutneys for dipping or alongside a favorite soup or curry.
How to Make the Dosa Crispy?
There are a few steps you can take to make sure you have that perfect crisp masala dosa you're looking for.
- Get your batter right. Add lentils to your batter, and a bit of sugar too. Allow your batter to ferment well before you put it to use.
- Make sure the pan is heated enough before you pour in the masala dosa batter. Let the dosa batter cook on medium heat and wait until it starts turning golden brown around the edges before you remove it.
- Cover the pan with a lid after you spread the dosa batter on it. Cook the dosa on a steady flame.
- You can also add a spoonful of flattened rice (also known as poha) to your dosa batter while grinding it. It is thought to help make the dosa crispy.
Tips For the Masala Dosa Recipe
- You can ditch the pan to fry the dosa, and opt for a cast iron skillet instead. Just remember that to get the crispy outer, you'll need to first heat the skillet until it becomes really hot, then lower the flame, spread the dosa batter, and then let it fry on medium heat. Remember to season the skillet well before you use, or else the dosa batter will end up sticking to it.
- If you don't have the red chillies for the potato stuffing, you can substitute with green chilies too. The idea is to lend a bit of spice element into the potato mixture to make it more flavourful.
- You can also swap your regular cooking oil for coconut oil or ghee for this recipe. This can make your masala dosa more aromatic and lend it that depth of flavour that you're looking for.
- Before you load the potato masala on the dosa, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves too. They really add in a nice pop of colour and a touch of freshness to the potato masala.
How Do I Store the Leftovers?
One of the best aspects of this masala dosa recipe is that you can actually make and store the individual parts of the recipe for later. You can make the filling in a batch, or if you've got leftovers, you can store them both in the refrigerator, or even freeze them.
The dosa batter too can be made and stored in advance. Just remember to store them all in airtight and freezer-safe containers.
You can actually also utilize the leftover potato filling to whip up some quick Aloo tikkis.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
- Masala dosa, or any other dosa for that matter, is traditionally served with two chutneys- a mild coconut chutney, a runny lentil curry called sambar, and at times, some tomato chutney. All these really complement the flavors of the masala dosa, and work well with any other south Indian snacks and food preparations.
- The masala dosa is a complete meal in itself. While it is traditionally served as a breakfast specialty, it can easily be a filling lunch or dinner option.
- You can serve it the traditional way with the potato mixture wrapped in the dosa, or serve the mixture on the side in a small bowl with the plain dosa set on the side.
- If you're having it for lunch, you might want to serve it with a refreshing drink, like a tamarind cooler or a mango lassi.
Indian Masala Potato Dosa Snack Recipe
- In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, and red chili then saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the turmeric powder and salt. Stir to combine and cook 1 minute.
- Next, add the mashed potatoes and mix to combine with the seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes until heated through, then remove from heat and set aside.
- To prepare the dosa, heat a flat pan over medium heat.
- Spread a ladle of batter onto the pan and spread it evenly. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Carefully remove from the pan and set aside. Cook 4 to 6 dosas as needed, and then begin assembling the masala dosa.
- Spoon the potato filling into the cooked dosa, and fold in half. Serve hot with various chutneys for dipping or alongside a favorite soup or curry.