Crispy Masala Dosa

Crispy Masala Dosa was the only Indian food appeared in the list of World’s Best 50 foods compiled based on the online poll conducted worldwide by CNN Travel in 2017. Dosa is a savory south Indian crepe generally prepared for breakfast or dinner. It can be prepared thin & crispy (paper roast) or soft & spongy (uttapam). Although there are numerous varieties of dosa prepared in South India, masala dosa is the most popular dosa as savory potato filling is stuffed inside the crispy dosa.

IMG_2977 Crispy Masala Dosa
Thin papery ghee roast

So people of all the ages especially, kids like to relish crisp masala dosa, and it tastes divine when served with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and sambar. 

IMG_3016 Crispy Masala Dosa
Dosa stuffed with potato masala

First let us look into the making of crispy dosa aka murugal dosai/ paper roast:

IMG_3035 Crispy Masala Dosa
Crispy dosa

Things needed for making dosa:

  1. Dosa griddle (I prefer to use cast-iron tawa over non-stick tawa)
  2. Onion whose basal plate is chopped off (onion juice helps to prevent dosa sticking)
  3. Dosa spatula (to flip dosa)
  4. Batter #
  5. Flat ladle (to spread batter)
  6. Melted ghee or sesame oil

#We need to add little water into the idli batter to make thin crispy dosa.

dosa Crispy Masala Dosa
For dosa making

Preparing crispy dosa:

  1. Heat dosa griddle in medium flame.
  2. Smear oil (Β½ tsp) over griddle using onion as shown below.
  3. Now pour batter in the center and spread out in circular motion to draw into a thin dosa.
  4. Sprinkle ghee (or oil) over dosa and cook in high flame.
  5. When dosa comes off the griddle, remove it using dosa spatula. (We need to cook both the sides of spongy dosa but it does not require to flip the crispy dosa.)
  6. Reduce the flame to low and repeat from Step#2 to make another dosa.
crispy-dosa Crispy Masala Dosa
How to make crispy dosa

Masala dosa:

  • Prepare potato masala as shown below.
  • Place crispy dosa inside out on a plate.
  • Spread potato masala over one half of dosa.
  • Gently fold crispy dosa in half.
  • Serve crispy masala dosa hot with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and sambar.
masaldosai Crispy Masala Dosa
How to make masala dosa

Tips for making restaurant-style (thin, crispy, golden yet pliable) dosa:

Making restaurant-style crispy dosa at home is really a challenging task, because we need to make it thin, golden, crispy and yet pliable merely in few seconds. Making each & every dosa that meets all these 4 qualities is almost near to impossible for me; Out of 3 or 4 dosa I make, only one dosa turns out to be perfect meeting all these criteria. It is all about a matter of common sense and there is no hard & fast rules for mastering this art. Nevertheless I am listing down some tips that may be helpful to you.

How to make thin dosa:

  • Batter should not be too diluted nor dense; we may have to learn to adjust the consistency of batter.
  • We need to pour batter in the centre of hot tawa and then spread out swiftly in circular motion. This requires a lot of practice or else you can simply try with a batter spreader available in the market; you may click here to see a video demonstrating how to use this spreader. You can use this spreader only on flat griddle not on the shallow one that I’m using.
sprd Crispy Masala Dosa
Spread batter in circular motion

How to make crispy dosa:

  • Only when dosa is thin we can make it crispy.
  • Drizzling oil over dosa helps to make it crispier.

How to make golden dosa:

  • Heat of the tawa & cooking time of dosa are important factors for making golden dosa.
  • Before pouring batter onto the griddle, it should be at the right temperature to make dosa golden. So we have to be patient enough to wait for the right time to pour batter (this is where I usually go wrong).
  • While pouring batter we can predict whether dosa would turn golden or not by listening to its sizzling sound. If it sizzles louder, it becomes difficult to draw thin dosa; if it is quiet, we would end up in making white dosa.
  • We also need to cook dosa constantly at the right temperature to get the golden colour; cooking dosa for longer time will make it darker – brown or black.

How to make pliable dosa :

  • Quality of batter and heat of the tawa play important roles here.
  • If we don’t cook dosa at the right temperature, dosa would become either soft or fragile.
  • If your batter lacks strength or watery, dosa becomes stiff or begins to crumble. In that case you can add lentil (green gram or Bengal gram/ paasi paruppu or kadalai paruppu) paste into the batter, this helps to make it pliable. The ratio between dosa batter & lentil paste can be decided upon the quality of batter.
moong Crispy Masala Dosa
Moong dal batter for making dosa pliable

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  1. I have nominated you for liebster award in my post “liebster award (2) & The sunshine blogger award(3)”

  2. Very well written and thanks for useful tips..I learned few things to improve my skills to make crispy dosa from your posts…Thanks for sharing..

  3. Wow! your dosa looks super tempting and crunchy!
    Thank you for sharing the onion juice tip, I’ll surely try it next time πŸ™‚

  4. Crispy masala dosa is a delight. I add bengal gram when soaking to get the best balance between crispiness and softness.

  5. I loved the tips you provided. .those will be very helpful while making dosa. even I go wrong at with the timing of placing the batter on the tags, it’s either too hot or not!

  6. Nice tips and perfect photos!
    I will remember them next time I try a dosa.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. You can check out the links provided there for those chutney recipes ! Thank you !!

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