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 dish generally prepared for breakfast or dinner and it can be prepared thin paper-like crispy crepe or soft spongy pancake. Although there are numerous varieties of dosa prepared by south Indians, masala dosa is the most popular dosa wherein savory potato is stuffed inside the crispy dosa.
Masala dosa tastes divine when served with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and sambar.
First let us look into the making of crispy dosa aka murugal dosai:
Things required for making dosa:
- Dosa griddle (I prefer to use cast-iron tawa over non-stick tawa)
- Onion whose basal plate is chopped off (onion juice helps to prevent dosa sticking)
- Dosa spatula (to flip dosa)
- Batter (I use idli-dosa batter after adding adequate water)
- Flat ladle (to spread batter)
- Melted ghee or sesame oil
- Heat dosa griddle in medium flame.
- Smear oil (½ tsp) over griddle using onion as shown below.
- Now pour batter in the center and spread out in circular motion to draw into a thin dosa.
- Sprinkle ghee (or oil) over dosa and cook in high flame.
- When dosa comes off the griddle, remove it using dosa spatula. (It does not require to flip crispy dosa.)
- Reduce the flame to low and repeat from Step#2 to make another 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 immediately with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and sambar.
Tips for making restaurant-style perfect 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.
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 dosa pliable:
- 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.
Please Note: My dosa batter works well for me to make thin, crispy, golden and pliable dosa, you can check out the batter making procedure here.