Masala Dosa is a variant of the popular South Indian food dosa and has its origins in Tuluva Mangalorean cuisine made popular by the Udupi hotels all over India. It is made from rice, lentils, potato, methi, curry leaves and served with chutneys and sambar.
- 2 cups Short Grain Rice
- 1/2 cup Urad Dal
- 1 tea spoon Fenugreek Seeds
- 1/2 tea spoon Salt
For the dosa
Put rice in a bowl, rinse well and cover with 4 cups cold water. Put urad dal and fenugreek seeds in a small bowl, rinse well and add cold water to cover. Leave both to soak for 4 to 6 hours.
Drain rice and dal-fenugreek mixture in separate colanders. Put rice in a food processor, blender or wet-dry grinder. Add 1 cup cold water and grind to a smooth paste. It will take about 10 minutes, and it may be necessary to work in batches. Repeat the process with the dal-fenugreek mixture.
Combine the two pastes in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together, adding enough water to obtain a medium-thick batter. You should have about 6 cups. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place. Let ferment until the surface is bubbly, about 8 hours. Stir in the salt. Use the batter straight away or refrigerate for later use. (Batter will keep for up to a week, refrigerated. Thin with water if necessary before proceeding.)
For the potato filling
Put ghee in a wide skillet over medium heat. When oil is wavy, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Wait for seeds to pop, about 1 minute, then add red peppers and onion. Cook, stirring until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Add turmeric, asafetida, ginger, curry leaves, garlic and green chile. Stir to coat and let sizzle for 1 minute.
Add potatoes and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring well to combine, until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Mash potatoes a bit with the back of a wooden spoon. Season well with salt, add cilantro, then set aside at room temperature. (Potato filling may be prepared up to a day in advance.)
To make dosas, set a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Brush with about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Ladle 1/4 cup batter in the center of griddle. Using bottom of ladle, quickly spread batter outward in a circular motion to a diameter of about 7 inches. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over the top. Leave dosa batter to brown gradually until outer edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes, cooking on one side only. With a spatula, carefully loosen dosa from griddle. Bottom should be crisp and beautifully browned. Spoon 1/2 cup potato filling onto top of dosa, centering it as a strip in the middle of the round dosa. Flatten the potato mixture slightly. Using the spatula, fold the sides of the dosa around the filling to make a cylindrical shape. Serve immediately. Continue making dosas one at a time.