Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)

Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)

My mom has been making dosa every alternate Sunday for more than 30 years now. Idli and Dosa are fixed weekend breakfast at my place. In Hyderabad, you can find lot of roadside stalls selling a variety of dosas. Right from zero oil steamed dosa to the butter laden variety dosas, you can practically eat dosa 24×7 in Hyderabad. This Indian pancake is made of various lentils soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then spread thinly like a pancake on a hot griddle and eaten with coconut chutney and potato curry.

Though I love the yummy (read full of butter) dosa sold on the roadsides, here is the healthier version. This is my family recipe of dosa. At our place, dosa is served the traditional way, with a very simple potato and onions curry and coconut chutney.

Dosa is one of the most versatile Indian breakfast which can be filled with anything you like. Paneer bhurji, vegetables, chocolate, cheese, pav bhaji the list is endless. It is best eaten hot and you can keep the batter in the freezer and reuse it later. If you have the batter ready, it is pretty quick to make.

Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)


Serves 4

Dosa Batter

  • 1 cup + 1/4th cup rice
  • 2/3rd  cup urad dal
  • 2/3rd  cup chana dal
  • 1/4th cup sago (sabutdana)
  • 8-10 fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Oil, ghee, or butter as required to cook the dosa

Potato Curry

  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 3 green chillies slit
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 dry red chillies broken
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • ½ cup bengal gram (futana dal or chana)
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 2 green chillies
  • Salt to taste

For Dosa batter

Wash rice, urad dal, chana dal, and sago 3 -4 times. Soak them in enough water with fenugreek seeds for 4-5 hours. Drain and grind the ingredients to a smooth batter using as little water as possible. The batter should not be runny. Add salt and sugar and mix well. Keep the batter in a large vessel and cover it and store it in a warm place overnight or 8-9 hours to ferment. Once the batter is fermented, mix it well and add little water if the batter is too thick.

For Curry

Pressure cook the potatoes with little salt for 3 whistles or till they are very soft. Peel and cube the potatoes.

Heat oil in a kadhai (wok). Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add ginger, curry leaves, and the dry red chillies. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric, and chopped coriander and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

For Chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste adding little water.

For Dosa

Heat a thick and flat griddle (tava). Put a ladle full of dosa batter on it and spread it thinly like a pancake. Pour oil/ghee/butter around the dosa and let it cook till it becomes crispy on edges. You can use a non-stick pan if you want oil free dosas.

You can put the potato curry in the center, roll it and serve with chutney. Or just roll the dosa and serve with potato curry and chutney.


If you want to add any other filling, spread it on the dosa once you spread the batter on tava.

If the dosa is not coming out of the tava, spray some oil and clean the tava with a tissue.

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