South Indian Masala Dosa/Dosai (potato masala crepe)

One of the joys of traveling to new places, is of course, experiencing the food. And let’s face it, India has A LOT of food. I love how every region has its own food and taste. I particularly love North Indian food, Punjabi especially. I am not that big of a fan of South Indian food. I do, however, love me some dosa with sambhar and coconut chutney.

The dosa is very versatile. There are tons and tons of variations. For example, this dosa I had in India is called a paper dosa. It is huge. Was like two feet long. Cray cray. 62370_602151816283_904308_n

Here is another variation, a Mysore masala dosa. 62370_602151906103_5168312_n

As you can see, both dosas are served with sambhar (a spicy vegetable stew) and coconut chutney. It is a must.

During my last few days in India, I got extremely ill after eating a dosa for dinner. It wasn’t the dosa’s fault, it was purely coincidental. But it did something to my head, for about a year. Just the thought of eating a dosa made me flush. I didn’t want to see a dosa. I didn’t want to hear about a dosa, and I definitely didn’t want to eat a dosa. So, for a really long time, I was dosaless. I eventually got over my dosa phobia, and ever since, I have been making dosas at home. I don’t like using the dosa mix that comes in a box, where you only have to let the batter sit for 10 minutes and then it’s ready. I don’t suggest you use that. If you can find some fresh pre-made dosa batter in a container in your Indian store’s refrigerator, I suggest you use that for sure. My local store has quit selling it, so now I use a dosa mix where after it is mixed, it sits for around 12 hours before it is used. I am using Eastern Dosa mix right now, and it has been good. You can always make your own mix from scratch, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

So, the other day, I was feeling like having South Indian for dinner, so I made dosas with sambhar and coconut chutney. This recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan friendly.Collage South Indian

I even put it on a banana leaf. Ha. So, if you would like to make your own South Indian dosa, here’s what you do.


  • Dosa batter, you can buy a mix at any Indian store
  • 4-6 large potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled, water reserved
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1-2 green chilis, sliced
  • 2 red chilis
  • a pinch of hing
  • handful of cashews
  • small palm full of roasted split chana daal
  • 1 tsp white split urad daal (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

To Make:

Follow the directions on the package for the dosa mix. Make a batter. Once it is ready, you want it to be the consistency of somewhat thin (not too thin) pancake batter. If it is thick, add a little water.

Make the potato masala. In a pan, heat oil. Add ingredients from the red chilis to the mustard seeds. 2013-08-28 20.39.11

Let the ingredients turn golden brown. 2013-08-28 20.43.00

Now add the onions and green chilis. 2013-08-28 20.44.25

Stir, then add curry leaves. 2013-08-28 20.47.45

Saute till onions are soft and translucent. Add the turmeric and ginger garlic paste, stir. 2013-08-28 20.52.25

Now add the potatoes and stir. Use your spoon to mash them a little bit. You don’t want it to be completely dry, so add a little bit of the reserved potato water. 2013-08-28 20.57.58.

Set aside. Now make the dosa.

In a flat pan, if you have a griddle, use a griddle, heat on medium high and get it nice and hot, add a few drops of oil, and spread around. Sprinkle a few drops of water just to temper. Now add the dosa mix. I use a ladle for measuring. Once it has been added to the pan, quickly use a small flat bowl or the back of the ladle and spread the batter out using a circular motion. You can see the circles in the picture below. DSC_0594

Once brown patches start coming through, you can add some potato masala. 2013-08-28 21.12.41

Now fold from one side onto the other side and it’s done. Repeat until you have made enough dosas for everyone.

Serve with sambhar and coconut chutney. Dosa


Potato Masala



Dosa Full Meal






7 responses to “South Indian Masala Dosa/Dosai (potato masala crepe)

  1. Dosa making is an art. I am particularly fond of north indian and bengali cuisines as well and Dosa is one of rarest south indian foods that I try from time to time. My college serves good dosas and I had a similar bad-dosa experience when I was a kid and I refused to touch dosa till I almost passed my high school!

      • i still dont like the sambhar dal. I prefer having it with coconut chutney only. I do like having idlis with chicken curry! 😀
        And you should eat Bengali more often! Do have daal bhaat aloo bhaja, very basic bong food and extremely simple.

  2. I was not a big fan of South Indian food when I was in South India …but now I love their dosa, idli and sambar :). The smell of curry leaves in every dish was too much for me back then…

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