Masala Dosa – South Indian Breakfast/Tiffin

Masala dosa is a South Indian breakfast – tiffin made with fermented rice and dal (lentil) batter. If you want to eat Masala dosa on Sunday, for breakfast, you need to start masala dosa batter preparation on Saturday morning. The fillings or side is a traditional potato curry placed in the center of the Masala dosa, wrapped and served hot.

Recipe of Masala Dosa with Potato Curry

Soak 1 cup urad dal(black gram lentil), 2 cups rice and 1 tsp methi seeds(fenugreek) for 5-6 hours. Grind to a fine paste adding water. Let it sit overnight with lid for fermentation. Next day mix the batter well adding salt. The batter(which is similar to pancake batter consistency) is ready for making dosas.

Potato Curry for Masala Dosa Filling

Potato Curry Recipe for Masala Dosa

Prep & Cooking: 30 mts

Cuisine: South Indian



3 big potatos, peeled and cooked

½ cup of boiled green peas (fresh or frozen)(optional)

1 carrot boiled and cubed(optional)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 green chillis slit lengthwise

2 big onions finely sliced

¼ tsp turmeric pwd


2 tbsp oil

1/4 cup water

For tempering/tadka/taalimpu:

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds(jeera)

1 tsp urad dal (black gram)

1 tsp chana dal(Bengal gram)

10 curry leaves

1 Mash potatoes roughly into lumps with hand.
2 Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a cooking vessel. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Lower heat, add cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves and fry till light brown, approx 10-15 seconds. The tempering should not burn.
3 Add curry leaves, chopped green chillis and minced ginger. Mix and immediately add the sliced onions.
4 Fry till transparent, add turmeric and salt. Now add the mashed potato lumps, boiled peas and carrots. Mix, sprinkle 3 tbsp of water and let it cook with lid on medium heat for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and adjust salt.

Step by step picture on how to make Masala Dosa Recipe:

Heat a griddle (you can use a non-stick pan). Grease the griddle with peanut oil or any other oil. Pour one ladle full of batter over the griddle.

Spread the batter from the bottom of the ladle evenly making circles. Drizzle oil or butter around the edges of dosa and let it cook on medium heat. The dosa should turn light brown. The dosa generally takes 4-5 minutes to cook on medium heat. Take care not to burn it.

Spread some butter over the dosa and then spread potato curry filling in the center of the dosa and fold it towards the center such that it covers the potato curry.

Similarly fold the other side also such that it covers the potato curry.

Masala dosa is ready to eat. Masala Dosas can also be served with any chutney, podi or sambar. It is best to eat the dosa the moment its off the I have tried to take some amateur pictures of the dosa batter spreading on the griddle….but hey, it tastes good and that’s what matters:):)

Masala Dosa – South Indian Breakfast/Tiffin

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 6

 Main Ingredients:

  •  rice
  •   urad dal
  •   potato


Masala dosa is a South Indian snack/tiffin made with fermented rice and dal (lentil) batter. It goes with the traditional potato curry which is placed on the center of the Masala dosa, wrapped and served hot.
  • Indira

    Step by step photos are great, Sailu.
    Masala Dosa with all trappings looks mouth watering.

    First time commenting here, Great concept you have here. Looking forward to reading and trying out your healthy recipes. May I ask, where are you publishing this blog from, in Andhra?

  • sailu

    Thanks Indira!Glad you stopped by..Mahanandi is such an inspiration and reflects the true spirit of Andhra..Great Blog!
    I am publishing this blog from Vizag..the sea coast with lovely beaches..:):) will post some good pics of vizag beach sometime..
    Will try your recipes too and post the pics as well..:)

  • Anonymous

    I am a nove Indian recipe chef and tried making dosas for the first time yesterday but had a bit of trouble.

    Using recipes for a basic (unfilled) dosa I saw all over the net, I mixxed batter Thursday night, let it sit overnight, refrigerated Friday and tried to cook it Friday night.

    The dough stuck to the greased and non-stick pan. Not just stuck – adhered and gripped with claws of iron. Turning it – not even close to burned – was impossible. We could only sort of chip it off with a spatula into a big half-cooked, half moist lump.

    Any ideas what I did wrong?

    – Patrick O'Donnell
    Cleveland Heights, OH

    PS – Cool site. Love the pictures.

    • suji

      dosas comes really better with seasoned cast iron griddle. if you are making dosas on non stick griddle, let griddle heat up first, then put batter in center spread it in circular motion,put little oil on top. if your making thin dosas no need to reduce the temp or turn. if you are making thick dosas apply little oil to gridle, keep temp medium and cover it & cook after a minute or so turn it to other side now don’t cover. good luck

  • sailu

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for dropping by.

    Its always best to pre-heat the griddle first.Bring it to high heat and then to simmer,now sprinkle very very little water and it sizzles up.If the water droplets dont dance and take time to evaporate,it means the griddle or non-stick is not hot enough.At the same time you must ensure it shouldnt be too hot.
    Once the water evaporates spray some oil and rub a sliced onion all over spreading the oil in a circular motion.
    Then pour the dosa batter and spread it.Once you spread it,pour some oil(1 tsp) along the edge of the dosa and in the center).Let it cook on medium heat .
    If you follow this procedure,I dont think you should have a problem.
    Another thing,sometimes old griddles give this problem and it could mean the time has come to buy a new one..:)

    Hope this helps.

  • ammani

    The photos look soooo good. I can feel the crispy masala dosai melting in my mouth. Love it!

  • Jenni

    My husband and I were in Florida this past week and stayed with his parents. His mom made dosas with coconut chutney for breakfast one morning. Not being Indian myself, I’d never had these but loved them, especially since I’m allergic to wheat. I was so glad to see your easy looking instructions. Maybe I’ll try these for my husband sometime!

    Thanks for dropping by,Jenni. I hope the dosa post helps you make some nice dosas for your husband…:)

  • Susma Sen

    Hi Sailu
    What kind of rice should be used for dosas ? Somehow, mine do not come out as crisp as the traditional ones. Does methi seeds/rice flour help to make it crispier ?

    Susma, I use the regular rice. Yes, methi seeds helps in make the dosa crisp.
    Adding a little rice flour does help in making dosas crisp, though I havent
    used rice flour in my dosa batter. I add a fistful of washed poha(flattened rice)
    at the time of grinding the dosa batter.

  • ramya

    hi! sailu

    I have a question for you, i do prepare dosas and it comes out crispy too, the only problem of mine is that its altogether extremely white,i don´t understand this phenomenon, no matter how much ever i try i haven´t been successful in getting brown colour.
    can u help?

    i have got recently married and my husband loves dosas we use basmathi rice for dosas is it ok?

    am settled in spain so have no one to assist me either and no other rice is avlb here

  • hema mahesh

    Thank you so much for all the reciepes.. I recently tried ragi dosa… but had a problem stuck so hard that i had tough time cleaning.. had to even throw the non stick away.. do help me with this please. And no matter what i do i cant get the coconut chutney right. really dont know where i am going wrong.. thanks again.

    I really don’t know what went wrong with ragi dosa, it should never have got stuck to the plate. Anyway, next time, on high flame, heat the plate by brushing some oil with an onion slice and reduce heat, sprinkle some water – you find a burst of bubbles. Add the batter to prepare dosa and cook on medium heat for two to three minutes before flipping the other side. Try this method next time. I hope you are getting the consistency of batter right.

    With regard to chutney, I think its trial and error and you can perfect it in time. I learnt that way. Practice makes perfect, Hema..:).

  • Viji

    Hi Sailu,

    I have been trying some or the other recipe from your site, since my cousin mentioned about it. I have enjoyed each of these recipes. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes. I was looking for trying dosa as i got Ultra stone grinder from India recently. Your dosa looks perfect and hoping I get the same texture.

  • Sridevi

    M impressed sailu…
    If it is all about reaching THOSE Hearts thru the stomach..then u have aleady achieved it…If not the real treat..surely it was visual treat.Continue this beautiful job of spreading the taste…!

  • Narasimhan (nari)

    Pictures of the dosas look beautiful. The picture of batter being spread on the griddle looks professional and great.
    I just had one question, do you ever flip the dosa and roast the other side also?

    Also a tip, if you are not concerned about fat much, adding a spoon of ghee to the dosa while on the griddle makes it taste so yummy 🙂

    I usually don’t flip the dosa and roast the other side. Yes, I agree with you on the use of ghee adding a lot of flavor to the dosa. I usually drizzle some butter/ghee when I prepare for my 4 year.:)

  • Priya

    My dear Sailu, your recipes are wonderful especially your dosa recipes and ravva uppma. Please give us more delicious recipes in varieties.

  • sailu

    Hai Sailu,
    My name is also Sailu.
    I have a doubt please clarify.
    Can I use this for 3 or 4 days?

    The dosa batter when refrigerated after fermentation, can be used for 3 to 4 days, Sailu.

  • Rom

    Dear Sailu

    Congratulations for creating such an informative and highly practical website on Indian recipes. I tried some of your receipes and they all came out near perfect!

    Searched for ‘Rava Dosa’ recipe on your site but could not find any… Can you please include this next time? I tried many ways based on the formula found on the internet..still I never could make a satisfactory rava dosa! There are too many variations and proportions. Not sure which one is good. I want Andhra Rava Dosa recipe!

  • smitha

    Hi Sailu,

    Your recipes are fantastic. My husband and I love andhra cuisine and I’ve tried out quite a few of your recipes and they’ve come out really well. As Rom said, even I need the recipe of Rava Dosa. Can you help?

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  • Esther Aruna

    Hi Sailu

    You mentioned in the dosa ingredients 1 cup urad dhal and two cups rice, can u tell me whether it is 1 cup boiled rice and 1 cup of raw rice or just 2 cups of raw rice. Your immediate reply is highly appreciated as I am willing to make dosas on Fri morning for breakfast as fri and sat are weekends here in the middle east. thanks a lot and sorry for the rush. eagerly awaiting your immediate reply. esther

    Its two cups of raw rice, Esther.

  • Esther Aruna


    Thank you for your immediate reply. regards Esther

  • Esther Aruna


    Another quick question, do i have to add baking soda to the batter or can start without adding baking soda. thank u for your immediate reply. Esther

    You can avoid cooking soda for these dosas, Esther.

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  • suseela

    hi sailu

    ur recipes are loking great if u dont mind can i use some of ur pictures from ur blog to create a new blog

  • rose

    Hi Sailu garu,

    My husband likes dosas very much but i am unable to make crispy and nice dosas. I think some thing is going wrong in making the batter.

    Could you please tell me how much water approximately needs to be used for the quantities you used above.

    Please reply.

    Thanks in Advance!!!

  • Rose

    Could you please reply to my previous question..

  • vani

    Good afternoon,

    Could you pls tell me about the red chutney which they apply on the dosas in the Hotel/ Here it is not mentioned. Thks. Your recipes are just great.

  • David

    Hi Sailu,

    I wanted to know whether the Channa Dal and Urad Dal needs to be soaked for a bit before adding it to the tarka? I followed another recipe and added Channa Dal and it didn’t specify soaking it. I cooked it in oil and it was so hard I threw it out. Would pressure cooking help? Your Dosa looked beautiful. Also, when I spread the batter the batter got stuck to the spoon as I was spreading. Does that just mean the tava was too hot?

    Thank you,


    • Sailu

      Usually dals are not soaked when used for tarka. Reduce the quantity of dal if you do not like it. It will be hard, lightly toasted to a light red. Regarding dosa getting stuck to tawa, season the tawa. Drizzle few drops of oil on the tawa, increase heat, cut an onion into half and use it to smear the oil all over the tawa. Reduce flame and sprinkle few drops of water and it will sizzle. The tawa is ready for preparing dosas and it will not stick to the pan.

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    This is not a masala dosa. Its just a plain Dosa with aloo subji. Masala Dosa has to have masala. it should be blended with masala while heating it on thava. the red paste applied is not chutny. its masala should be soure spicy and crispy.

  • sarita

    Hi Sailu

    2 cups rice. is this raw rice or par boiled. can we use basmat rice

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