Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Restaurant style Masala Dosa

Dosa- The savory rice and lentil crepe is perhaps one of those Indian foods that is popular all over the world. A crepe with a crispy exterior and a spongy and melt in the mouth interior, which encases the mildly spiced potato and onion curry, which is then dipped in coconut chutney. To me, it is one of those ultimate breakfast dishes that can keep me going till lunch.

To me, Dosa brings back a lot of memories. The memories of my mother or my grandmother making dosas on those blackened ancestral skillets. And us girls loitered in the kitchen asking "is it ready?" every five minutes.

During my high school days we would have extra classes for Maths and Science on Saturdays. During those times, my classmates and I would visit this hotel called Sudha hotel which was just opposite school. The Dosas that were made there were delicious. Or at least I thought so. For Rs.2.50, we would get a scrumptious masala dosa. Besides that, we could watch their cooks make the dosas on griddle that was just enormous. The cook would dip a broom in a stainless steel bucket containing oil and splatter liberal amounts on the preheated griddle. He would then dip a bowl into a large vessel containing dosa batter and with experienced hands spread the batter into perfect circle. As the dosa was roasted, the cook threw a handful of the potato curry and fold the dosa twice and then place it on a plate lined with banana leaf. The dosa would then be served along with a small bowl of coconut chutney and sambar. To me, eating dosa at Sudha hotel was not only a treat to my taste buds but also a visual treat. Watching the cook, make at least ten dosas at a time, was mind boggling and unforgettable. 

I am surprised that after all these years, I still remember every small detail about that joint. The burly cook who made the dosas, to the pleasant faced manager behind the counter. To the fiber glass tables and chairs and those greasy stainless steel jugs and glasses. I am not sure if the hotel still exists. But the memory of the Sudha hotel dosas is still fresh in my mind.

Before I came across this recipe, I could make decent dosas. but they lacked the taste and texture of a South Indian hotel. And then, I came across this recipe in a TV show. The cook refused to divulge the measurements. But he had given out the ingredients. I had to experiment quite a few times to get the right taste and texture. After that, there was no looking back. I could make restaurant style dosas right at home.

Even though this is a great recipe, it took me quite some time to capture it. The images that you see, were taken during a period of one month. Yes. It took me that long. But even now, I am not completely satisfied the results. There are chances that I might repost the recipe with better pictures. 

This recipe might seem a bit long and tedious. But trust me, the taste is well worth the effort. Give my version of dosa a try and I assure you, you will not miss the Masala dosas from the restaurant ever again.

Restaurant style Masala Dosa recipe:
Preparation time: 20min+ 5-6hrs of soaking time
Fermentation time: 6-7hrs
Cooking time: 30min
Makes- Approximately 24 dosas

Sona Masuri rice- 2 cups or 240gm
Beaten rice- 2-3tbsp
Urad dal- 1 cup or 120gm
Fenugreek seeds- 1-1/2 tsp
Rice flour- 2 cups
Fine semolina or chiroti rava- 1/2 cup, dry roasted
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Oil or ghee to grease and roast the Dosas
Coconut chutney to serve

  • Wash and soak the Rice along with the beaten rice in enough water and set aside for 5-6 hrs
  • Wash and soak the urad dal along with the fenugreek seeds in enough water and keep aside 5-6hrs
  • Make a paste by mixing the rice flour and the semolina with enough water. Mix well so that there are no lumps.
  • Drain the soaked urad dal and fenugreek mixture and blend in a blender till smooth and airy by adding water little by little.
  • Drain the soaked rice and beaten rice mixture and blend in the same blender jar till smooth.
  • Combine the ground urad dal paste and the rice paste along with rice flour and semolina mixture and beat well. Set aside to ferment for atlas 5-6hrs.
  • Once the batter has fermented and risen, add the salt and sugar and mix well. 
  • If the batter is thick then add water to achieve the required consistency.
  • Heat a non stick or a cast Iron skillet. Sprinkle a little water. If it steams and sizzles then the skillet is ready to use.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on the skillet and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion to make a dosa of 6-7" in diameter.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon oil or ghee around the dosa and cook on medium heat till the dosa turns brown and crisp.
  • Place a table spoon of the onion and potato curry in the centre and fold over to make a semi circle.
  • Serve immediately with coconut chutney on the side.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Tips for a perfect dosa:
  • Use your hands to mix/beat the ground pastes. Using your hands will not only ensure that batter becomes light and airy but it will also speed up the fermentation process.
  • The batter should neither be too thick or too thin. It should be just thick enough to coat the back of the ladle or spoon.
  • To avoid the batter from going stale, add the required amount of salt and a pinch of sugar only to the portion of the batter that is going to be used. The remaining batter can be refrigerated for almost a week.
  • The batter should always be at room temperature. If the batter is refrigerated, leave it in room temperature for about 20mins before you proceed.
  • To prepare the tawa or skillet, heat it till it becomes very hot. Sprinkle some water. It should evaporate quickly. Wipe the skillet with a tissue or a cloth and then rub it with potato or onion slice dipped in oil. The skillet should not be very hot when spreading the batter.


  1. Hi! These are the most gorgeous pictures of Dosa i have seen on the internet like ever also great tips and points covered on the recipe! new to your blog. so happy to follow you! :)

  2. What a visual treat Nandita. You are tempting me to make dosas right away. If not for the soaking & fermenting that's involved, I would make them RIGHT now. Thanks for sharing the recipe for crispy hotel style dosas. Will be making these very very soon.

    1. Thank you so much Pavani!! Do give this version a try and let me know how it turns out :)

  3. Mmmmm,crispy dosas, would love to grab from the plate, if technology permits :):)

  4. They looks fantastic and extremely mouthwatering!



  5. I have not stopped gawking at those crazily beautiful pics and craving for some masala dosa ever since i started reading your post.

  6. Nice clicks,my all time fav is dosa .lovely

  7. An all time favorite, just love MD…..I think I will make this for the weekend.

  8. Hi,
    This is my first visit here to your food blog. I came across your blog when I was on looking for a recipe for hotel dosa. Your write up for this recipe left me wondering if you are from Bellary since you mentioned Sudha Hotel across the street from St. Philomena's High School. Dosas look almost similar to Sudha hotel dosas, unique and delicious. I am eager to try the recipe and thanks for not giving up on achieving perfection.

    1. Hi there,

      You are right. I am a student of st. Philomena's. It's a huge compliment when you say that the dosas look like the ones at Sudha hotel. Do give these a try and let me know how they turned out. Also what batch did you belong to? And may I know your name?

  9. Hi Nandita,

    Boy they were not kidding when they said the world is getting smaller. I belong to ' 93 batch .BTW did you taste other amazing dosas in our town like Hoysala hotel OPEN dosa and MASALA dosa. They are equally good . I will certainly try the recipe and will let you know my experience.

  10. Finally feeling better and have been going through your blog.. for the past half hour.. and then I came to this post on dosas..can we be neighbours and can you make this for me every Sunday morning?! I'll be good I promise! This is just phenomenally done..and the photographs make it all the more enticing!

  11. I accidentally came across your blog do I subscribe to your blog? I am not getting that option on this Page... Plzzz help

    1. Thank you so much for visiting my space Sangeeta. You can subscribe to my blog by clicking on the purple button on the right hand side of the blog. Let me know if you need anything else.

  12. Hi..
    Lovely recipe..will give it a try.Was the cook you mentioned a professional cook who shared this recipe in a tv show? These do look exactly like the ones made by a chef in a hotel.

  13. I tried this last night really it came so yummy and so much crisp.I need one help can you please share How to make paper dosa can you please tell me process..
    Masala dosa

  14. Dear mam, I tried and succeed in making resturant styled one.Thanks you so much.Earlier several times I had attempted. But lacked in one or the another,like taste ,smell, colour etc.Now it is perfect.

  15. Hi Nandita, I have been looking for this dosa recipe for a very long time and I have tried few diff variations and never was so satisfied. Your recipe is simply amazing!!! I made it already 3 times in the past 2 weeks. It has perfect color, aroma, texture, taste etc. I am so glad I came across ur recipe and I Thank You!! I am going to try other recipes you posted. I am from Dharwad and living in US. Nice to see Karnataka recipes. Thx 😋

  16. I like masala dosa. It is my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

    best restaurant in hong kong

  17. Wonderful dosas - thank you for sharing

  18. This is my favorite.Thanks for sharing.


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