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Appetizers, Mains, Vegetarian

Masala dosa (stuffed dosa)

The dosa is a hugely versatile food. In India, it can be a light snack or a meal in itself. It can be made light and lacy or thick and substantial. It can take a simple five minutes to prepare ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes plus 12 hours standing. | Makes about 14 dosas
  • 4 white boiling potatoes, peeled
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sada Dosa

Step 1Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them, reserving the water. Coarsely mash the potatoes.

Step 2Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Keep all the ingredients close at hand. When the oil reaches the smoking point, add the mustard seeds. These will immediately start to splutter and pop. Keep a splatter screen handy to fend off any hot oil burns. When the spluttering eases off, about 5 to 8 seconds, reduce the heat and add the dal and the curry leaves. Fry a few more seconds until the dal turns brown.

Step 3Add the onions and fry until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Then add the potatoes, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved potato water, mix again and cook until the water is absorbed and the bhaji is fairly dry in texture, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 4Cook the Sada Dosa (following the Sada Dosa recipe directions), and as each dosa is finished, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the bhaji onto one half of the dosa, then fold the other half over it. Restaurants often place the bhaji in the center of the dosa and fold the two sides over it to make it rectangular rather than half moon shape. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Step 5Eat promptly with Coconut Chutney and sambar.

Note: This, basically, is the Sada Dosa with a potato mixture (bhaji) spooned into it. The masala is the icing on the cake, as it were, and lifts the ordinary crepe into something quite special. Having said this I must admit that I have a preference for the humble sada dosa because it is pure, simple and wholesome. Of course, the fact that I once massively binged on masala dosas and suffered its consequences might be a large part of the reason too.
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