Crispy Masala Dosa-South Indian Crepes with Potato Filling
Are you looking for a healthy and filling breakfast? Then why not try this classic Indian style crepe recipe. Dosa and sambar is a popular South Indian breakfast that everyone loves. It is a comforting and homey breakfast. Masala Dosa has a delicious potato filling and drizzled with a generous amount of ghee. The melted ghee/clarified butter makes it irresistibly appetizing. I grew up eating dosa for breakfast, and crispy dosa served with warm sambar is absolute comfort food. But sometimes, I love making a restaurant-style breakfast combo with crispy dosa and potato masala filling, vada, sambar, and chutney. It is a great way to start your day and keeps you satisfied until lunchtime!
The recipe I am sharing today is my best go-to recipe to make crispy and tasty masala dosa at home. At least once a week, we make the batter to make idlis and dosas. To make dosas, the rice and lentils are soaked in advance, and the batter is fermented overnight. In today’s recipe, I am sharing a few tips to make the batter from scratch and to use the Instant Pot to ferment the batter. Now you may ask why to use the Instant Pot? If you are living in a cold climate like me, you might already know the struggle to get perfectly fermented batter during the winter months. I have tried several methods from, covering with thick blankets to fermenting in a warm oven. There were times when I gave up on the idea of making dosa till it is spring or summer. But Instant Pot is the ultimate game-changer, and I have always got consistent results. The batter has the correct texture and sourness and makes perfect dosas. With this recipe, you can enjoy restaurant-style dosa at home. Give this recipe a try and let me know how it turned out for you.
You can easily make paper-thin, crispy dosas using homemade idli-dosa batter. If you are living in a warm climate, you can leave it to ferment overnight on the kitchen counter. But for a cold climate, I highly recommend using the yogurt setting of the Instant Pot and ferment for up to 6.30 to 8 hours for perfect dosas.
Rice and lentil ratio to make the batter
The batter for dosa is made by soaking and grinding lentils and rice. I use the 3:1 ratio of rice and lentil to make dosa batter. The lentils used is whole urad dal gota/ black gram. You can also use split urad dal. The perfect rice to use for dosa is Sona masoori and Idli rice. For this recipe, I have used a combination of sona masoori and idli rice. Idli rice is short-grained parboiled rice, and sona masori is raw rice. You can find both in Indian grocery stores. It is good to soak the rice and the lentils separately. The grinding texture of rice and dal is different. Urad dal is ground till fluffy and silky smooth, and the rice can be slightly grainy.
Different variations of the batter
A combination of idli rice and sona masori is good for a perfect batter. If you do not have idli rice, use 3 cups of sona masoori. Some recipes use flattened rice or poha. It enhances the flavor and color of the dosa. Chana dal and methi seeds/ fenugreek seeds also add flavor and color. If you wish to add poha soak, half a cup in a bowl and grind it along with the soaked rice. Fenugreek seeds and chana dal can be soaked with urad dal and ground into a smooth paste.
The masala filling
Masala dosa has a simple yet delicious potato filling of cooked and mashed potatoes, flavored with turmeric, ginger, green chilly, coriander leaves, and hing. You can add urad dal, channa dal, or cashew nuts for a crunch. You can be creative when it comes to the filling, you can add paneer, spinach, cauliflower, beetroot, etc. Fillings like eggs masala, chicken, or mutton masala are also popular. If you like cheese, you can make cheese potato masala.
Crispy Masala Dosa-South Indian Crepes with Potato Filling/How To Ferment Dosa Batter In Instant Pot
For the Dosa batter
Urad Dal- 1 cup
Sona Masoori Rice- 2 cups
Idly Rice- 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Ghee+ oil- 1/4 cup
For the potato filling
Potatoes- 4 medium
Onion- 1 medium
Ginger chopped- 1 tsp
Green chilly finely chopped- 2-3
Coriender leaves chopped- 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Urad dal split- 1 tsp
Cashewnuts chopped – 2 tbs
Hing/ asafoetida- 1/8 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice- 1 tsp (optional)
Oil- 2 tbs
How to make the Dosa/idli batter
To make the batter soak rice and urad dal separately for 5-6 hours. In a bowl, add one cup of urad dal and wash thoroughly. Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and soak for 5-6 hours. In a separate bowl, add one cup of idli rice and two cups of sona masoori. Wash and soak for 5-6 hours.
Drain the urad dal and put it in a blender. Add 1 1/2 cup of water and grind till it is smooth and fluffy. Transfer the batter into the steel container of the Instant Pot. Transfer the drained rice to a blender and slowly pour in 2 cups of water while blending. Blend until the rice is mostly smooth. It is ok for the rice batter to be a little grainy. Mix the blended rice and dal and add salt to taste.
Place the steel container into the Instant pot and cover the lid. Turn the valve from sealing to venting mode. Press the yogurt button and set the time for 6.30 hours on normal mode. If you are fermenting the batter overnight, you can set it up to 8 hours. Once the time is up, you will find the batter has increased in size and looks light and airy. Gently mix the batter. If you feel the batter has a thick consistency, add more water to make it into a thick pouring consistency. You can store the batter in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To make the filling
Wash and cook potatoes till it is fork-tender. Peel off the skin and mash it with a potato masher, and set aside. If cooking in a pressure cooker, add two cups of water and cook till 5 to 6 whistles in a pressure cooker.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add split urad dal and chopped cashew nuts. Fry till golden brown. Add finely chopped ginger, curry leaves, and chopped green chilly and saute for a minute. Add chopped onions and saute till translucent or slightly golden brown. Add the turmeric powder, salt, and asafoetida/hing. Mix well and add 1/4 cup of water and the mashed potatoes. Mix everything well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and then add chopped coriander leaves and half tsp of lemon juice (optional). Let it cool down.
To make the Masala Dosa.
Heat a cast-iron pan or a flat non-stick pan. The pan should be medium hot. Sprinkle few drops of water to check if the pan is hot. The water droplets should sizzle immediately and evaporate. Dip a small piece of cloth or paper towel in oil or ghee and grease the pan. Pour 1/2 cup of dosa batter towards the center of the pan, and using a ladle, spread it around in circular motion, starting from the center to the edges of the pan. Drizzle some ghee or oil on top of the dosa. Cook the dosa on medium flame. The edges of the dosa will lift from the pan when the bottom side is done. Using a spatula, flip the dosa over to cook the other side for one minute or till crispy and golden. Spread spoon fulls of potato masala on one half of the dosa and fold over the other half. Let it crisp for a few seconds and remove from the pan. Serve masala dosa warm with sambar and coconut chutney.
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Hope you will all enjoy!