Crispy Golden Masala Dosa


Crispy Masala Dosa is an all time favorite with me & my family. In fact, when I recently went on a vacation to Kerala with my hubby, I did not miss an opportunity to order & relish the ever popular Masala Dosa at every stop over. We drove to Kerala & had the liberty of stopping at whichever restaurant & hotel we fancied. Since Udipi restaurants are famous for serving these delightful crepes in various forms & sizes, I was excited to reach Udipi to enjoy dosas but was disappointed. I think all the wonderful chefs have migrated to other destinations in the world to display their culinary skills! Only on our way back on the highway via Bangalore did we find a great place which finally satisfied my cravings for the ultimate Masala Dosa! It was manna from heaven!! On our return journey from Kumily (Kerala) the place I love ever since I visited & spent a week there; we left very early in the morning & could not find a single place for breakfast & after a real long time we saw this restaurant & it felt like we reached an oasis.. It was a newly opened restaurant “Valluvar Family Restaurant” on NH7 (Madurai to Salem Bypass) with a person standing near the highway; inviting & welcoming people. The place was clean & hygienic. The service was impeccable & the presentation of food was just what I imagined it should be! They serve very tasty & sumptuous mouth-watering delicacies of South India. It is the ideal place to relish traditional Thirukkural. It was worth the dining experience. This place is just unforgettable! On my return I was on a South Indian food spree. So here is my tribute to Kerala & my love for South Indian food & snacks. This recipe is especially for you to try it out & I’m sure you will love it the way I do! J
Ingredients :
For the Masala :
5 med. Potatoes (boiled, peeled, cubed/or roughly mashed)
4 med. Onions (peeled & sliced thinly)
5-6 fresh Green Chillies (finely minced/slit)
2 tbsps. fresh Ginger (grated)
½ tsp. Turmeric pwd.
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds (optional)
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds (optional)
3-4 fresh Curry Leaves
A pinch of Sugar (optional)
4 tbsps. Vegetable Oil
A handful of fresh Coriander Leaves (roughly chopped)
For the Dosa Batter :
2 cups Boiled Rice/Dosa Rice
1 cup Urad Dal
1 tbsp. Methi Seeds
Salt to taste
Water as required
Vegetable Oil/Ghee as required
Method :
Preparation of the Masala :
Heat a wok/kadhai/skillet with oil till hot.
Add green chillies, mustard & cumin seeds, turmeric pwd., curry leaves & let it splutter. Then add thinly sliced onions & grated ginger, a little salt & saute till onions are soft & translucent.
Then add the potatoes, salt to taste & mix well.
Let it cook for a few minutes on a slow flame.
Garnish with chopped coriander.
Your filling for the masala dosa is ready. Keep aside.  
Preparation of the Batter :
Wash & soak urad dal separately. Wash & soak rice with methi seeds in sufficient water. Soak the dal & rice for about 4 hrs.
Grind the soaked dal first & then the rice in a grinder/blender to a fine & smooth paste. Transfer the pastes to a sufficiently large pot/bowl/dekchi & mix it together.
Add salt to taste & just enough water to the batter to make a thick pouring consistency.
Stir well & keep aside in a warm place to rise & ferment, preferably overnight.
To prepare Masala Dosa :

Heat the dosa tawa till hot.
Sprinkle some water on the tawa & let the water evaporate completely.
Pour a ladle of the dosa batter & spread out the batter thinly & evenly with a ladle in a circular motion.
You will see fine bubbles on the surface of the dosa & it will be turning brown gently.
Sprinkle oil/ghee on the top. Be a little generous with oil/ghee.
Cook on a low flame. After a few seconds, you will see that the dosa has cooked & there is no raw batter on the surface of the dosa.
Gently loosen the dosa with a spatula.
Put about 2 tbsps. of masala or depending on the size of the dosa in the centre of the dosa.
Bring the edges of the dosa together to form a cylinder or a triangle.
Lift the masala dosa gently with a spatula & transfer to a serving plate.
Serve immediately with sambar & chutney.
Tips & Variations :
Dosas turn out better on a well seasoned metal dosa tawa.
A spatula with sharp edges helps to loosen the dosa easier.
Using oil/ghee generously makes the dosa crisper & will loosen easily.
The tawa should be very hot before pouring the batter. 
Sprinkling of water & cleaning the surface of the tawa with a cloth after each dosa helps in making the dosa neatly even & browns evenly.
Adjust the flame from time to time to prevent the dosa from turning extra brown quickly from below & remaining raw on the surface.
You may add some sugar water to the dosa batter just before preparing the dosa if you prefer a slightly sweet taste.
You may serve the masala separately alongside the plain dosa if you prefer. This way the dosa will remain crisp a little longer. 

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