The Musette: Dosa

In its most simple form, Dosa is very similar to a crepe and is a very popular street food all over India. Originating in southern India, Dosa has been around since 5th century AD. It’s said that it was first referenced by Chalukya King Somesvara III in Tamil literature in 1054 AD. Like many Indian foods, Dosa has many different variations depending on region and occasion.

A properly made crisp and savoury Indian dosa is wonderfully delicious, and fairly simple to make at home, with this caveat: the batter must be fermented overnight for the correct texture and requisite sour flavour. However, once the batter is ready, it can be refrigerated and kept for several days, even a week. With a traditional spicy potato filling, dosas make a perfect vegan/vegetarian meal when served with your favorite chutney. However, I often don’t have the time (or patience) to let the batter ferment, or have the right ingredients to hand, this is when I turn to this quick and dirty dosa recipe.

Ingredients (enough for 8 dosa)

Dosa filling

  • 500g (1 lb) baking potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp neutral coconut oil
  • 1½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander

Dosa Batter

  • 160g (1 cup) chickpea/gram (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 125g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2½ tsp blackmustard seeds


1.Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6.

2. Scrub and prick the potatoes then bake until soft in the oven for about an hour, or until cooked through.

3. Once cooked, cut the potatoes open, then scoop out the flesh and roughly mash – save the skins!

4. While the potatoes are baking, dice the onion, crumble the dried chilli and finely slice the fresh chilli, then peel and finely grate the ginger and garlic.

5. Heat the coconut oil in a pan (skillet) over a medium heat, add the chopped onion, chillies, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, turmeric and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Fry until the onion is transluscent and the mustard seeds start to pop.

6. Meanwhile, trim and finely slice the spring onions, and pick and roughly chop the coriander leaves.

7. Pour the spice mixture over the potatoes then gently mix together. Taste and season, if needed. Add the spring onions and coriander, then mix together.

8. For the dosa batter, add the flours to a large bowl with the soda, mustard seeds and a good pinch of salt. Gradually whisk in enough water, about 400ml, to make a loose batter.

9. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat, then wipe around and away with kitchen paper.

10. Add a ladle of batter to the pan and immediately twist so the batter coats the base and slips up the edges. As soon as the moisture on top starts to cook away and there are lots of bubbles, add a few heaped teaspoons of potato filling and gently spread across the dosa.

11 . Once the base is crispy, loosely roll up the dosa in the pan and you’re ready to go. Serve with minted non-dairy yoghurt and chutney.

19 Comments on “The Musette: Dosa

  1. Pingback: The Musette: Dosa — View from the Back | Ups Downs Family History

  2. My goodness, this recipe was from 5 December? No wonder, I couldn’t find it again …
    I wanted to show you my result from today’s try. They are not as elegant as yours, as I do not master the pan swirl very well yet, but the tiny bubbles are there, and they tasted great.


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