From Academic Kids

(This is an article about Dosa, the food. For dosa as the term is used in Ayurveda, see the article Dosha.)

Dosa (Dosay in Karnataka state, Dosai in Tamil Nadu state, Dosha in Kerala state) is a common South Indian food which comes in many varieties, flavours and with various accompaniments. It is typically eaten at breakfast.

It is prepared by laying a thin circular film from a batter of rice and lentil flour mixed with water on a flat, preheated pan, and frying it with a dash of edible oil or ghee. It gets evenly fried on one side to obtain a brownish tinge. The other side is partially fried next by turning the dosa over. The end product is neatly folded and served. The crispness, the colour, the amount of batter used and the time for which the batter was allowed to ferment prior to cooking determine the variety of Dosa you eat. It is like a crÍpe in shape and thickness, but usually crispier.

Missing image
Rava masala dosa, Malaysian style

A stuffing inside a folded Dosa is not uncommon. A common variety - Masala Dosa or Mysore Masala Dosay is essentially a freshly cooked, crisp Dosa stuffed with mashed potatoes lightly cooked with fried onions and spices. Sometimes the onions are mixed into the batter itself.

Dosas can also be made from all-purpose flour ('Maida') in which case they are called 'Maida Dosas' or 'Rava Dosas' (when prepared with 'Rava' or Semolina).

There are different side dishes that a Dosa can have based on regional and personal preferences. Dosa can be served with a variety of chutneys; one such is coconut chutney - a semi-solid paste usually made of coconut, dhals, cilantro, mint and green chillies (Chutney powder is also used and it is just as delicious). It is also served with hot Sambar. In Tamil Nadu, the simplest, most traditional side-dish, which purists swear by, is the humble Milagai Podi.

The Dosa batter can be steamed to make idlis.


Makes about 15

  • 2 cups (360 g) rice, preferably parboiled
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) split and husked Bengal Gram ('Dhuli Urad')
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Oil for cooking dosas


  1. Soak rice, daal, and fenugreek seeds together overnight.
  2. Grind these ingredients together to a very smooth consistency.
  3. Add the salt and enough water to make into a dropping consistency, and leave to rise for 5-6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Check consistency of the batter, and if needed, add enough water to make into a smooth pouring consistency.
  5. Heat tava (dosa pan) very hot, splash a little water over it, and with a ladle, immediately pour some batter onto it, spreading it thin, with a circular motion, without pressing too hard. (You will need some practice to get it right).
  6. Lower the heat and dribble a little oil around the edges. When edges start browning a bit, it is almost done.
  7. Add desired filling and fold over.

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