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A plate of Dosa with chutney and sambhar
Dosa in different South Indian languages (Alphabetically)
Kannada: Dose ದೋಸೆ
Dwashi ದ್ವಾಶಿ
Malayalam: Dosha ദോശ
Tamil: Dosai தோசை
Telugu: Dosa దోసె
Tulu: Dose ದೋಸೆ

The Dosa or Dosai is a popular south Indian dish. Dosa is made from rice and black lentils. It is a typical South Indian food, eaten for breakfast or dinner, and is rich in carbohydrates and protein.


[edit] Preparation

Regular Dosa batter is made from rice and split, skinned urad bean (black lentil) blended with water and left to ferment overnight. A modified form of the same batter can be used to make idlis.

Characteristically the rice is very finely ground, more so than in idli batter. Furthermore, the rice to lentil ratio varies in both. The rice can be uncooked and/or parboiled. The urad bean and rice can be replaced with highly refined wheat flour to make a maida dosa or semolina for a rave dosa.

The batter is then ladled in small amounts onto a hot greased tava, where it is spread out into a thin circle and fried with oil or ghee until golden brown. This is the case in a very short time. The dosa may then be folded in half and served or rolled as in a wrap, but in both cases it is cooked on a single side. Alternatively, it may be flipped to cook on the other side and then served.

[edit] Serving methods

Though sometimes considered a breakfast dish, dosas are also eaten at other times of day. Those with wheat allergies or gluten intolerance will find the dosa a nice addition to their diets. They can be stuffed with vegetables, meats and sauces to create a quickly prepared meal.

Dosas are typically served with a side dish which varies according to regional and personal preferences. More common side items include:

[edit] Masala dosa

Masala dosa as served in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A masala dosa is made by stuffing a dosa with a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices. It wraps the dosa around a onion and potato curry or sabji.

Masala dosa showing Aloo masala filling

Before it was invented, plain dosa was served with potato curry (batata bhaji) without onions in a separate cup. During a shortage of potatoes, method was created where potato was mashed and sauteed with onions together with other spices. This was then placed inside the dosa instead of a separate cup. This was done to hide the onions which are not eaten by orthodox Hindus and Jains. People enjoyed this new dosa. It came to be known as "Masala Dosa", from the sautéeing of spices (masala) during the preparation of the bhaji.[citation needed]

Variants of Masala Dosa
Due to the huge popularity of masala dosa, many variants exist for differing tastes. The following are some of the variants.
  • Mysore masala dosa : Masala dosa with chutney spread inside along with bhaji .
  • Vegetable masala dosa : Instead of potatoes, peas and other vegetables are mashed to make bhaji.
  • Rava masala dosa : Rava (semolina ) is used to instead of rice.
  • Chinese Masala dosa : In this noodles and other Chinese ingredients are added .

One variant of the masala dosa, the Mysore masala dosa, is served with both coconut and onion chutneys. In Bangalore, the masala dosa is usually served with a red chutney applied to its inside surface. This peculiarity lends itself to a unique taste and is something that is not found elsewhere. The red chutney usually has generous amounts of garlic (traditionally garlic is not used in masala dosa especially in the Brahmin community), and adds a nice flavor to the dosa when it is fried with ghee. It is prepared by adding liberal doses of butter (benne) and also a potato filling (palya) that is unique. It is devoid mostly of any extra ingredients and is just mashed potato. The Rava dosa or Rave dosay is another variant which is made from semolina.

Dosa is made in every part of India

[edit] Dosa variations

Home made Neer dosa with thick coconut chutney

Though dosa typically refers to the version made with rice and lentils, many other versions of dosa exist and are popular in varying degrees. This is sometimes specific to a region in India. Other types of dosa include:

  • Egg dosa - a dosa spread with an omelette.
  • Chilli dosa - chilli powder is spread on the dosa.
  • Open dosa - chutney powder is spread on the dosa while cooking. Before serving spiced & mashed potato is placed on top.
  • Onion dosa - chopped and sautéd onions are spread on the dosa.
  • Ghee (thuppa/neyyi) dosa - ghee is used instead of oil while frying the dosa.
  • Butter dosa - butter is used instead of oil while frying dosa and a small amount on top of it while serving.
  • Roast - the dosa is spread thinly and fried until crisp.
  • Family roast - a long dosa which can be spread over 2 or 3 feet.
  • Paper dosa - a long and very thin delicate dosa which can be spread over 2 feet.
  • Green dosa - a dosa stuffed with fresh vegetables and mint chutney.
  • Chow-chow dosa - a dosa stuffed with (Indian flavored) Chinese noodles.
  • Cheese dosa - a dosa stuffed with cheese.
  • Masala dosa - a dosa stuffed with spiced potatoes (famous in South India)
Rava dosa served at a restaurant in Guntur.
  • Rava dosa - made with rava or semolina, which doesn't need fermentation and is usually considered a fast snack/tiffin.
  • Wheat dosa - made with wheat flour, and served with coconut chutney,mysore masala dosa
  • Vella dosa - a sweet dosa made of jaggery with ghee/neyyi.
  • Ragi dosa - made of ragi or millet flour, usually considered "a poor man's fare".
  • Muttai dosa - eggs are added to the regular batter; the word muttai in Tamil means "egg".
  • Set dose - a popular type of dosa, which is cooked only on one side and is served in a set of two, hence the name.
  • Benne dose - similar to masala or set dosa but smaller in size. Served with liberal helpings of butter sprinkled on it. Said to have originated in the Davanagere district of the state of Karnataka
  • Cabbage dosa - a dosa made out of cabbage. Paste is prepared with rice, red chillies, Asfotedia and Turmeric. Once the batter is ready, cabbage cut into small pieces is added to the paste and left for about 30 mins.Once this is done, the batter is poured and the dosa is made crisp.
  • Neer dosa - a dosa prepared from rice unique to Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts.
  • Pesarattu - a dosa prepared from moong dal; Andhra special. The variations include a) making from soaked whole moong seeds (along with green cover), which gives a greenish tint to the Dosa, and, b) making with yellow coloured moong dal (green cover removed and dal is refined), which gives a fine golden yellow tint to the dosa when roasted. Both these forms are famous in Andhra Pradesh, and are typically served with chutney made from Ginger and Tamarind.
  • Adai - a dosa prepared from a combination of dals namely Urad, Channa & Moong dal.
  • Appam - a dosa prepared from a combination of patted rice (Avalakki), rice & yogurt.
  • 70 MM Dosa - Similar to Masala Dosa, but it is bigger in size, about 60 cm in diameter.[1][2][3]
Instant dosa

Packs of readymade "instant" dosa batter are available all over India. These are typically available in 500g and 1 kg denominations, and are ready to be spread onto a hot plate (in some cases requiring addition of salt or water first). Typically, instant dosa batter can also be used to make idlis (see Idli).


There are various ways of transliterating dosa: dhosa, dosay, dosai, dhosai, tosai, thosai (used in Malaysia and Singapore).

[edit] Media

Dosa preparation.ogg
A colour film with sound showing a plain dosa being prepared

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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