The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.
Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough, that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.
Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.
Because some of the lighter, softer dosa can look like a crepe and because dosa are cooked in a pan, they are often called Indian Pancakes or omelette. These are misnomers, however. The use of the dosa is more like the Western world use their bread – as an accompaniment to meals, eaten along with the meal, and sometimes it is the meal (sandwiches, pizza, bruschetta etc). Here we call them as they are – dosa – and if have to compare them to another dish, we will stick to flatbread.
This dosa is made with potato pureed with rice flour with the addition of green chilli and green coriander. The batter is a lovely green colour because of this inclusion. It is very tasty, but also difficult to get right. It can be very sticky if there is not enough rice flour in the mix.
1 cup rice flour
0.75 cup of cooked peeled potatoes, roughly mashed
0.5 cup Greek yoghurt, Indian sour curd or Western buttermilk
2 – 4 green chillies, according to your taste
1 small bunch green coriander
salt, to taste
ghee for cooking
In a blender, blend the potato, rice flour, yoghurt, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt. Add enough water to make a batter of a flowing, pouring consistency.
Heat a tawa or flat pan, add a little ghee. While the pan is still relatively cool, add some batter and spread it with the bottom of your ladle in a circular manner. Cook over a medium heat until cooked on one side, and then turn the dosa over to cook the other side.
If the dosa sticks, or is too gluey, add more rice flour to the batter. Use the first dosa or two to adjust the batter with water or rice flour as required.
This is great with coriander chutney.
how to cook dosa
Take a ladle of batter and add it to a pan heated to warm. I swirl the batter in the pan a little first, somewhat like you might do with pancake batter. For this to happen effectively, your pan cannot be too hot. Then, using the bottom of the ladle, and beginning in the middle, move it in a circular motion to gently ease the batter out in wider and wider circles. Only do this once. The pattern of a spiral of circles that it leaves is the signature of a dosa.
As it cooks drizzle a little melted ghee on the top side.
Cook until set on the underside before flipping. I know when mine is cooked enough when it comes away from the pan and is easy to flip. If it is not yet sufficiently cooked, it sticks to the pan.
Cook the other side for a few minutes before flipping onto a plate ready to serve. You can add a few more drops of ghee if you like.