Masala Dosa

Classic Masala Dosa

The classic Masala Dosa/ Masaldosa is a variation of the popular South Indian breakfast food, the dosa. It is made using a batter of ground rice, fenugreek seeds/methi and black lentils with spicy potato and green peas stuffing.Any combination of vegetables can be used as a filling.

It has its origins in Tuluva Mangalorean cuisine of Karnataka, in South India.

Masala Dosa
Classic Masala Dosa

Why is it called Masala Dosa?

Masala dosa is stuffed dosa.

The two parts of the Masala dosa are the dosa/Indian crepe and the masala/stuffing.

  • The dosa is prepared in the usual way by soaking rice and lentils overnight in water and then grinding it to a batter.
  • The masala/Bhaji/ stuffing is made from boiled potatoes, green chilies and Indian spices .This preparation is then seasoned with mustard seeds and garnished with grated coconutcoriander, and lemon juice.
Masala Dosa
Classic Masala Dosa

What are the ingredients in Masala Dosa?

For the Dosa

For the Masala/Bhaji/Stuffing

Masala Dosa Recipe

Classic Masala Dosa

Classic Masala Dosa

Recipe by Maya Shetty
Course: BREAKFAST, DOSACuisine: South Indian
0.0 from 0 votes

Prep time




Cooking time




Total time






  • For the Dosa
  • 4 cups Idli Rice

  • 1 cup Urad Dal /Black Lentils

  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds/Methi

  • Salt to taste

  • Water as required to dilute

  • For the Masala/Bhaji/Stuffing
  • 1 Onion

  • 4 -5 Red Potatoes

  • 5 -6 Green chilies

  • 1 inch Cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup Green peas

  • 1/2 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 3 -4 Garlic cloves crushed

  • 6 -7 Curry leaves a sprig

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/2 cup Vegetables like Carrot, Cauliflower, Beans optional

  • 2 inch Fresh Ginger julienned

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • a few Cilantro/Coriander leaves for garnishing

  • 1 tsp Coconut freshly grated for garnishing

  • a pinch Hing/Asaefoetida


  • Soaking the ingredients
  • Wash and soak 4 cups of Idli rice in 6-7 cups of water.To this add 1/2 tsp of Fenugreek seeds while soaking, this makes the Idli’s soft when cooked.
  • Wash and soak 1 cup of Urad Dal/black lentil separately in 3 cups of water.
  • Set both the ingredients on the kitchen counter and let them soak overnight ( 6-8 hours).
  • This will allow them to absorb moisture and the Urad Dal/black lentils to fluff a bit, just right for grinding the batter and making fluffy soft Idli’s.
  • Grinding the ingredients
  • After 8 hours, grind the rice and Urad dal/black lentils separately in the wet grinder/blender into a smooth paste.
  • Now mix both the batters together with a tsp or two of salt along with water for required consistency and set aside for fermenting overnight( 6-8 hours) in a warm place.
  • For fermenting in colder places (like ours) preheat your oven for 10 minutes at the lowest setting and place your vessel containing the batter inside with the lights on. This will provide enough warmth for the batter to ferment and rise up after 6-8 hours.
  • Checking if the batter is properly fermented
  • The fermented will rise up and look frothy and bubbly on top.
  • To check if it is well fermented take a tea spoon full of batter and drop it in a container with cold water. The fermented batter will float, letting us know it is ready to be used to cook.
  • The fermented batter is usually thick, so add water to the required consistency depending on whether you are using it for making Idli’s or Dosas. Idli’s, Paniyaram and Uthappam needs a medium thick batter, while Dosa requires a thin watery batter, adjust accordingly.If you are planning on making Masala Dosa or stuff Dosa with filling keep the batter at medium thick to hold the filling within, otherwise it might tear. For thin crispy Dosa a light thin watery mix will work just as fine.
  • How to make the Dosa
  • Warm your cast iron skillet to medium hot, not too hot since it will make the batter stick to the skillet.
  • Now grease the skillet with coconut oil/ ghee. Rubbing oil on a half cut onion slice and holding it with a fork helps easily grease the tawa, but you can even do the same with a folded kitchen towel.
  • When the skillet is warm ( you can test it by sprinkling some water droplets on it to see if it sizzles).Stir the batter well in the bowl and gently spoon the batter in the center of the warm griddle and spread it in circular motion clockwise to the sides to make a thin crispy crepe.
  • Allow it to cook or a minute or two. You will see the sides of the dosas lift of the pan slowly. At this time add oil or ghee along the edges.This will help you flip the dosa to the other side without the Dosa getting stuck to the skillet. It is your choice if you want to flip & cook both sides.Thicker dosas might need to be flipped to be cooked well, thinner crispy ones will do just fine with cooking on one side.
  • Now gently fold or roll the dosa & serve hot with sambar or chutney.
  • Turn the heat to low, before making the next dosa. Once more grease the skillet with oil and pour the next spoonful of batter for the next dosa and increase the heat to medium.
  • Dosa can be served plain or with fillings, its your choice .You can even layer a thick dosa like pizza & top it with onions, tomatoes and veggies of your choice to make it a filling Uthappam.
  • Wash the potatoes under cold running water and boil them in the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles. Remove from flame & allow it to cool before opening the pressure cooker.Peel the skin.Mash the potatoes and set aside.
  • Next in a cooking pan/wok warm some coconut oil and do the seasoning with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves , hing/asoefoetida and garlic.
  • To this pan now add the slit green chilies and saute. When the raw smell disappears add the thinly sliced onion and saute them till golden brown.Next add the julienned ginger.
  • Next add the mixed vegetables and stir for a few minutes until they turn soft. The addition of mixed vegetables is completely optional.I tend to add green peas alone or sometimes green peas and carrots, you could use any vegetable of your choice here.
  • To this add the turmeric powder, salt and half a cup of water, so the filling/masala/Bhaji is soft and moist but too runny.
  • Remove from flame and set aside
  • Garnish with cilantro and freshly grated coconut. It is ready to go into the dosa as the filling for Masala Dosa.
  • Stuffing the masala/Bhaji/filling into the Dosa
  • When the Dosa is ready, adda table spoon or two of the stuffing lengthwise in the centre of the dosa.
  • Gently fold the dosa from either side to make it like a roll with the stuffing in the center.
  • Serve hot either plain or with condiments like chutney or sambar or any curry as sides.


  • Some prefer to add a bit of soaked poha or flattened rice to the batter while grinding, I don’t use it.It turns out just fine either way if you follow the ratio.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories925
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 16g 25%
    • Saturated Fat 13g 65%
  • Sodium 913mg 39%
  • Potassium 4303mg 123%
  • Total Carbohydrate 179g 60%
    • Dietary Fiber 30g 120%
    • Sugars 29g
  • Protein 24g 48%

  • Vitamin A 22%
  • Vitamin C 330%
  • Calcium 16%
  • Iron 50%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

How do you eat masala dosa?

  • Indian food is traditionally eaten with our hands
  • Tear a small piece of dosa from one edge and dip it in the chutney or sambar that accompanies the dosa, and then eat it.
  • While eating masala dosa since the filling is in the center of the dosa, wrap the dosa around some masala/bhaji/filling and then eat it as is, or you can dip the same in the chutney or sambar that accompanies the masala dosa and then eat it.

What does Dosa taste like?

Crispy Plain Dosa is a thin, crisp crepe or pancake. It has a slight tangy taste due to the fermentation, and is savory rather than sweet.

Without the filling, on its own it’s called plain dosa‘ that can be eaten with chutney, sambar or a variety of vegetable curries. With filling it is called Masala Dosa and can be eaten just with the filling, or it Dosa can be layered like a pizza with toppings called Uthappam & can be eaten as such or with curries.Masala Dosa is very appetizing and flavorful.

Why is my Dosa not crispy?

Add half a cup of poha/flattened rice if you’d like your dosa slightly crispy. Even adding brown sugar to the batter just before it is ready to be poured make sit crispy and brown.

List of my Dosa Recipes

The Bottom Line

Dosa has had many variations over time but among them, the most popular remains the plain dosa and masala dosa. The dosa’s unplanned role as culinary ambassador is fast catching up in the western world too and is proved by the fact that there is a wave of South Indian restaurants popping up in every major city around the world.

You can have dosa for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner since it is easily digestible, low on calories and extremely appetizing! With all the knowledge you acquired from this post on making Masala Dosa from scratch are you going to give my Masala Dosa recipe a try?

If you try any of my recipes, would love for you to snap a quick photo of your recipe and tag us #stirringmyspicysoul on your social media feeds to get the word around and encourage readers like you.

You can also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Instagram.

Share this post with a #stirringmyspicysoul on your social media feeds and let your friends and family know.They can always subscribe to our weekly newsletters and regular updates by signing up here or by visiting our blog.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cindy Moore
Cindy Moore
3 years ago

Mmmm this looks so good! I love everything you post. I must try some of your recipes.

3 years ago

These sound really good! We don’t have an authentic Indian restaurant anywhere near where I live, but I wish we did.

3 years ago

5 stars
I love everything about this! Yum!

3 years ago

This looks delicious!

3 years ago

I actually recently pinned this because I wanted to try it out. Sounds delicious and I just need to get to the grocery store to get the ingredients.

Douglas Jasper
Douglas Jasper
3 years ago

Thank you for all the details and for all the photos. It looks so yummy!

3 years ago

You are an amazing chef. I find my mouth watering just reading your recipies.

heather J jandrue
3 years ago

I am always looking for new recipes to try. This sounds very good and not too complex to make. (I hate cooking, so what may seem easy to some is hard for me.) LOL!

3 years ago

Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

3 years ago

Sounds delish! Hope to try using brown sugar tip.

3 years ago

Woah haven’t heard of this but can’t wait to try it out!

3 years ago

This looks really tasty. I’ve long been intruiged by the Indian spices and wanted to try a few recipes. My SO is not so interested, so maybe I’ll try it with my mom….she has an adventurous palate.

3 years ago

It looks like a savory crepe! Sounds super tasty and looks to be plant-based, which is a plus for our household! Yum!

3 years ago
Reply to  Chelsea

I’ve never eaten Indian food before 😬

3 years ago

Looks like something so delicious to try!

Christina Furnival
3 years ago

I hadn’t heard of this before, but man you got my mouth watering! It sounds so good!

Melissa| It's a Joyous Journey

This looks so good! As part of their World Geography course this school year, my daughter and her friend are going to be cooking foods from all over the world. We will have to choose a recipe from your site when we get to India!

Lisa Manderino
Lisa Manderino
3 years ago

I love trying new things! This looks like one I need to make!

Alexis Farmer
3 years ago

I would make this for breakfast now if I could!

3 years ago

I would love this. It looks amazing and like fancy restaurant food.

Tricia Snow
Tricia Snow
3 years ago

5 stars
This looks amazing! I am always intrigued by Indian food but have never tried to make it,