|Place of origin||India|
|Main ingredients||Rice and black gram|
|Variations||Masala dosa, rava dosa, ghee roast dosa, neer dosa and many more|
A dosa is a cooked flat thin layered rice batter, originating from the South India, made from a fermented batter. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance. Its main ingredients are rice and black gram ground together in a fine, smooth batter with a dash of salt. Dosas are a typical part of the Southern Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil diets, but the dish is now popular all over the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, dosas are served hot along with sambar and chutney. They can be consumed with idli podi as well.
Dosas are indigenous to South India; their exact birthplace in that region is a matter of conjecture. According to historian P. Thankappan Nair, dosa originated in the Udupi town of present-day Karnataka. According to food historian K. T. Achaya, dosa (as dosai) was already in use in the ancient Tamil country around the 1st century AD, as per references in the Sangam literature.
In popular tradition, the origin of the dosa is linked to Udupi, probably because of the dish's association with the Udupi restaurants. Also, the original Tamil dosa was softer and thicker. The thinner and crispier version of dosa was first made in present-day Karnataka. A recipe for dosa (as dosaka) can be found in Manasollasa, a 12th-century Sanskrit encyclopedia compiled by Someshvara III, who ruled from present-day Karnataka.
After the Independence of India, South Indian cuisine became gradually popular in the North. In Delhi the Madras Hotel in Connaught Place became a landmark that was one of the first restaurants to serve South Indian cuisine. It arrived in Mumbai with the Udupi restaurants in the 1930s. K. Krishna Rao, who ran Old Woodlands in Chennai during the early 1940s, is sometimes regarded to be the originator of the masala dosa in its modern form.
Dosas are known by several names. The standard transliterations and pronunciations of the word in various South Indian languages are as follows:
Dosa is high in carbohydrates and contains no added sugars or saturated fats. As its key ingredients are rice and black gram, it is also a good source of protein. One home made plain dosa without oil contains about 112 calories, of which 84% is carbohydrates and 16% proteins. The fermentation process increases the vitamin B and vitamin C content. There are also instant mix products for making dosa which usually contain higher amounts of rice.
A mixture of rice and black gram that has been soaked in water is ground finely to form a batter. Some add a handful of fenugreek seeds soaked along with the rice. The proportion of rice to lentils is generally 4:1 or 5:1. The batter is allowed to ferment overnight. After the overnight fermentation, the batter is mixed with water to get the desired thickness. The batter is then ladled onto a hot tava (griddle) greased with oil or ghee (clarified butter). It is spread out with the base of a ladle or bowl to form a pancake. It can be made either to be thick like a pancake, or thin and crispy. A dosa is served hot, either folded in half or rolled like a wrap. It is also usually served with chutney and sambar. The mixture of black grams and rice can be replaced with highly refined wheat flour or semolina.
Batter poured on a tava griddle
Dosa can be stuffed with fillings of vegetables and sauces to make a quick meal. They are typically served with a vegetarian side dish which varies according to regional and personal preferences. Common side items are:
The most popular version is the masala dosa, with a filling of the potato masala. Mysore masala is the spicier version of it. Sada (plain) is without filling; paper dosa is a thin and crisp version. Rava dosa is made crispier using semolina. Newer recipes have been developed that use fusion, like Chinese dosa, cheese dosa, paneer dosa and many more.
Though dosa typically refers to the version made with rice and lentils, many other versions exist.
|Masala dosa||spiced potatoes tucked inside the dosa with red chutney smeared over the dosa.|
|Oats dosa||healthy, crisp and lacy instant dosa made with oats.|
|Set dosa||very spongy, soft and light, served in a set of 3 dosa per serving.|
|Plain dosa||Dosa served with only chutney and sambar and no filling.|
|Paneer dosa||spiced paneer filling inside the dosa.|
|Palak dosa||layered with palak (spinach) paste inside the folds of dosa.|
|Mini soya dosa||soya milk and wheat flour|
|Pesarattu (green dosa)||green gram|
|Light white dosa||rice and coconut|
|Kadapa karam dosa||Rice flour fermented overnight and mixed with sodium carbonate. The topping is a mixture of onion and chili paste (called yerra karam) and a chutney made with tomato and flour made in a gravy of curd. It is also occasionally topped with fried gram powder.|
|Mysore masala dosa||rice, black gram, fenugreek seeds|
|Onion rava dosa||Semolina, rice flour|
|Ragi wheat dosa||Ragi, whole wheat flour|
|Rava dosa||rava or sooji|
|Benne dose||butter ('benne' in Kannada)
Predominantly famous as "Davanagere benne dose" associated with Davanagere district in Karnataka.
|Neer dosa||watery rice batter|
|vodu dose or kappa roti||vodu dose or kappa roti is made from rice, fenugreek seeds, grated coconut, thinly flattened rice and sometimes leftover cooked rice is also added.
It is non fermented type of dosa. It is cooked on a earthen pan that has a rounded bottom. It is fluffy and appears like a bread. It is cooked without the use of oil.
|Amboli, ghavan, dhirde||In coastal parts of Maharashtra, variations known as amboli, ghavan and dhirde (or dhirade) exist. Amboli and ghavan (like dosa) are thin rice crêpes prepared with fermented batter, while dhirde is prepared with unfermented batter.|
|Watermelon Dosa||For the batter use the brown rice, carrot, onions, ginger,brown chickpeas, wheat flour,red chilli powder,breadcrumbs and the white part of watermemlon fruit to give it a unique flavour. Sprinkle red chilli powder, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.|