Friday, October 10, 2008


I feel like an ass posting about masala dosas again, but someone's gotta get the word out. And, since I was never a cheerleader before, I'll need to incorporate some complicated moves into my routine. Maybe I'll even learn to do the splits, or at the least figure out how to contort my body into spelling out URAD DAL.

The more I make dosas at home, the more I realize how easy it is to keep a perennial bowl of batter around. If you have a big enough fridge, just hide it next to the lemon pickle, ya' know, the one you've crammed behind the vegenaise. What's the big fuss?

The recipe that I use is awesome, because instead of having to soak and grind rice, you can just use rice flour, either white or brown, they both work well (I know! Brown rice masala dosas, holy shit).

Makes countless uttapam or dosa (too many to count maybe twelve?)
1 cup urad dal (buy skinned and halved)
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup water (to grind with urad dal)
2 teaspoons. salt
3 cups white or brown rice flour
3 cups water (to mix with rice flour)

1. Mix together the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in a big bowl and cover with water. Soak for three hours, then drain and puree in a blender with 1/2 cup water and salt until smooth.
2. Transfer to a really big bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the rice flour and 3 cups of water until smooth. Combine with the urad dal puree, cover with a towel and set aside to ferment for 12 hours in a warm oven.

*To cook (watch one of the videos I link to above): rub a cut onion all over a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Pour in about 1/2 cup of batter and with the back of a big spoon, spread the batter out in concentric circles until it is very thin. Cook over medium heat until brown, flip and cook for another minute. Serve with potato masala below.
*The funugreek is important, because it aids in the fermentation process by attracting wild yeast, so don't leave it out!
*After the initial fermentation period, refrigerate the batter and use it throughout the week. It will get very fluffy and look like a sourdough starter. The longer you leave it, the more sour the batter becomes.
*To answer lovely Michelle's question from yesterday, uttapam are made from the same batter, just thicker like a pancake. Make like you would a pancake, but mix in a little extra salt, chilies, tomato, chopped cilantro and onion and peas.

Potato Masala:
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon channa dal
1-2 tablespoons raw cashew pieces
1 finger fresh ginger, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 stem curry leaves, about 20
4-5 cups coarsely chopped thin skinned potatoes (I leave on the peel)
1 cup water
1/8-1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
a big handful of frozen peas
juice of 1/2 lime
chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Saute the channa dal and cashews in oil until golden.
2. Add in the ginger, onion, salt, carrot, jalapeno and curry leaves.
3. Saute until the onions are soft and begin to turn brown. Add in the potatoes and stir for 1-2 minutes.
4. Stir in 1 cup water and turmeric and mix to distribute. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender and water has cooked off.
5. Stir in the frozen peas and lime juice and cook an additional minute, until peas are defrosted and warm.
6. Season to taste with salt and lime juice, garnish with chopped cilantro.

*Traditionally, masala dosas (dosas stuffed with potato masala) are served with a coconut chutney and a thin spicy vegetable dal called, sambar. Coconut chutney is easy to make. Get the meat out of a fresh coconut and blend with some salt, jalapeno, cilantro and just enough water to get the blades rolling. You can also temper some mustard seeds and channa dal and mix in.



  1. *sigh* i wish you were my wife...

  2. Oh Kittee, that potato masala picture is so blown up that I feel I'm part of it. Just walking around in a giant potato masala dosa fairyland and eating away!

  3. Here's another Zulu coconut for you! (heehee). I think I'm way to lazy to make something like this except for a dinner party but boy does it look good! I used to eat so much South Indian food in the Bay Area. I really miss it because I'm also too lazy to drive to Hillsboro to get it.

  4. vegan knitting!
    the time to make these is really nominal. the potato masala takes 30 minutes, and you can make dosas while the potatoes are steaming. so really really easy (just needs a little forethought.


  5. You're not an ass. That looks so good. Especially the potato masala. Your food always looks so good. I'm glad you're mofo-ing cause your blog is one of my faves!

  6. The thing about rice flour is so good to know! The only time I attempted to make dosa was by the soaking-grinding-fermenting method, and besides being a lot of work, I must have done something wrong, 'cause my dosa batter wouldn't spread well and stuck to the skillet like nobody's business. Your recipe looks like so much more fun.

  7. kittee, I used to make a version of these (inspired by a Laurel's Kitchen recipe) for my kids for breakfast many years ago. 30 years ago or more (daughter #1 just turned 42!). It was a favorite breakfast and, you're right, pretty darn easy. I still love them. Thanks for the memories...

  8. Uttapam and Dosa's are the BEST!
    Indian cooking ROCKS!
    Yours look sooooo good.

  9. and you say you deprive Dazee? I beg to differ! ♥

  10. You make it look so damn easy woman! I think I need to take a dive into it and get cookin'

  11. oh kittee! you are the best! i am so getting an uttapam and a mulligatawny soup todday!

  12. Mmm dosas.

    Re: pumpkin cookies, you know, I have no idea how many the recipe makes. I've been baking 3 or 4 at a time so that they're fresh, but the original recipe says it makes 4 dozen. So yes, a ton of delicious cookies!

  13. I love anything masala especially with potato:-) Looks yummy.
    X M

  14. Those look fantastic. Your food pictures are the best.

    Also, I love when people call it "the splits."

  15. DAMN! I love Dosa so so so much, I want to make some. I think I'm too lazy when I can get killer good dosa here for cheap!

  16. I love dosas and utthapams but my attempts at making them have been dismal. I can't get the batter thin enough before it sticks. I gave up trying when a tamil restaurant opened near to us but I'm going to give them another try now!

  17. kittee! this post made me crazy hungry. i really had no idea that uttapam and dosa was really the same thing, just thicker. that is going to blow my mind for a while. it really tastes so different -- maybe cause most of the uttapam i have had featured lots of other veggies and stuff cooked into it and on top, like "pizza"? dunno. blowing my mind!


  18. how to make potato masala without oil, kittee? could i just use a little water instead?

  19. I love love love these, and need to get my ass in gear and make them.

  20. I can verify that this was DELICIOUS!!!

  21. dearest kittee,

    i apologize for not reading your blog more. the masala dosa has showed me the error of my ways, and i'm following you now.




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