Masala Dosa Take I


Just like the gluten-free samosa, I’m struggling with making dosa.

It’s hard to accept that I learned how to make both of these dishes in India, but can’t seem to replicate the process in my own kitchen no matter how hard I try.

First error in all this dosa making attempting was trying to make my own lentil flour. Sure, it’s good in theory… if you soak them and have a proper grinder.

Not so good when you’re relying on your coffee grinder to do the job.

Second error was thinking green lentils would yield a white (classic) dosa. Seriously? Where was my head at when I made this assumption?

Third error (that I keep reliving over, and over, and over again…) making the potato mixture before I try out the dough.

One more lunch of unused masala potatoes and samosa filling and I think I’ll turn into a potato.

That’s not a bad thing though… right?

This is how the dough should look,

how it should be spread across the pan,

how it’s rolled,


and consumed…

Maybe if I just look at these pictures over and over it’ll give me the power I need to get ‘er done?

Is there a recipe or task in your life currently that you can’t seem to master?

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  1. Okay I’m sold. Gathering up all the ingredients this week and thanks for all these helpful hints. My kitchen is so tiny I have no room for error (though I keep making them!). :)

  2. The effort must be appreciated! I prepare a variety of dosas. Will share a few easy recipes with you. :-)
    I’m glad that I stumbled up on your website; it’s beautiful.

    • Thank you, Asha! I honestly haven’t tried since. I leave it up to the pros and just go out to a restaurant to have one when the craving strikes!

  3. Hi Leanne… you have a gorgeous blog… After reading this article, I had to comment… The pan for making the dosa should be well-seasoned (rubbing the surface of the pan with a greased onion half before making each dosa helps)… but to make things easier, start off with a non-stick pan… get a hang of the dosa batter spreading and the speed needed to do it… if the temp is too high, the dosa batter will not spread and hence a splash of a tbsp of water into the pan before pouring the batter will help to bring down the temp. And then you need to work quickly to pour the batter and then spread it (make sure you hear a slight sizzle when u spread the batter, if not, then u poured too much water)

    • Greased onion, I love that idea! We used half a coconut in India, but onion sounds a lot less extravagant for Canada. Thanks for the tips on the water, I think the pan being too hot has been another one of my issues. Thanks again, Sarah :)

      • Hi Leanne,
        Sarah said it very well.The pictures you had put out on tells me clearly that that dose has rice in it– regular long grain rice( basmati is fine too—but long grain rice is best) . Also the ratio of lentil to rice is
        1 cup lentils to 4 cups rice and add abt 3/4 of a tsp .of Fenugreek seeds which helps with the texture and taste of dosa. soak them all together over nite. Drain the mixture but save the water to help with the grinding/blending process. I use my faithful vitamix blender for this. blend to a very smooth paste. satin smooth. it is done when you drop a little bit of the batter in a bowl of water and it floats to the top immediately. transfer the batter to a large bowl so that it can rise without spilling over with a cookie sheet under it for good measure and out it into an oven with the pilot light on over nite. Once it rises even a little bit, its done and then you should add salt to taste and mix really well and store in refrigerator if not using right away. When u are ready to make doses, take the batter out and let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you start making them. I get a cast iron well greased pan really hot until there is a very slight sizzle and you start seeing a tiny wisp of smoke. then take a ladle flu or two put it on pan and gently but swiftly start rotating your arm until the pancake is spread into a circle. I then drop a few drops of grape seed oil around it( or use nonstick pan—u won’t need the oil) and cover it for a minute or so. Then I use a spatula to lift and fold or roll it up or even flip it to the other side. I generally use Mung Beans–( dried) it is called Mung Dal in Indian Grocery stores only these days to avoid the rice. You can add cooked quinoa, finely chopped onions and green chillies, spinach or cilantro, ginger to the batter
        and make little pancakes with them. you can add 1 to 2 tbsps semolina flour to make them crispier.
        I usually have them with my very own gunpowder mix with some evoo!! ( a blended powder of red chillies, red and bengal gram lentils, curry leaves, sugar, salt, asafoetida and sesame seeds). Hope this helps.

  4. Leanne,
    did you get the dosa making figured out? It takes a lot of trial and error. I’d be happy to help… I think I see one or two smallish mistakes which I used to make which make a huge difference in the results. A properly seasoned pan, + timing and temperature make significant differences!