I ain't gonna sugar coat it - making dosa batter from scratch is a labour of love. It took me a couple of goes to get this right but boy is it worth it! It requires an hour and a half to grind (or less if using a conventional blender) and then fermentation overnight. If you don't have the time for this, you can find pre-made dosa batter mixes in Indian stores (super convenient when you have real cravings - I bought some yesterday and whipped up a coconut coriander chutney in less than 10 mins!)
Fermentation (leaving the batter overnight) is tricker in the cooler months - be sure to wrap in a towel or cloth or place in 'keep warm' in the over to help the process.
Now we are heading into the warmer months, I hope to be able to make dosas more often. I've watched my mum and mother-in-law make these with their eyes practically closed so am sure that after a few more practice rounds it will be a swifter process for me :)
You can make this tasty masala filling using sweet potatoes (easier on the gut) or potatoes. The filling is seriously tasty! My mum has made this masala dosa for each of mine and my sisters closest friends - it's such a crowd pleaser! My hopes are to continue this tradition as I've seen how much joy it brings to everyone who's experienced it.
Sweet potato masala:
Soak all the ingredients for 6 hours then grind using a stone grinder (otherwise you can use a blender but the texture won't be the same).
Start the grinder, while the stone is rotating, add half cup of water. Add fenugreek gradually and once added you can add a few more spoons of water.
Leave it for 10 min to grind.
Add urid daal slowly, and while adding add another cup of water slowly and gradually.
Leave it for 1 hr and add another half cup water if it is too thick but gradually.
Use the water from soaked millet/rice and soaked fenugreek for grinding.
Add millet/rice and poha slowly and grind everything together for 20 min.
Transfer the batter into a big container (make sure the batter is less than 3/4th of the container as you need to leave some space for it to ferment and come up)
Leave batter to ferment overnight (in winter keep it wrapped in a cloth and tight lid as it takes longer to ferment)
Once it's risen, heat a flat pan add a scope of the mixture and use the back of the ladle to swirl the batter in round circular motions (message me for a video of my mum showing me how to do this!)
Add some ghee and a scope of the sweet potato masala mixture in the middle. Close the dosa by bending over the flaps and serve with some fresh coconut coriander chutney (see recipe on blog).
Sweet potato masala:
Cook potatoes, remove the skin, mash and keep aside.
Heat oil, add mustard, once it splutters, add 1 teaspoon each of channa dahl and urid dahl
Once they turn brown, add a couple of green chillies, turmeric, mix and then add onion along with the curry leaves
Fry them together until onion is cooked and turns transparent
Then add lemon juice, salt - mix
Then add mashed potatoes, mix them and leave for couple of min in a simmered flame
Switch off and garnish with coriander leaves