Thursday 26 January 2012

Classic South Indian Breakfast ~ Dosa, Sambar & Chutney / Fermented Rice and Lentil Crepes with side dishes

It’s been unusually cold here for the past one week and the temperature had dropped down to -1C for a couple of days and I was simply sitting without doing much:).... I had planned to post this a couple of days ago when my blog turned 4 years but was too lazy to type all the recipes :D.... Let me take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my dear readers and friends who have visited this humble place of mine and for giving me all the support & encouragement to carry on.... During these 4 years I have gained a lot of friends with whom Ihave become very close though I have never met them in person.... A lot of you come back to me after trying a recipe from my blog and I am extremely glad when I hear you and your family liked those dishes.... Hope I will be able to keep up to your expectations and continue to post many good recipes in future..... Instead of posting a sweet dish to celebrate as usual, I thought of posting the Classic South Indian breakfast Dosa & Sambar for a change.... I know all of my Indian readers know how to make dosa and sambar..... but this is for those who don’t.....Long ago I had promised my brother that I will post sambar and chutney recipe on my blog but that never happened and now according to him he makes the perfect sambar ;).... Also a lot of newly married girls have asked me to post recipes like this..... So this post is for those readers of mine who are rookies in the kitchen and for my Non- Indian readers :)

Dosa is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice and lentil batter. It is a staple dish in South Indian Cuisine, eaten for breakfast or dinner. There are many types ranging from plain to Stuffed Dosas with vegetarian or non vegetarian filling and are usually served with side dishes like Sambar or a selection of chutneys like Coconut Chutney, Green Chutney, Onion Chutney, Milagai Podi (Spiced powders mixed with oil) and pickles etc.

How to make Dosa Batter

Raw Rice / Ponni Rice/ Pachari -2 cup
Par Boiled Rice / Puzhukkal Ari – ½ cup (Can replace with ½ cup cooked rice)
Black gram /Uzhunnu/ Urad Dal - 3/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds /Uluva - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
  • Wash and soak both rice, urad dal and fenugreek together for least 8 hours or overnight in water.
  • In a grinder or blender grind soaked mixture with water and enough salt until it become a fine paste. (If you are not using Parboiled rice add ½ cup of cooked rice while grinding).
  • The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon dipped in it.
  • Pour the batter in to a large container cover and keep it aside in a warm place for 8-10 hrs or overnight for fermentation or until the batter becomes double in size.
  • Batter is ready to make variety of dosas.
  • Fermented batter can be kept in fridge and used for 5-6 days.

Hat Dosa / Toppi Dosa

This plain dosa in the shape of a hat is a favorites among kids and my little one always loves his dosa in the shape of a hat!
  • Heat a large flat non stick pan or dosa kallu.  
  • When hot enough grease with little ghee / butter and pour a ladle full of batter in the center. 
  • Spread the batter in circles starting in the center and going towards the edge spreading evenly to make thin round.
  •  Pour a tsp of ghee/ butter over it, when it turns golden brown make a cut from outer edge to centre and fold it in to a corn / hat shape.
  • Serve hot with Sambar or Coconut Chutney.

Masala Dosa
Masala Dosa  is a favorite amongst adults.... It’s my favorite too.... Masala filling can be make ahead of time.... addition of carrot is optional.... it can be added either boiled and mashed along with potatoes or grated.....I usually add grated carrot.....

How to make Masala Filling:
Potatoes-2 medium
Grated Carrot -1 small (optional)
Onion -1 big, thinly sliced
Ginger- 2 tsp, chopped
Garlic – 2 tsp, chopped
Green Chilly -5, chopped
Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp (optional)
Curry Leaves - Few
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Salt to taste
Lime Juice – ½ - 1 tsp
Oil -1 tbsp

  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds and fry for a minute.
  • Add chopped ginger, garlic, sliced onion, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté till the onions turn light golden brown.
  • A
    dd turmeric powder, chilly powder and garam masala powder and mix it well.
  • Add the mashed potatoes, salt and 1/4 a cup of water.
  • When the mixture boils, lower the flame and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring in between.
  • Finally add lime juice and coriander leaves, mix well and turn off the heat.  Masala Filling is ready.

How to make Masala Dosa
  • Heat a large flat non stick pan or dosa kallu.  
  • When hot enough grease with little ghee and pour a ladle full of batter in the center. 
  • Spread the batter in circles starting in the center and going towards the edge spreading evenly to make thin round. 
  • Pour a tsp of ghee over it, when it turns golden brown, spread 2-3 tbsp of the prepared masala on one side of the dosa and fold the dosa over and serve hot with Sambar or Coconut Chutney.

Every household in South India have their own unique recipe for Sambar....  This is how I make sambar and I usually use only carrot and potato in it as these veggies will be available with me all the time....I only make sambar with all the other Indian vegetables when I buy veggies to make Avial..... I use Sambar powder if I have homemade powder from back home or I use Sambar powder marketed by Eastern.... Amount of powder used depends upon the quality of sambar powder you use....

Thuvara Parippu / Toor dal  - ½ cup
Carrot – 1
Potato – 1
(Can also add a combination of vegetables like  ½ brinjal, ½ drumstick, 3 Beans, ½ raw banana, 1 piece Snake gourd, a small piece of elephant yam (chena) )
Chumannulli / Small onion / -25 nos or 1 big onion sliced
Pachamulaku / Green Chilly – 2
Tomato – 1 medium
Sambar powder – 4 tbsp 
Fenugreek powder / Ulluva podi – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida / Kaayam– a small pinch
Tamarind – size of a lime, soaked in ½ cup warm water
For Seasoning:
Mustard seeds / Kaduku -1/2 tsp
Dry Red chilly – 2
Small Onion/ Chumannulli – 5 sliced rounds
Curry Leaves- few
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp

  • Wash and dice vegetables.
  • In a pressure cooker add cleaned dal, diced vegetables, sliced onion, green chillies, 1 tbsp sambar powder, 1tbsp oil and 4 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook everything for one whistle and turn off the heat; keep aside.
  • When the pressure drops down open the lid and simmer the mixture in medium heat.
  • Mean while heat a pan with 2 tbsp coconut oil, add mustard seeds and when the mustard seeds splutter add sliced small onion rounds and  fry until golden brown. 
  • In to this add dry red chillies, curry leaves and fry.
  • Lower the heat and add remaining sambar powder, fenugreek powder, asafetida and fry on low heat. When done add tamarind extract along with little water and bring to a boil and add this paste to the simmering pressure cooked vegetable - dal mixture. 
  • Let the sambar boil in medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add coriander leaves and turn off the heat.

Thenga Chammanthi / Coconut Chutney

This thin chutney can be made either with green chillies, dry red chillies or with birds eye chillies / kanthari.

Grind together:
Thenga peera / Grated coconut – 1 ½ cups
Green chillies – 6-8 or according to your spice level  (can substitute with Dry Rred Chillies or with Kanthari mulaku / bird's eye chilli / Thai pepper)
Small onion / Chumannulli -10
Ginger- 1 “piece
For Seasoning:
Small onion -5 sliced
Dry Red Chillies- 2
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – Few
Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Grind coconut, chillies, small onion and ginger to a corse paste adding little water.
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. 
  • Add small onion and stir fry until brown. Add red chillies curry leaves and fry for a minute. 
  • Lower the heat and add ground coconut mixture and salt. 
  • Stir and heat the mixture until heated nicely. Never let the chutney to boil. 
  • Turn off the heat and serve with Dosa or Idli. 


Did You Enjoy this Recipe?

Enter your email ID below to get

more such recipes in your inbox

Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Oh wow, your dosa looks sooo perfect! Esp love the one in first picture, beautiful golden-brown. I've tried it only once in life & it came out horrible. Yet to give it a shot again.
    And so many recipes within one post, great. This is the page for 'almost' a South Indian Thali :D

  2. This is an amazing collection of photos and recipes--I really want one of those dosas and a crepe as well!

  3. Nice post. Love the clicks of dosa and sambhar. Following you

  4. awesome post and loved all the chutneys n sambar n all...


  5. Great combo..dosa looks so crispy..lovely clicks!

  6. Loved the first pic !! looks yummy !!

    Ongoing Event - CC-Chocolate Fest

  7. nice spread....crispy dosa and yummy chutney n sambar...super combo!!lovely click!

  8. Yum, I love dosas but have only ever had them at restaurants. This looks so delicious...I may have to try my hand at making some at home! :)

  9. I've always found the idea of dosas a little daunting but going to give them a try after reading your post. Lovely pics.

  10. Wow, what a beautiful plate! New follower here :)

  11. I really have to give masala dosa (and all the trimmings) a whirl - it's been on my must-make list forever!

  12. That is such a wonderful looking meal. I am excited to have found your blog!

  13. OMG your dosa looks absolutely stunning Sawpna, i wouldn't dare to eat them :D

  14. Great combination.I like to mix chutney and sambar together and eat
    Dosai best combination is sambar and chutney yummy
    thank u

    Free ads. Buy it, sell it, rent it...


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog:) Your feedback is feel free to post your comments and questions. Hope to see you soon!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...