|Place of origin||India|
|Main ingredients||Rice and black gram|
|Variations||Masala dosa, rava dosa, ghee roast dosa, neer dosa and many more|
Dosa is a type of pancake originating from the Indian subcontinent, made from a fermented batter. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance. Its main ingredients are rice and black gram. Dosa is a typical part of the Southern Indian and Sri Lankan diets but is now popular all over the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, dosa is served hot along with sambar, a stuffing of potatoes, and chutney. It can be consumed with idli podi as well.
Dosa is indigenous to South India; its 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 1000 AD, as per references in the Sangam literature.
In popular tradition, the origin of 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.
Dosa is 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. 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 evenly 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:
- Chutney: examples include coconut chutney (a semi-solid paste made up of coconut, dal (lentils), green chilli and mint or coriander)
- There are varieties of chutney served along with Dosa
- Idli podi or milagaipodi (in Tamil): a powder of chilli with spices and sometimes desiccated coconut, mixed with sesame oil or groundnut oil or ghee
- Indian pickles
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.
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.|
|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|
|Neer dosa||watery rice batter|
|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.|
The masala dosa is made by stuffing a dosa with a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices. The dosa is wrapped around an onion and potato curry or masala. Masala dosa was listed as number 49 in "World's 50 most delicious foods", compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
- Uttapam: a dosa-like dish made from the same batter. Unlike a dosa, which is crisp and unlike relatively soft crepes, it is a thick pancake mostly topped with diced onions, tomatoes, cilantro or cheese. Uttapam is sometimes characterized as an Indian pizza.
- Pesarattu: in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, a dosa-like preparation prepared from green gram, which is typically served with a ginger and tamarind chutney
- Adai: a dosa-like dish prepared from a combination of toor dal, rice, curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida. The batter is not fermented. Usually eaten with jaggery or aviyal.
- Appam/aappam/hopper: a pancake prepared from a combination of patted rice batter. The center is thicker and the outer rim is very thin. Served with sweet coconut milk.
- Chakuli pitha: batter contains more black gram and less rice flour
- Apam balik: made from a mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda, coconut milk and water.
- Jianbing: dosa-like dish made in China
- Charmaine O' Brien (15 December 2013). The Penguin Food Guide to India. Penguin Books Limited. p. 378. ISBN 978-93-5118-575-8.
- P. Thankappan Nair (2004). South Indians in Kolkata. Punthi Pustak. p. 320. ISBN 81-86791-50-7.
- K. T. Achaya. The Story of Our Food. Universities Press. p. 80. ISBN 81-7371-293-X.
- Vir Sanghvi (1 January 2004). Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghvi. Penguin Books India. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-0-14-303139-0.
- K.T. Achaya (2003). The Story of Our Food. Universities Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-81-7371-293-7.
- [Bride at Ten, Mother at Fifteen: Autobiography of an Unknown Indian Woman, Sethu Ramaswamy, Namita Gokhale Editions, 2003, ..in 1942 and stayed in the Madras Hotel in Connaught Place]
- Much Ado Over Coffee: Indian Coffee House Then And Now, Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Routledge, 2017
- 8 oldest Udupi restaurants in Mumbai
- Srilakshmi, B. (2006) . Nutrition Science (Revised 2nd ed.). New Age International (formerly Wiley Eastern Ltd.). p. 403. ISBN 978-81-224-1633-6. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- Nutrition and Dietetics - Higher Secondary - First Year (PDF). Directorate of School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu. 2004. p. 31. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
- refer the link http://www.chitrasfoodbook.com/2014/10/35-chutney-recipes-sidedish-for-idli.html
- A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE GREAT WIDE WORLD OF INDIAN DOSA, PRIYA KRISHNA AND SHAILENDRA KRISHNA, OCTOBER 6, 2016
- A Dosa Lesson From a Professional - A Good Appetite, MELISSA CLARK, New York Times, OCT. 6, 2017
- "Recipe: Mini soya dosa". The Times of India.
- "Mini Soya Dosa". food.ndtv.com.
- "Healthy snack recipe: Green Dosa". The Times of India.
- "Pesarattu (Green Gram Dosa)". food.ndtv.com.
- "Recipe: Light white dosa". The Times of India.
- "The karam dosas from kadapa". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
- "Mysore Masala Dosa". food.ndtv.com.
- "Onion Rava Dosa". food.ndtv.com.
- "Ragi Wheat Dosa". food.ndtv.com.
- CNN Go World's 50 most delicious foods 21 July 2011.