World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0002420631
Reproduction Date:

Title: Thosai  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Malaysian cuisine, Mamak stall
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


This article is about a type of food. For the notion of "doṣa" (bodily humor) in Newari medicine, see dosha.

Dosa (Kannada: ದೋಸೆ, Tamil: தோசை,Telugu: దోసె,Malayalam: ദോശ), also called Chatamari in Newari, is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. This staple dish is widely popular in all southern Indian states Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as well as being popular in other countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.[1]


The origins of Dosa have been widely discussed in literature and books. A few of them are listed below:

  • "The Story of our Food", a book written by K. T. Achaya, an eminent Indian food scientist and food historian, states that foods like Appam, Idiyappam, Dosai and Adai were already known in ancient Tamil country around 1st century AD, as per references in Tamil Sangam literature[2]
  • The English food writer Pat Chapman and Lisa Rayner, as well as Indian writer Thangappan Nair, state in their works that dosa originated in Udupi, Karnataka.[3][4][5][6]

Orthography and transliteration

There are various ways of transliterating dosa: dosé, dosai, dhosa, dosey, dosay, doza, dozé, dozai, dhoza, dozey, dozay, thosa, thosé, thosai, thhosa, thosey, thosay, thoza, thozé, thozai, thhoza, thozey, thozay, and chatamari.


Dosa, a common breakfast dish[7] and street food,[8] is rich in carbohydrates, and contains no sugar or saturated fats. As its constituent ingredients are rice and lentils, it is gluten-free and contains protein.[7][9] The fermentation process increases the vitamin B and vitamin C content.[10][11] There are also instant mix products for making dosa, with somewhat lower nutritional benefits.[12]

Basic preparation

File:Dosa preparation.ogg A mixture of rice and urad dal that has been soaked in water is ground finely to form a batter. The proportion of rice to lentils is basically 4:1 or 5:1. The batter is allowed to sit overnight and ferment. Sometimes a few fenugreek seeds are added to the rice-dal mixture. The rice can be uncooked or parboiled. The mixture of urad dal (black lentils) and rice can be replaced with highly refined wheat flour to make a maida dosa, or semolina for a rava dosa.

A thin layer of 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. A dosa is served hot, either folded in half or rolled like a wrap.

Serving methods

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:

  • Sambar
  • Wet chutney: examples include coconut chutney (a semisolid paste made up of coconut, dal (lentils), green chilli and mint or coriander)
  • Dry chutney: a powder of spices and desiccated coconut
  • Indian pickles
  • Milagai podi: fried dry chillies, dal, asafoetida, i.e., hing, salt; all the ingredients are put together and ground coarsely.
  • Curd: (meaning yogurt in Indian English) with chilli powder topping
  • Sugar: Children are often given dosa with sugar instead of curries, which may be too spicy for them.
  • Muddha pappu: with large amount of ghee, this is the traditional way of eating dosa in many parts of Andhra Pradesh.


Though dosa typically refers to the version made with rice and lentils, many other versions exist, often specific to an Indian region. Some variations include egg dosa, which is spread with an omelette, and cheese dosa, which is stuffed with cheese.

  • Quinoa dosa: a dosa made with quinoa
  • Moong dal dosa
  • Chilli dosa: spread with chilli powder
  • The Davanagere Benne Dosa (Kannada: ದಾವಣಗೆರೆ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ದೋಸೆ) or Butter Dosa is a dish originated in Karnataka. It is widely prepared across South India and became very popular in countries like Singapore and United States of America. It has also found its distinct place in the cuisine of the Indian diaspora abroad. There are many restaurants in Singapore and USA that serve this specialty dish of Davangere.[13][14][15] Today, Benne Dose is almost synonymous with the city of Davangere. Butter is used instead of oil when frying, and a small amount is placed on top of it while serving.
  • Open dosa: chutney powder is spread on it while cooking, before serving, spiced and mashed potato is placed on top
  • Onion dosa: spread with chopped and sautéed onions
  • Ghee (thuppa/nei) dosa: ghee is used instead of oil while frying.
  • Roast: the dosa is spread thinly and fried until crisp.
  • Kerala dosa: a different kind of traditional dosa, it is small, thick, soft and spongy. It is more like a pancake and somewhat similar to appam, but dal is used in the batter for appam, and the appam is not flat.
  • Family roast: a long dosa which can be spread over two or three feet
  • Paper dosa: a long and very thin, delicate dosa which can be spread over two feet
  • Green dosa: stuffed with fresh vegetables and mint chutney
  • Thalir dosa:made of Maida and is very soft and delicate,eaten with sugar.
  • Chow-chow dosa: stuffed with (Indian flavored) Chinese noodles
  • Masala dosa: stuffed with spiced potatoes, invented by Udupi hotels
  • Methi dosa: flavoured with fenugreek
  • Cone dosa: shaped like a cone
  • Rava dosa: made with rava (semolina), it does not need fermentation and is usually considered a snack or fast food.
  • Wheat dosa: made with wheat flour, and served with coconut chutney
  • Vella dosa: made of jaggery with ghee or nei
  • Ragi Dosa: made of ragi or millet flour
  • Muttai dosa: eggs are added to the regular batter; the word muttai in Tamil means "egg".
  • Uththapam: thick round dosa in South India
  • Set dose: a popular type of dosa in Karnataka, it is cooked only on one side and served in a set of two to three, hence the name.
  • Cabbage dosa: made of cabbage, a paste is prepared with rice, red chillies, asafoetida and turmeric. Once the batter is ready, cabbage cut into small pieces is added to the paste and left for about 30 mins. Once this is done, the batter is poured and the dosa is made crisp
  • Neer dosa (Kannada: ನೀರ್ ದೋಸೆ): It literally means Water dosa. It is a very famous delicacy from Karnataka. It is part of Udupi cuisine. Rice is soaked in water for 3 to 4 hours. It is then ground to make a runny rice batter. Most types of dosa require the batter to be fermented for a few hours or even a day. However, fermentation can be skipped while preparing a neer dosa. Salt is added. A thin layer of batter is poured onto a heated flat griddle (tawa) greased with oil. The batter is spread with the base of a ladle or bowl to form a pancake. It is flipped to heat both crusts and removed from the griddle when the crust becomes dry. It is served hot.[16][17][18][19]
  • 70 MM dosa: similar to masala dosa, it is larger, about 60 cm in diameter
  • American chop suey dosa: served with a filling of fried noodles and tomato ketchup
  • Uppu Huli Dose (Kannada: ಉಪ್ಪು ಹುಳಿ ದೋಸೆ): This is originated in Karnataka and is a very popular break fast dish in Mangalore and Udupi of Karnataka. It is made by adding Uppu (salt in Kannada) and Huli (the taste of tamarind in Kannada) to the batter. It requires no accompaniment of Chutney or Sambar.[20][21][22][23][24]

Masala dosa

A 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 sabji and is originally invented by Udupi Hotels (Diana Hotel),[25] It is listed as number 49 on World's 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN Go in 2011.[26] It is also cited as top ten tasty foods of the world (2012).

Before it was invented, plain dosa was served with potato curry (liquified mashed potato) without onions in a separate cup. During a shortage of potatoes, a method was created in which potato was mashed and sautéed with onions with other spices. This was then placed inside the dosa instead of in a separate cup to hide the onions, which are not eaten by orthodox Hindus and Jains. This came to be known as masala dosa, from the sautéeing of spices (masala) during the preparation of the potato palya.

Some variants are:

  • Mysore masala dosa (Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು ಮಸಾಲೆ ದೋಸೆ ): masala dosa with coconut and onion chutneys spread inside along with the potato stuffing
  • Vegetable masala dosa: instead of potatoes, peas and other vegetables are mashed to make the stuffing
  • Rava masala dosa: rava (semolina), especially the Bombay rava, is used instead of rice
  • Chinese masala dosa: noodles and other Chinese ingredients like schezwan sauce are added
  • Paneer chilli dosa: stuffed with sautéed cottage cheese (paneer) and capsicum
  • Palak Masala dosa: coated with a thin layer of puréed spinach, and filled with the traditional potato/onion mixture
  • Egg Masala dosa: one or two fried eggs served on top
  • Davanagere benne masala dosa (Kannada: ದಾವಣಗೆರೆ ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ಮಸಾಲೆ ದೋಸೆ ): named after Davanagere in Karnataka, this is prepared by adding liberal doses of butter and also a potato filling.
  • Set Masala dosa: or simply set masala contains two smaller masala dosas. Sometimes one of them is filled with vegetable korma/kurma and the other one with the usual potato-onion mix.

In Bangalore, the masala dosa is usually served with a red chutney applied to its inside surface. The red chutney usually has generous amounts of garlic.

Similar foods

  • Pesarattu: a dosa-like preparation prepared from mung bean, which is typically served with a ginger and tamarind chutney in Andhra Pradesh. The variations include:
    • using soaked whole moong seeds (along with green cover), which gives a greenish tint to the pesarattu; and
    • using yellow-coloured moong dal (green cover is removed and the dal is refined), which gives a golden-yellow tint to it when roasted.
  • Adai: a dosa-like dish prepared from a combination of dals, namely urad, channa and moong dal.
  • Appam, aappam or hopper in Sri Lanka — a pancake prepared from a combination of patted rice (avalakki), rice and yoghurt. The primary differences between an appam and a dosa are that an appam is thicker (up to five times as thick as a dosa), can optionally contain curd, the dough differs in the ratio of rice and urud dhal and is more finely ground than dosa batter, the centre is thicker and the outer rim is very thin (whereas a dosa is more or less uniformly thick). Sometimes other ingredients are added to the top of the appam as it is cooked. This gives rise to the Sri Lankan "egg hopper" where an egg is cooked on top of the appam/hopper as it is fried, or the uttapam (see below).
  • Uttapam: a dosa-like dish made by cooking the ingredients in its batter. Unlike a dosa, which is crisp and crepe-like, an uttapam is a thick pancake. Uttapam is sometimes characterized as an Indian pizza.
  • Injera: a pancake-like flatbread made out of teff flour that is traditionally eaten in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia (where it is also called canjeero or laxoox) and Yemen (where it is known as lahoh).
  • Chakuli pitha: similar to utthappam, although it has more black gram and less rice flour. It is found in Oriya cuisine.


See also

Food portal


External links

  • Template:Sister-inline
  • Template:Cookbook-inline

Template:Indian bread


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.