Dosa is a fermented rice crepe that originates from Southern India, specifically Udupi, which is present-day Karnataka. There are so many variations of it, some are savory, some are sweet. This versatile dish can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s a gluten-free, vegan, hearty meal, that is packed with nutrients.
This particular recipe may take a little longer to make than my usual meals, but it is so worth it! Normally, it is accompanied with a watery tomato curry (sambar) but for this recipe, I’ve made a soft coconut flavoured dosa, with a delicious cinnamon masala potato mix. The ingredients are simple, it’s the technique that may get you. The end result is worth the challenge.
Here are some tips to help you perfect this:
Firstly, I use basmati rice from Daawat. It is a little more expensive, but I love the quality. It is extremely soft, and tasty. If you cook rice often, you would know that there are some basmati rice brands out there that don’t separate the rice (as it should when making basmati) and create that beautiful fluff when cooked. This is the brand that does.
Secondly, the coconut meat is from fresh Thai coconuts. It’s larger, and contains more meat. I can create a good 1 cup of coconut yoghurt mixture from this.
Lastly, the potatoes you use for this recipe makes a difference. The larger potatoes are less sweeter than the smaller, baby potatoes. If you choose to use baby potatoes, use about 3-4 of them. If you use the larger potatoes, use only 2 of them. The taste will differ, but you can adjust it at the end by adding a little more salt, chilli powder or amchur (mango powder).
Additionally, there are three very important points to note before making this dish:
- The way you cut your potatoes matter. Be sure it is the same size as dice.
- The consistency of the batter matters. A thick batter will leave you with a more fluffy, pancake-like dosa, a thinner batter will leave you with a softer, breakable dosa. You need a good balance. The best way to test your batter is to cook a small amount, and check it. Use my IG story highlights to help you.
- The texture of your tomatoes when cooking the masala matters. Your tomatoes need to be soft, and blended into the masala before you add your potatoes. This makes a world of a difference for flavour.
Neer Dosa (water & coconut crepe) with Cinnamon Spiced Potatoes and Mint Coriander Chutney
- Frying pan
- Chopping Board
- Sharp knife
- 4 medium bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
Neer Dosa Batter (water & coconut crepe)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 large coconut
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 tsp salt
Cinnamon Spiced Potatoes
- 2 large potatoes diced (literally the size of dice)
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1/4 large white onion chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 1 large Indian chilli (green) minced
- 2 small barks of cinnamon if you're using the large sticks, unravel the stick and use 1 finger-sized side
- 7 small curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp mango powder (amchur)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsps A2 organic ghee
Mint Coriander Chutney
- 200 grams coriander leaves You can use half the stem but be sure to fully remove the root
- 1 handful mint leaves only the leaves
- 2 tbsps coconut yoghurt mixture (see instructions below)
- 1/2 green chilli minced
- 1/2 tsp amchur (mango powder)
- 1/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp tamarind (optional)
Neer Dosa (water & coconut crepe)
- Wash and thoroughly rinse the basmati rice using a bowl.
- Drain all the filtered/tap water from the rice, and then add the 1 cup of hot water. Let the rice soak in the hot water for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
- Scoop out the coconut meat from the coconut, wash and rinse it. It needs to be blended but I suggest start off blending this with 1/4 of hot water, and keep checking the consistency. You may not need the full 3/4 of water. Blend until it becomes a smooth yoghurt-like mixture. You should have about 1 full cup of the mixture. Set this aside. We wont come back to this until step 5.
- Go back to the rice and water mixture, and blend it together. You may still have an inconsistent batter, with the rice particles still separated from the water. Thats ok. Pour this mixture into a bowl, add the 1 tsp of salt and mix it in. Let this mixture ferment as you get started on the potatoes. Be sure to cover the rice mixture bowl with a plate and set this aside. We will get back to this later.
- Once we finish making the potatoes, the batter will be a little thicker, and easier to blend. Blend this batter together using ONLY 2 tbsps of the coconut yoghurt mixture. If the end result is a little thick in consistency, add 1 tbsp of NORMAL temperature water and mix. You want the end result to be a smooth, a little more watery than a crepe/pancake like batter. You will get a beautiful consistent batter after this, ready to cook into a soft water dosa. Watch my IG highlights for reference if you are still unsure.
Cinnamon Spiced Potatoes
- In a heated frying pan (medium to high heat) add 1 tbsp of ghee.
- Add the onions and stir until it becomes translucent. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the chilli, garlic, and the ginger and stir it in until fragrant.
- Turn the heat up to medium to high. Add the bay leaf, curry leaves, cinnamon, and mustard leaves. Stir this in for 3 minutes until the spices start to release their fragrance and flavour.
- Add the all the spices EXCEPT the amchur (mango powder), salt and pepper. Keep stirring for 1 minute.
- Turn the heat to low. Add the tomatoes. Stir it in and let it simmer for 5 minutes. No cover needed.
- The tomatoes need to be mashable in order to go to the next step. If the tomatoes are hard, and you can't press it down (mash it up) with the back of your wooden spoon, keep stirring and cooking it through.
- Stir in the mashed tomatoes with the spices thoroughly, to make a consistent masala mix.
- Add the potatoes, and mix together until everything is integrated.
- Add the 1 cup of hot water, mix and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until you potatoes become soft.
- If you have not blended your fermented rice batter with the coconut mixture yet, this is the time to do that. You can also get started on the mint coriander chutney also.
- After the potatoes are soft, and mashable, add the amchur, salt and pepper. Give it a taste, and adjust according to your salt/spice preference. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and set aside.
Getting started on the chutney
- Blend all the ingredients together
Making the neer dosa (crepe)
- Heat the tava over high heat. To check if it is hot enough, add a tsp of water and if it fizzles right away, you're ready
- Add two ice-cream scoop size amounts of batter to the centre of the pan (if you have a serving spoon that is about 2 ice-cream size scoops, that would be better to use) and quickly turn the pan in a circular motion using your wrist. This should evenly spread the batter around the pan, without you having to use any tools. The bubbles from the batter should be visible right away, and it should cook within 3 minutes. Watch my IG highlights if you are unsure.
- You will start to see the edges of the dosa lift off the pan after 3 minutes. Thats when you can check for the beautiful golden brown hue on the other side.
- Fold the dosa in half, and plate it. The batter should make about 4 medium sized dosas. You can add a drizzle of ghee for extra flavour if you wish, before folding the dosa.
- You can fold the dosa into half or quarters. Place the potatoes on one side and the chutney on the corner of the plate. Garnish with coriander or extra toasted mustard seeds. Eat hot!!