Neighborhood Kitchens

Dosa Temple's Masala Dosa

A dosa is South Indian, fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils. Masala Dosa, specifically, is when you stuff it with a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices.


1-1/2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup urad dal (polished black lentil or white lentil)
3 quarts water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 – 2 green chilies, chopped
1 Tbs. ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter
1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. chana dal (split black chickpeas)
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 large potatoes, boiled
8 oz. coconut, cilantro and tomato chutney (optional)
16 oz. sambar (vegetable lentil stew, optional)


Prepare Dosa Batter
Soak rice and urad dal in separate bowls for 4-6 hours. Strain.

Process rice and urad dal mixture in commercial grinder or food processor. While grinding, add water a cup at a time until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter.

Salt to taste.

Cover mixture and let sit overnight. Do not refrigerate; it needs to ferment.

Prepare Masala Dosa Filling
Add oil or ghee to a skillet.

Add mustard seeds and chana dal.

Shake mixture over the flame until golden brown.

Add curry leaves (whole leaf), green chiles, and onions.

Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt (for taste). Stir.

Break up boiled potato into small chunks and add them to your mixture. Add water and stir.

Prepare Masala Dosa
Pour refrigerated dosa mixture into a small bowl with a flat bottom.

Pour batter into a greased skillet.

Immediately, starting from the center, begin forming a circular shape with the batter using the flat-bottomed dish.

Brush on ghee (or regular butter) to frying dosa.

Place filling near the center of the dosa.

Lightly lift the edges of the dosa.

Begin rolling from the edge of the dosa as you would a wrap.

Remove dosa from hot top or skillet.

Masala Dosa is typically served with coconut, cilantro and tomato chutney as well as sambar (vegetable lentil stew)

Serves: 4 to 6

Siva Kumar

Siva Kumar is the Chef at Dosa Temple, a South Indian restaurant in Somerville's Union Square. He shared this recipe with us when he was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.


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Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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