My Mother's Special Dosa With Coconut Sesame Chutney & Spiced Potatoes

My Mother's Special Dosa With Coconut Sesame Chutney & Spiced Potatoes

My mother loves to feed people and I was stunned to see during this visit that almost every visitor, expected or unexpected was welcomed with the same enthusiasm and love that has been the norm since my childhood. I was thrilled to see that despite drastic changes in our society, this aspect had remained the same in my parents home. And I have to tell you that my mother particularly loves to feed dosas to her family and friends. Anybody who has had her dosas loves them. And the latest one to join the coterie is the apple of her eye, her three year old grandson who ate dosa every other day during his holidays at her place. My mother's dosas are a cross between Davangere benne dosa (butter dosas from a a town in the Indian state of karnataka) and the masala dosa. She makes it thin and crisp or soft and fluffy, laden with butter for the added richness or without any fat, filled with chutney and the spiced potatoes on the inside or served on the side as per one's liking. She serves her dosas with a wide array of chutneys and this time it was a simply delicious coconut sesame chutney. Whatever the technique that goes into making the personalized version, the spiced potatoes encased with the crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside dosa interspersed with creamy coconut chutney in every bite is the ultimate delight to my senses. It is also the taste of childhood that I find comfort in and go back to, again and again! At times, I like to eat this dosa without the potatoes, with just the chutney. Some times I might like to add some butter or ghee. But when I want to savour it in complete I make sure there is the potato as well as the chutney. One thing I strongly believe in is in using a cast iron griddle for cooking dosas or for that matter anything that has to be cooked on a griddle or a flat pan (think pancakes, rotis, chapatis, parathas and the like). Infact, there is no room for non stick cookware in my kitchen. Cast iron if seasoned well and used properly becomes naturally non stick and provides taste, texture and has some added health benefits. Dosas have been cooked in South India in cast iron griddles for hundreds of years and dosas cooked in them have a special character to them too. you can make teeny weeny ones and serve them as starters, make them for breakfast, serve them at lunch or dinner with the added accompaniments or even as an evening snack! They are so versatile and are great for kids too. Having some dosa batter in the refrigerator has saved many mothers from the drudgery of slaving in the kitchen for long at times when one is not in a mood for it. Practically, every South Indian mother has her own version of the dosa and I'm glad to be sharing my mother's version here. The dosa with its magical prowess on the taste buds, providing immense taste, texture and contentment has made many drab days better and if it is not already a part, I hope it works its magic into your life too. P.S.- If you want to know more about my cooking and food beliefs, read my interview here.

My Mother's Special Dosa With Coconut Sesame Chutney & Spiced Potatoes Recipe


440 gm (2 cups + 2 tbsp) raw rice (use any short grain rice like sona masuri)

70 gm (1/3 cup) channa dal (bengal gram dal)

70 gm (1/3 cup) yellow moong dal (green gram dal)

70 gm (1/3 cup) toor dal (red gram dal)

140 gm (3/4 cup) urad dal (split and husked black gram dal)

6 tbsp poha or flattened rice flakes

2 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)

3 tsp salt


In a bowl assemble the rice, dals and the fenugreek seeds. In another bowl put in the urad dal. Wash them separately in many changes of water, cover with water and allow to soak for 4 to 6 hours.

Wash the poha and allow to soak in the water for about an hour.

Drain the water from the rice, dals, fenugreek seeds and the poha and using a little water grind the rice, dals, fenugreek seeds and poha together until you get a smooth paste. You might want to do this in batches to make the process easier. Repeat the same for the urad dal. Drain and grind into a smooth paste using a little water.

In a large vessel or a bowl (keep in mind that the dough doubles or even trebles in volume depending on the temperature) put in both the ground batters and salt and mix well with your hands until there are no lumps. Using your hands gives the batter the required warmth for the process of fermentation to begin. Use a little more water if required if the batter is stiff. The batter should look, soft, smooth and somewhat like a cake batter. Cover and keep aside to ferment for about 12 to 15 hours.

Notes:1.Use a cast iron griddle for taste, health and proper texture. The colour of the dosa depends on the variety or quality of the rice and the dals used. We normally use sona masoori rice for making the batter but you can also use any other short grained raw rice.

Coconut Sesame Chutney


100 gm (1 cup) coconut (fresh or frozen)

2 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted

1 tsp tamarind or lime lime juice

3/4 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp salt

water as required


In a blender or a food processor, put in all the ingredients for the chutney and blend into a smooth paste until well blended.

Spiced Potatoes


500 gm (4 to 5 medium sized) potatoes, boiled

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

Juice of half a lime


2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 to 3 green chilies, chopped (or simply slit)

1 sprig curry leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp asafetida


Peel and chop the potatoes into 1"pieces. In a wok, heat the oil over a medium flame and pop in the mustard seeds. When they splatter, add the green chilies, curry leaves, turmeric and asafetida. Put in the potatoes and stir well over a medium flame. Cover and cook for five minutes over low heat, stirring in between. Put in the salt, sugar and lime and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes more and turn off the heat.

To assemble the dosa:

Heat a griddle over a medium flame. Pour a tsp of oil and smear it all over using a cut potato or thick tissue paper. Pour a ladleful (about 1/2 a cup) of the dosa batter in the middle of the griddle or pan and immediately spread the batter into a large circle using a circular motion with your hand. Pour a tsp of oil around the edges and add a few drops on the top of the dosa. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes or until golden brown at the edges. I usually cook on only one side. You can also flip the dosa and cook on the other side for half a minute. Loosen the sides, fold the dosa into a semi circle and serve along side the chutney and the potatoes. You can also sprinkle some dry chutney powder or the prepared chutney over the white side of the dosa after it is cooked, add the potatoes to one side of the dosa, fold into a semi circle and serve. You can store the batter in the refrigerator for upto 3 days.

Makes 20 to 25 dosas

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48 thoughts on “My Mother's Special Dosa With Coconut Sesame Chutney & Spiced Potatoes

  1. Hey Anu,
    Amazing post. Gonna try it today.
    I need a tip . Anything to make the dosa crispier? Like adding a lil bakin soda? My mom usually does that if we ave guests. Do u think it will work.
    Thanks a bunch for ths awesome one ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.s. your mom is very beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I had seen a similar recipe somewhere about an year ago, and I have to agree with you that this makes the BEST dosas, be it the crispy hotel style ones or the soft ones. Aunty is looking lovely in that shot!!!! Will definitely try the coconut-sesame chutney as I've never had it before ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Divya: I never add soda in dosa batter. To make it crispy, I spread the dosa as thinly as I can and use a little extra ghee or oil (preferably ghee for that rich aroma) to make it crisp and brown.

    Ambika: Thanks for the compliments. You will love the sesame coconut chutney for sure!

  4. Now, that's a painstaking recipe to bring together in terms of ratios and
    what a splendid photo feature!! Makes me want to dig into amma's crispy yummy dosas, RIGHT NOW.

  5. Hey Anu,

    The dosas look yummm…to say the least…
    I have tried soo many of ur dishes from the site and have managed to garner compliments from all around…thanx…

    Ironically, South Indian is the only cuisine Ive not tried ever…My Ma-in-law is an expert on that and i can jus sit and gobble…

    Pardon my Curiosity but are you a Mangalorean by any chance? I am married to one and your posts remind me soo much of eveything in my in-laws' home…so the question..:)

    Warm Regards,

  6. Bhavana: Thanks for the compliments! No..I'm not Mangalorean :-)..but my paternal side of the family comes from the Uttara Kannada district and there is a lot of similarity between the dishes cooked in Mangalore and that of the Havyaka cuisine. So, you are right in a way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. i tried your banana bread and it came out very well. I used palm sugar instead of brown sugar and mine got baked at 45 minutes itself. Thaks for the recipe.
    and tomorrow i will be trying this dosa of your mother and will let you know.

  8. Wonderful, mouth watering recipe and pictures! The very first cover picture (of the Griddle and chutneys on the banana leaf) drew me like a magnet to read this post.. Now, I am really craving for dosas, right now!

  9. This has to be my all time favorite! How i miss this wonderful treat made by aunty! She looks beautiful in the picture ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh how i miss the benne dosas! lovely of you to give this recipe. will definitely try it. thank you.

  11. Anu,

    one hot comment to you. just now had the dosa. it was a welcome change from our usual dosa. only for adai we add all lentils. this dosai had a different taste and I love it a lot. there was a slight hesitation to try the sesame chutney. but i shud only say i was proved wrong. I loved that too. thanks a lot for all these wonderful recipes. and for this dosai, very special thanks to your Amma.

  12. Love dosas, and your mother's recipe sounds exquisite! She looks like a real South Indian lady. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Loved the simple lucid explanations, but got to double check on the proportions again…Loved the pic of your mom standing over the kitchen dosa pan. Loved the pan and the green banana leaf…and the black and white pic of your mom!!!


  14. Anushruti, thank you so much for this recipe. Learning to make good dosas has always been on my list of things to do and though my mom makes awesome dosas, she can never give me the exact proportions. She is one of those who always cooks by approximation and I am a total cooking novice who can never cook unless I have the exact proportions, so my dosas have always been lame. But now that I have your recipe, I know I am going to get it right coz ur recipes have never,ever failed me. I am so excited, I have planned to make masala dosas this weekend :D. Hope I am able to do justice to your awesome recipe.

  15. Vasumathy: Thanks for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed this dosa with the chutney. The sesame coconut chutney is my favourite too.

    Ashwini: Mission accomplished!

    Shoba: Thanks for all the compliments.

    Poornima: That's the problem with our mothers. When it comes to explaining recipes, my mother is the "queen" of approximation too. I had to measure the ingredients myself to put this up here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hi Anushruti, the pictures are very beautiful… as always. Ur mom is very pretty,plz convey her my compliments . Dosas too luk yummy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. dear anushruti..
    i have been following ur blog since long..real good job dear..i m fascinated with the recipes,the pics..the way u write..this all shows ur love n commitment to ur blog..keep up the good work
    & I HAVE NEVER EVER TASTED DOSAS LIKE THIS EVER hubby just loves dosas n yesterday..thanks to ur recipe..i tried the dosas following exactly your recipe..just halved it..n they were SUPERB..thank u soooooooooooo the way i have also tried the yellow custard cake from ur blog n tht too was v.good..n since i too am a pure vegetarian so keep on trying eggless bakes..
    once again thanks for the dosa recipe..this sure is a keeper..
    i wish one day i too have a blog..coz…..i love cooking..
    good luck n best wishes

  18. Anushruthi,

    When I read the ingredient list, I thought this dosa sounds like adai. I tried it today and it is very much a dosa recipe and one that I will make often. Your mom's molaga podi looks so good. Do you have a recipe for that?

  19. I have tried out so many different combinations for a crispy dosa and yours is the best by far.Thanks to you and your mum I need not search any more for a perfect dosa recipe.I have also tried mnay other recipes from your blog and all have been great.Gratefully yours forever!

  20. Hi Anushruti
    South Indian cuisine is one of my favorites ! I used to always buy the ready batter but was never satisfied with the taste or texture ๐Ÿ™ Your recipe brought back the good old days at my Moms ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks so much for sharing this and detailing it so well. The dosas turn out to be so yummy and soft …..its a monthly ritual for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Hi Anushrithi,

    Can you please let me know preparation of that orange-red powder sprinkled on top of the dosa.
    I am a Malayali setteled in Bangalore.I love dosa's done in Karnataka style &this powder plus the little butter cube which melts away while the dosa is served!!yumm

    Best regs,

  22. Dear Anushruti,
    I just recently discovered DivineTaste and have already caught up on every single one of your posts! Seeing fresh ideas that I can use for meals for my family is really all I am looking for, especially meals that donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt take long to prepare. Some would say my favourite food is coconut but I would say it is my favourite cooking ingredient as I love incorporating it in my food, be it fresh coconut, coconut flakes or milk. I loved your motherรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs recipe for Dosa with coconut sesame chutney so much that I featured it on one of my recent blog posts at the CouponSpy Blog with some of my other favourites.
    The website I work for has decided to have a giveaway with Flipkart vouchers as the prize and I managed to convince them that your blog was the one they should consider. They too were impressed, so now begs the question if you would be interested in hosting the competition for your readers? As one of your readers I would love the chance to win a voucher at Flipkart because my wish list at the store is growing by the day and I need to make some purchases now! Please let me know if you are interested and willing, it would make my month รฏยล 
    Kind Regards,

  23. Hello, Mrs Anushruti,
    My name is nagalakshmi ,mother of a grown up daughter I love making traditional indian food ,but we eat all other cuisines open to any new tastes,living in US for so many years we developed to special love for other cuisine to cook and taste.I loved your mother's dosai recipe it's really yummy I prepared it twice it's tasted really divine.We have our traditional methods from both sides mother's and in-laws ,I follow that I keep trying new other varieties with different grains other new tastes.Well I thoroughly enjoyed your mothers dosai recipe,Thanks to u and to ur mother.

  24. Thank u ,for this recipe ,convey my big thanks and warm hug to your mom for this great recipe can't get enough of this dosai.This recipe is like a white canvas were I can change it to make it more healthier by adding brown rice ,oats ,quinoa with rest of the dals and poha .The result is A+,I was surprised it turned out great.Since this is very common for Breakfast or Dinner .

  25. Hi Anu Madam,
    Being Mysorean , I like to have our masala dosa arleast twice a week . And till today I had not tried of making changes in my recipe. But tried addition of toor dal and moong dal that was mentioned from you , I really cannot tell how much satisfied am today after having it OMG it added some more taste and it was just excellent and I immediately asked my mother to try this up. Thank you and your mother for such a wonderful dosa

  26. Dear Anushruti,
    Love your recipes. And your cookware too. Please can you tell me from where you got this amazing dosa pan? Tried your peanut, sesama chutney. Delicious.

  27. Really nice recipe. Thanks to you and your mum I need not search any more for a perfect dosa recipe.

  28. Hello Anushruti:
    Looking around for a recipe for dosa, I was happy to find yours, with precisely defined quantities and preparation guidelines. However, I notice that the final ingredient in your list for the Dosa remains unincorporated in your instructions to prepare the dish. It is the "3 tsp salt water." It could well be that I have missed it. Need your help here, Anushruti!

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