Dosas: The Indian Breakfast Staple

Irrespective of caste and tradition, many Indians around the world enjoy a good dosa for breakfast. It is a staple breakfast item because it is a filling way to start your day and is packed with nutrients. Let’s understand a little more about dosas.

History Of Dosas

Evidence of the dosa dates back to the 12th Century where it was found in the Manasollasa, a Sanskrit encyclopedia compiled by Someshvara III who ruled over Karnataka. Historian Thankappan Nair says that dosas originated in Udupi which is in Karnataka. 

After India gained its independence, South Indian dishes and cuisines became popular in the regions of northern India. In the 1930s, dosas became popular in Mumbai with the many Udupi restaurants that were set up there. 

Image Credit: Flickr user Charles Haynes ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Flavor Of Dosas

Dosas are thin and crepe-like. Typically, dosas are made of a thin batter of ground lentils and rice that has been fermented and then cooked in a thin layer. Dosas are rolled and can be served with or without fillings inside. The flavor of the dosa depends on the contents in it. If it is a mashed potato or “masala dosa” then you can taste the spicy flavor of the capsicum, chili, spring onions, and vegetables along with the minty flavor of the chutney. 

Plain or paper dosa with no filling is thin and crispy and tastes great with some tangy chutney.

Types Of Dosas

There are around 22 different varieties of dosas. Here are some commonly known types. 

1.   Neer Dosa

Neer dosa is a really soft variation of dosa. It is a Mangalorean cuisine which is eaten during breakfasts with chutneys and even during meals with some spicy gravy. 

2.   Masala Dosa

This is your classic dosa with a spicy mixture of mashed potatoes in it. It is popularly prepared in many households as well as a very common dish ordered in restaurants in India. 

Image Credit: Flickr user mrsdkrebs ( CC BY 2.0 )

3.   Paper Dosa

Paper dosa is a type of dosa that is just plain dosa served with no vegetable filling. It makes a perfect breakfast dish or if you are looking for something light. 

The other types of dosas are Raggi, whole wheat, and oats dosa which is a healthier bunch of options to choose from.

Image Credit: Flickr user innacoz ( CC BY-ND 2.0 )

Health Benefits Of Dosa 

Dosas are a great source of fiber and carbohydrates. This is what makes it a perfect breakfast dish.  It is also extremely good for your gut. It promotes digestion. It is a great source of protein. The protein helps you be active throughout the day.

Along with the dosa, the coconut chutney adds to the benefits by providing healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins for your body.

Culinary Benefits Of Dosa

There are many dosa recipes that you can prepare. Cheese dosa is a famous street-style dish in India. The melted cheese on top of the dosa just elevates the taste of it. Another variation to a mashed potato, mushroom, and onion filling.  

If you are up for an adventure, try filling your dosa with these delicious creamy mushroom and sausages. The caramelized onions with the mushrooms give the dosa a nice South Indian spicy flavor. If you are a spice lover then the Mysore masala dosa is something you have to try! This is a yummy crisp dosa with mashed potato filling that is served with a fiery red chutney. 

Wanting to have an all-out Indian dinner? Then simply cook up some South Indian dosa with a combination of North Indian Butter Chicken! And you’ll have the flavors of India on your plate!

If you plan on eating dosa for lunch or dinner, a paneer chili dosa is a really filling dish for you. These dosas are stuffed with paneer burji or finely chopped paneer with other veggies which tastes great with the red and white chutney. 

Don’t forget to make some delicious red lentil daal, known as Sambhar in India with your dosa!

Image Credit: Flickr user lulun & kame ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )


Dosa batter should usually be used within 24 hours otherwise it turns sour therefore it’s better to use it in one go. However, the dosa batter can be stored in a tight lid container for a week in the fridge. 

Feature Image: Flickr user u-lin ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

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