Video: Making Rava Dosa and Masala Dosas

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Growing up in Mumbai, dosas were a staple in our home. We never tired of them. Could munch dosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the expert hands of my mother, dosas were easy; its the parathas and North Indian fare she avoided. We didn’t miss those.

Now I start every Mumbai visit with a pilgrimage to Kamats (Colaba, Mumbai) for their delicious South Indian (Konkani style) fare. The wait staff recommend newer dosa varieties, but I stick with the tried and true: the rava dosa or the plain dosa. On this visit I got a chance to go in their kitchen and record the cook make the dosas.

In the video notice how the cook ‘pours’ the runny batter for the Rava dosa. This is the secret for the perfect Rava Dosa and difficult to emulate at home. Observe also how fluidly he spreads out the batter for the masala dosa. He makes it look sooo easy. Those who have tried, know how difficult this is.


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48 thoughts on “Video: Making Rava Dosa and Masala Dosas

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  1. Arun, what a fabulous video! Kamats at Cuffe Parade used to be our haunt. Are they the same Kamats?

    What does the cook use to pour the dosa batter and then spread it?

    1. Hi Manisha:
      This is the Kamats group from Bangalore. Some of the best south indian food.
      I eat there early everyday when I am in Mumbai – the best!

      The cooks usually a simply flat-bottomed ‘vati’ for spreading the batter. You’d think it was some fancy ladle, but no. the simplest off vatis are used by these guys. Amazing.

      Thanks for visiting
      Arun

  2. Shanbhagmam
    The initial process is missing in this video.
    Greasing the tava with oil and splasing water on the tava. This is very essential for separation. Some rub a halved onion after applying oil an water.

    1. Yes Rajesh,
      Before making dosas, they sprinle some water and brush it clean. That is primarily to remove any residue from the previous dosa made there.

      And yes again, Onion is reputed to have some anti-stick properties and apparently rubbing the tava with onion helps make better dosas.

      Amazing, no?

      Hope you are doing well.
      Arun

  3. Yum! The only thing that can top this unlawful mouthwatering distraction is a video of ….’The Making of a Paper Dosa’.

    Waiting for the video Arun..please do not disappoint your audience:-)

    v

  4. Arun,

    Very tempting dosas.. I love the video and now I am craving for crispy dosa’s. The batter looks so watery and the way he has poured the batter! How I wish I could replicate this at hime. I use Asha’s method of making Rava dosa.. comes out crispy..
    That Tawa and its temperature is the secret behind crispy dosa.. Yummy..

    1. Thank you Ujwal:
      Yes, Rava dosa is one of the easiest dosa to make as there is no fermentation, but also the most difficult to master as there are so may things to consider. The tava and the long time is something that folks don’t consider.

      Thank you for taking the time away from your beautiful darling to read this.

      Best
      Arun

    1. Thank you Preena!

      Heh, Kamats is in South Mumbai, Colaba right across from the Electric House. All their South India food is excellent and very inexpensive.

      It is difficult to find good rava dosas! Yumm!
      arun

  5. Ahhhh .. those lacy crunchy peppery rava dosa ..oo..to die for. Lovely video.

    Guess what , I made the same rava dosa this morning at home and it came out exactly like so. For those who don’t have the good fortune to visit India every now and then, like me, should buy a packet of ‘Anil Rava Dosa’ powder from India ( seriously, you wont regret Arun, it has everything in it from curry leaves to salt to pepper all dried and packaged) and follow exactly what is said in the directions. Just add 1.5 cups extra water. Use a nice hot tava , pour the watery, no, very watery batter on the hot tava and wait!! The waiting part is longer as you said but you do get lacy crunchy rava dosas just like in the video here. For Rs 22 ( 1 packet) you get 24 dosas. Not too bad. And I stock up on it for rainy days. That is always on my shopping list from India. Go ahead guys, you now know a yummy secret. try it.

    Enjoy madi.
    Manu

    1. Manu,
      Thank you for the enthusiastic endorsement. I actually went to the indian grocery here in Cambridge to see if I could find that brand; unfortunately, no! But I did find GITS Rava Dosa mix. I am sure it is not similar, but plan to try it tomorrow.

      Will buy packets of Anil dosa mix on my next trip to Mumbai.
      Thank you, Thank you!
      Arun

      1. Hey Arun,

        Did you get a chance to try the rava dosa mix? GITS wala? theek tha? Lemme know, my Anil rava dosa mix ka stash is fast getting over 😦
        M

        1. Arrey Manu:
          Unfortunately, I have NOT yet tried the Rava Dosas. Yes, the GITS packet is sitting right next to the stove 😦

          With M&m in Mumbai, I try to stay at the Gym till late and mainly outdoors on the weekends.

          Will do one of these days and let you know. The Anil dosa mix is on my list to bring back after my next visit.

          Hope you guys are doing well.
          Arun

        2. Bad News Manu –
          I tried the GITS package yesterday. Here are a few comments.
          1. It was a finely ground powder with nothing extra like peppers, or curry leave or anything visible. After I put some in water, I could make out a few cumin seeds, that was it.
          2. I made about 3 of the dosas, they came out very thin, but essentially a bare papad taste. I guess if you have nothing else to eat (that was me yesterday), you make do and do NOT throw it out.
          3. It took a looooong time for each dosa. Overall, it took me 45 minutes to make 3 dosas. While the dosas were happening, I munched on a bag of Edamame, which helped with my hunger pangs.

          I recommend that you treat the remaining Anil Dosa packets as precious, as the GIT package is not recommended.

          And, I should get the recipe from the restaurant so we could all make it from scratch. May actually be a better, long-term solution.

          Enjoy maadi!
          Arun

          1. uh oh. So sorry about the results. I can understand how frustrating it must have been to wait for so long when you are very hungry. Actually, I had tried GITS ages back when ‘Anil-da’ was not yet born. And did not find it appealing on any level. Be it taste, texture, look-and-feel or ease in preparation. If they do not add in pepper corns and curry leaves and all the other essential ingredients for a Rava Dosa, then what is the meaning of calling it ‘Instant Dosa’? Anil anna ka dosa only needs water and oil. lol. I wonder how he managed everything else so well. Yes try Anil da ka instant rava dosa and let me know. But your idea of getting the actual recipe and the technique to the T from the hotel itself is THE way to go. Though I doubt if they will part with the recipe so easily. Unless you volunteer to make some dosas for them πŸ˜‰ in which case, it will be a win-win. I would grab that chance to learn to make the dosas from the experts themselves. Please share the secret with us haan?

            PS: can you tell me if the Edamame you muched on were from Costco? are they baked or roasted? I was looking for some healthy options to snack on for those who want to watch their weight and restrict the intake of useless calories.

            thanks,
            Manu

            1. Manu:
              I get the Edamame from Trader Joe’s. They have a frozen, in the pod and “With a pinch of salt” variety. The bag looks exactly as in this post here:
              http://www.iateapie.net/reviews/archives/2009/03/trader_joes_fro.php

              But it will say – ready to eat and “With a pinch of salt.” I thaw the bag, split the pods and pop the beans in the mouth. Like popping the pea-pods at home. Simply delicious! and highly nutritious! ~ and an idea for a blog post! πŸ™‚

              and I do compost the pod shells.

              I have tried the roasted ones from Costco, but these are waaaay better!

              And I think I have an IN at the Kamat’s Restaurant in Mumbai and will get the recipe for the Rava Dosa soon.

              Enjoy!
              Arun

  6. Totally yummy!
    Never tried the rava dosa, but will make sure when I visit Mumbai I’ll give it a try!
    Thanks for sharing it, mouth watering!

    1. You should definitely try the Rava dosa. But not every restaurant can make it well. A good restaurant is known by how well they can make their Rava Dosas.

      By contrast, the saada or masala dosas are easy to master.

      Thank you
      Arun

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