Mushroom Masala Dosa with Coriander Chutney

When in Southern India I ate Masala Dosa every morning for breakfast. Dosa are crispy rice and lentil based pancakes filled with varying flavours of masala. Most commonly, the pancake would feature a mild potato masala but one one occasion I sampled this delicious mushroom filling. This home version matched the taste very well indeed – fragrant and earthy. I would say my dosa making skills may require some refining but on the whole this dish was spot on for flavour. Making dosa batter mix does require some faffing, so an instant batter mix is a good labour saving option. You can find them in all Indian specialist shops. The delicious chutney to accompany the dosa is essential. It requires freshly grated coconut – thankfully I can buy mine at the Sydney markets, but there are some good frozen options around for convenience. That said, if you’re up for the challenge – get yourself a fresh coconut and make a morning of it! The results are incredibly moreish!


Mushroom Masala:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion (diced)
2 small green chillies (finely chopped)
2″ piece fresh ginger (grated)
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
500g mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 small lemon (juice of)
1/2 cup fresh coriander (chopped)

In a wok, heat the oil over a moderate heat. Gently fry the onion and green chillies for 4-5 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomato then stir fry till the tomato forms a thick, pastelike texture. Add the ground coriander, fennel, cumin, mustard, turmeric and garam masala and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir well for 3-4 minutes to avoid sticking. Pour in 1/2 cup water and simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the water has mostly absorbed and the masala is thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander then season with salt and lemon juice.

Coriander Chutney:
3 cups freshly grated coconut
2 small green chillies (chopped)
2 bunches fresh coriander (leaves and stems chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes then drained)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small lemon (juice of)

Put coconut, chillies and coriander in to a blender and blend together with 1/2 cup water into a smooth paste. Decant to a bowl then stir in the salt, mustard seeds, cumin and lemon juice. Chill in fridge until needed. Add a little more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.


Once you’ve made the batter, heat a large (non-stick) frying pan over a moderate heat. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil into the pan, when just hot, add one ladle of batter mix in a circular motion. Flatten out quickly with the back of the ladle to form a disc of about 20cm. You have to work quickly and the batter may create holes. Drizzle a little batter to fill them up. Sprinkle another teaspoon of oil over the dosa. Let it cook slowly until browned on one side. Carefully flip it over and cook on the remaining side.

Remove to a waiting plate then spread a little mushroom masala over one half. Fold the dosa loosely in half and serve with a small dish of chutney on the side. Repeat with as much batter as you have.

%d bloggers like this: