HISTORY OF MYSORE MASALA DOSA-Mysore known as the City of Palaces is not only famous for its Dasahara Festival but also for other renowned recipes like Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore pak, Mysore rasam and Mysore bonda. Mysore located in the southern part of India is famous for its rice based masala dosa with potato filling eaten along with sambar and coconut chutney and onion chutney. There is more to Mysore cuisine apart from the Masala dosa which is always accompanied by the chutneys and forms a part of simple, wholesome and delicious part of food. Mysore Masala Dosa is thoroughly a habit forming, comforting fare and very typical of its kind among the South Indian breakfast recipes.
HOTELS IN SOUTH INDIA HAVE THEIR OWN VERSION OF MASALA DOSA-Many people in India look forward for a visit to the city of Mysore in Karnataka to smack the flavor of the Karnataka special, to be more specific, the Mysore special Masala dosa. Each hotel in South India has its own version of Masala Dosa, be it Benne Masale, Mysore Masale or Plain Dosa with variations only in the accompaniments served or stuffing or the texture of the dosa. The texture of the dosas may be either thin and crisp or have a crisp exterior with a spongy uttapam like interior. Sometimes the Masala dosas are also sprinkled with podi and dribbled with ghee or butter and presented along with colorful array of chutneys and also with vegetable saagu. Though the origin of masala dosa is from Udipi in the state of Karnataka, the Mysore Masala dosa is more popular across the globe.
SPECIALTY-Dosa is referred by the same name in almost all languages like Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Dosa is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. Dosa is one of the staple dish of the South Indians especially in southern Indian states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and also popular in other countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. Though the masala dosa is famous in different parts of the country the Mysore Masala Dosa is unique and stands apart. The dosas in other areas are thin and crunchy whereas the Mysore Masala Dosas is featured by crispness which is brown or red on the outside and spongy and soft on the inside. The original recipe of the Mysore Masala Dosa has thick red, garlic-red chili chutney spread on the dosa before it is filled with the potato masala.
SMALL CHUNK OF BUTTER IS TOPPED ON THE MASALA
-A small chunk of butter is topped on the masala and then the dosai is folded and served with coconut chutney. There are lot of evidences for the existence of dosai from ancient periods which is discussed widely in a number of books and literature, however dosa as such is said to be originated from Udupi in the state of Karnataka where Mysore is specialized for its Masala Dosa.Dosas are said to be a common breakfast in South India which is said to be rich in carbohydrates free from sugar and saturated fats for it is mainly constituted by rice and lentils which is devoid of gluten and is rich in protein. Further the fermentation process involved hikes the content of vitamin B and C with high nutritional benefits.
MAKING OF MASALA DOSA-History says that initially dosa were served with potato curry and most of the cooking in the hotels was done by the Brahmins who for some reason always avoided onions and considered it as a forbidden food. When there was a shortage for potatoes, onions were mixed with it and a subji was created and to hide it they kept it inside the dosa and served. Thus is how the story of Masala dosa was born. No South Indian hotels will miss out the item Masala dosa in its menu list. It is even featured among the menu list of North and West of Indian Hotels too.
MAHARAJA INSISTED THE CHEFS TO THINK CREATIVELY-There are also other stories for the origin of Mysore Masala Dosa where once the Maharaja of Mysore hosted a festival and at the end of the show there was a lot of food which was wasted. So the Maharaja insisted the chefs to think creatively and make sure no food was left waste and is believed that is when the chefs of the palace came up with this unique recipe where they stuffed the plain Dosa with potato and spices and lot of Ghee.
The original Mysore Masala Dosa has its origin from the humble old shop named Mylari in the city of Mysore. There are no branches for this shop and is exactly not renovated much and remains the same as it was many years back. The pursuit of Mylari dosa is that it is a very simple basic fare punched with flavours.When seen the dosa gives a very crispy look from outside but once it goes into the mouth it literally melts like sugar. It is not predominantly with potato filling like other commercial hotels but has a typical sago green chili coriander paste along with finely chopped onions.
DOSAS ARE ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED WITH UNSALTED BUTTER- At Mylari Masala Dosa shop the dosas are always accompanied with unsalted butter and non spicy coconut chutney. Thus the aroma of the famous Mysore masala dosa drifts in the air as one walks into the famous Mylari restaurant situated in Kuvempunagar which is accessible from all parts of the city.Mylari restaurant goes in hand with Mysore Masala Dosa and almost all the Mysoreans are familiar to the shop and this is supposed to be one of the best places to enjoy the flavor of the original Mysore Masala dosa. The shop is situated on the Udaya Ravi Main Road which can be reached from all parts of the city. The shop remains closed on all Wednesdays and is open the rest of the week from 7 AM to 10.30 AM and from 4 PM to 8.30 PM.
MYLARI SHOP IS SITUATED NEAR THE NAZARABAD POLICE STATION-The landmark for the Mylari shop is that it is situated near the Nazarbad Police Station. Though it is a very small restaurant, it is maintained very clean and has lot of photographs of famous personalities on its walls like people from the cricket and cinema field who have visited the restaurant in the past. The queue of customers waiting to taste the mouth watering masala dosa is quite long. The dosa per plate costs Rs.18 whereas the Mysore Masala dosa elsewhere costs more than Rs.50. The dosas which are accompanied by the coconut chutney in Mylari restaurant can be rated as the best in the whole of the city. The Mylari restaurant is not a big one but a compact 20-seater, with tables for four each. Though at times it is very congested, the moment one starts smacking the Mysore Masala Dosa smeared with butter on the top they forget the rest but instead just wanting for another dosa. It is very difficult to stop with one Mysore Masala Dosa from the authentic Mylari restaurant.
THERE IS A FACILITY FOR PARCELS TOO
-There is a facility for parcels too. The ventilation and fans help to keep the place cool. It is worth waiting in the queue for the Masala dosa for it is served hot and crispy. The staff in the restaurant are always at attendance and they win the customers by their hospitality.
The calorie count of the Mysore Masala dosa is about 310 making about 17% fat, 71% carbs, 12% protein and 74 gms of non fiber carbs. The main ingredients required for preparing the dosa batter goes in the ratio of 1 cup of raw rice and par boiled rice each, 3/4 cup of urad dal,a fistful of channa dal and tur dal, 1 teaspoon of methi seeds and sugar each and quarter cup of poha.
HE MAKING OF THE DOSA-Now to prepare the dosa batter all the above ingredients except poha are taken in a large bowl and filled with enough water and soaked for at least 6-7 hours.The poha is soaked in water just half an hour before grinding the dosa batter. Once the mixture is soaked then it is ground along with the poha adding little water while grinding. The paste got out of grinding should be smooth neither too thick nor runny. The dosa batter is then fermented overnight at least 8-10 hours. It will rise on fermentation. At the time of preparing dosas, add salt to taste to the dosa batter and mix well. Now the dosa batter is ready.
The ingredients required for making the potato masala includes potatoes, onions, green chilies, ginger, turmeric powder, lemon juice, salt, oil and coriander leaves. Tempering of the potato masala is done as we do it for all the dishes. Once it is tempered the sliced onions are added and sauted on a low flame for 5 minutes. Then the turmeric powder is added and mixed well followed by the potato cubes of which few are crushed with a ladle. Water is sprinkled and the vessel is covered with the lid and cooked for 5-6 minutes on low flame.
MYSORE MASALA DOSA HAS A THICK SPONGY INTERIOR-Once it is cooked the lid is removed and salt, lemon juice and coriander leaves are added and mixed well. Once the above is ready the dosa batter is poured on the dosa pan and swept in circular motion with the back of the ladle to spread it in thick concentric circles. Usually Mysore masala dosa has a thick, spongy interior; hence the dosa should be spread thick. Oil is drizzled along the edges of the dosa and melted butter all over the dosa. The dosa is cooked in a low flame till it becomes brown and then a spoon of red chutney is smeared all over the dosa. A ladle full of potato masala is taken and spread on one half side of the dosa and folded. Then the hot Mysore Masala dosa is served with coconut chutney and sambhar. The maximum number of days the dosa batter can be used is for 2-3 days. Though the Mysore Masala dosa cannot be replaced by anything else, for commercial purpose lot of varieties of dosas are coming up in the market where they are stuffed with different varieties of vegetables including cheese and paneer.