Rava Dosas with Potato and Chickpea Masala

These rava dosas with potato and chickpea masala are thin spiced crepes, made with semolina, rice, and all-purpose flours, that are filled with a fragrant mixture of potatoes, chickpeas, peas, coconut, and spices.

A rava dosa filled with potato and chickpea masala partially folded over on a white ceramic plate.

We never would’ve thunk that made-from-scratch rava dosas would be doable for dinner on a weeknight. Guess who was wrong. To ensure things go as slickly for you as they did for us, read through this rava dosas with potato . and chickpea masala recipe first, gather all your ingredients, and then get to work peeling potatoes as you’re keeping an eye on the coconut and cumin being toasted in the skillet. Next, make the masala and then bring it to a simmer while you chop your onion. Toss the potatoes in with the spices and, while the masala cooks, set about making your dosa batter. Somewhere along the way, uncork a bottle of white wine and have a sip, seeing as you’ll definitely have the time to spare.–Renee Schettler

Rava Dosas with Potato and Chickpea Masala

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 40 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 5 reviews
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  • For the masala filling
  • For the rava dosas


Make the masala filling

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover.

Toast the coconut in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Wipe out the skillet and toast the cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring until the seeds are fragrant and a shade darker, about 30 seconds. Transfer to another small bowl. Set the skillet aside.

Purée the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic in a blender along with the curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, oil, 1/4 cup water, and salt until smooth. Transfer the purée to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.

Drain the potatoes, then add to the onion along with the cumin seeds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and remaining 1 1/2 cups water, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cover and briskly simmer until the potatoes are tender, 16 to 20 minutes more.

Add the peas and cook, covered, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the toasted coconut and cilantro. (The masala filling, without the coconut and cilantro, can be made 8 hours ahead and chilled. Reheat before stirring in the coconut and cilantro.)

Make the rava dosas

While the masala cooks, whisk the flours, cumin seeds, salt, and water in a bowl.

Generously brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Pour 1/2 cup batter into the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook, undisturbed, until the dosa is set and the edges are golden, about 2 minutes. Flip using a rubber spatula and cook until the underside is golden in spots, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat. Stack the dosas and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

To serve, spoon the filling into dosas and serve immediately. Originally published April 1, 2013.

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Recipe Testers' Tips

The potato-chickpea masala has excellent flavor, and is even better the second and third day after cooking it. The dish came together in about an hour, as the recipe specifies.

In the process I did dirty a lot of dishes and set off my fire alarm 3 times (even though nothing was burnt). I made the masala with only 1/2 of a chile, as that’s all that I had available, and the resulting heat level was just right for me. I also used the generic curry powder that’s available at Whole Foods. If I make this again, I may cut the potato pieces a little smaller and use a little less oil. The rava dosas were interesting, but next time I’d skip them and just make the potato masala, as eating potatoes, chickpeas, and rava dosas is too much starch for me in one meal.

Though I love Indian food, I don’t usually make my own because the recipes have long and complicated ingredient lists and don’t seem to translate well to written form. Admittedly, these rava dosas have a lot of steps—they’re best left to weekend cooking—but neither the directions nor the ingredient list were complicated. The crepe-like pancakes were a cinch to make—not at all fussy and they cooked up really fast. They were sturdy too, so they really stood up to the chunky filling. The spice level was just right for the filing—not overpowering or pungent. I happily had leftover filling, which I’ll heat up with rice for lunch.

Although the potato chickpea filling isn’t traditional (normally it’s only potato), it was quite flavorful. I used homemade Madras-style curry powder in this recipe. The dosas (crepes) turned out well. I always use a cast-iron skillet for my dosas and I used ghee instead of oil to cook them. However, I did find that the filling is done in a very complex manner. For a beginner it might be overwhelming.


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  1. I just made the filling and used an instant packet to make dosa but they were soooo yummy. I would turn around and they would be gobbled all up. My 3 year old loved them. I left out the jalapeño, but I’m sure it would be great with it.

  2. Nice to see a masala dosa recipe that won’t take me 48 hours–it remains to be seen if it will be as crisp and delicious as the real thing made with fermented rice and urad dal (seriously simple, but that fermentation takes time).

    1. This is a weeknight rendition of that, janmaus, for those of us who crave masala dosa but not with any advance warning! Curious to hear what you think. We find it to be slightly different than the original though still quite lovely.

      1. I did try it, and although not quite as crunchy, it tasted really good–love the filling. I always add peas to my potato filling (peas and potatoes supposedly make a complete protein, and since we often enjoy meatless meals, I try this combination fairly often–plus we like it), The addition of of chickpeas was brilliant. I skipped the traditional rasam for time reasons–we didn’t miss it. This was a wonderful, relatively quick meal!

        1. Terrific to hear, janmaus! And I agree, love potatoes and peas in tandem. Many thanks for taking the time to let us know. Looking forward to hearing which recipe from the site you try next.

    1. Hello there

      yes we are excited too, that this treat can be a weeknight splurge. Very keen to know how you made out with the Dosas. We hope you will report back.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Lovely, Jen. We try really hard to provide you with recipes from time to time that just may surprise and intrigue you. Really looking forward to hearing what you think of this….

  3. Thank you so much for posting that link and, yes, this is an easy way to make a Rice Rava Dosa. Traditionally, dosas are GF, made with rice and a white lentil (urad Dal) ground together to make a fluffy batter. But these cannot be made on a whim, as they require soaking, grinding and fermenting. Hence such short cuts enable you to satisfy that sudden craving for that crispy Dosa.

    If you wish to have a traditional dosa, the options nowadays are endless. Lot of the Indian grocery stores now carry fresh Rice dosa batter in their refrigerator section, or they carry dry Dosa Mixes, which you make up with water for an instant Dosa.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us and our readers.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been dying for dosas since my crepe adventure two weeks ago.

    Off to find unsweetened coconut flakes in the boonies…

    1. Kasha

      If you can find fresh coconut, that will work too. Break the coconut in half, save the coconut water to drink if you wish. Using a small paring knife,break of small bits of the coconut meat. Put the meat in the blender food processor and mince well. Good luck in your endeavours and will you please take the time to let us know how it all turned out?

  5. Nothing; I repeat, nothing (at least for me) assuages a world of hurt like tucking into (with hands) a fresh-off-the-griddle masala dosai. And if you brush ghee over the folded-over dosai just before serving, pure bliss…

    Follow this with a cup of strong, milky masala chai and you can face anything!!

    1. Ling Teo, eloquently said. Yes, a crispy dosa, with melted ghee and sweet masala chai, does seem to smooth away all the wrinkles. Thank you for pointing that out.

      1. Sita, at my usual dosai joint in Singapore, the lovely old Indian “uncles” working the tawas pull off a shatteringly crisp-at-the-ends paper masala dosai that’s 2 feet in diameter. And they always smile when I ask for extra ghee to be brushed on!!

        1. Ling

          I did wonder if you spoke from your experience in Singapore. Tell me Ling, what is your favorite? Masala dosai or plain dosai, with coconut chutney , or sambhar or both? Have you ever had it it with the chutney powder affectionately termed “gun Powder” ?

          1. Masala dosai, honest to God, with coconut chutney, sambhar and another (red dhal?) really quite spicy curry. I’ve been known to scarf 2 dosais in succession. No I’ve never tasted the one with chutney powder – I expect it’s quite an experience!

            1. Ling,

              mixed with ghee or oil, the chutney powder smeared over the dosai, is one tasty adventure. The next time you are visiting the Dosai Stalls, ask the “uncles” to give you a dosai with “Molagha Podi” that is what the chutney powder is called in “Tamil” .Have yourself a divine experience.

                1. Wishing you all success and enjoyment in your mission, Ling Teo. Please report back. Thanks.

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