In Mysore there is a little shoebox of a restaurant called Mylari Dosa that serves just two things: dosa and chutney. It doesn’t sound like much, but this one is the master. After having gone back there a dozen times, I’ve tried as best as possible to replicate what I ate there, although I’ve devised this version so it can be cooked during the week.
Makes 6 (serves 4 to 6 as a main course)
FOR THE COCONUT POTATOES
1¾ pounds baby potatoes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly ground
2 teaspoons chana dal (optional)
12 fresh curry leaves
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 Indian green chiles, thinly sliced
½ cup coconut cream
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
FOR THE DOSAS
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Wash the potatoes, place in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re tender and you can slide a knife through them easily. Drain, then mash them up a bit.
Put the oil into a large frying pan and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the cumin seeds, chana dal (if using), and curry leaves. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the onion, ginger, and green chiles. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden, then add the potatoes. Stir to mix, then grate in the coconut cream and add the salt. Mix in the butter or ghee, check for seasoning, then leave to one side.
Make the dosas by putting the flours into a large bowl with the salt and baking soda. Mix thoroughly, then slowly whisk in 1½ cups of water so that you have a smooth batter.
Place a 7-8 inch frying pan over medium to high heat. When hot, put a teaspoon of oil into the pan, swirl it around, then follow with a ladleful of batter and immediately swirl the batter around to coat the bottom. Cook for a minute, then spread a sixth of the potato mixture in a line down the middle of the dosa. Cook for a further 20 seconds to 1 minute, until the base of the dosa is crispy and the potato mixture is hot. Then slip the dosa out of the pan and roll up. Repeat with the rest of the batter. To keep the dosas warm, put them into a basket fashioned from foil, or just serve them as they come.
Eat by itself, or serve with rasam, sambhar, or Keralan vegetable istoo, and coconut chutney.