When Epicurious approached Tara O’Brady about writing this dosa primer, accepting the assignment was not as simple as saying yes or no. Read O’Brady’s essay about the decision here.
Dosa (alternatively, dhosai or dhosha), a fermented rice and lentil crepe originating in south India, has been a staple bread for at least a thousand years. It was classically a breakfast food, but as its popularity spread across the subcontinent and beyond, demand stretched to 24/7.
The most well-known dosa is made from long-grain white rice, skinned urad dal (black gram), and salt, all of which are soaked and ground with water to form a batter that is then cooked until golden and crisp. Consider this the default dosa: single-named, ubiquitous.
Homestyle Dosas with Tomato Chutney
At restaurants this type of dosa can reach impressive physical proportions, the batter spread thin, then coaxed into rolls that span the width