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Recipe Book: Mumbai Street Food- The Dosa You Always Wanted To Make At Home

I grew up in a middle-class family in amchi Mumbai. My dad was a banker and mother a homemaker. Since childhood I was lucky to experience two distinct styles of cooking. My mother comes from a family where they did not eat garlic and onions and my father’s side has always been very unorthodox and liberal regarding customs and traditions and had no such restrictions. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were amazing cooks. I was a vegetarian till the day I got married. We never cooked non-vegetarian food at home (I come from a Maharashtrian brahmin family). Though I got married in my own caste, I got to know that my hubby and my father-in-law were fond of eating fish whenever they dined out. That’s how I was introduced to non-vegetarian food and me being me, i.e. extremely excited to try something new. I tried it and loved it!

To be honest apart from some specific dishes, that I tried to cook for special occasions like birthdays, I did not know any cooking before I got married. My real journey at experimenting with cooking started after marriage in the US. It took me some time to get into my comfort-zone. Both my dad and mom are amazing cooks. My mom is good at street food and dad at making authentic Maharashtrian recipes. Mom made all our favorites at home like pav bhaaji, vada pav, hakka noodles and dad made some special ones like red chilly pickle (ranjak), coriander seed and garlic chutney etc.

For this new recipe section on my blog, I contemplated a lot on whether to post an authentic original recipe or to post a reverse engineered knock-off, of a recipe I have enjoyed hundreds of times on the streets of Mumbai. Whenever anyone mentions anything about Mumbai or ‘Bombay’, the first thing that comes to my mind is food. Let me tell you I am totally biased for all the tantalizing tastes that Mumbai street food has to offer. One very close to my heart is Mysore masala dosa or Chinese dosa that you get to eat at street side dosa shop’s. This particular lip smacking dish was enjoyed by me several times at a vendor outside Narsee Monjee college in Vile Parle, where I used to study.

I tried several times to nail down the taste but never could. One day I decided to give it another try and let me tell you anyone who has had this dosa in Mumbai would know that particular taste and smell. I couldn’t believe that I finally cracked it! Its closer to the Chinese dosa than the Mysore masala, but adjusting the proportion of different masalas in the mix helps. If you want to enjoy the same taste you have been waiting for so long, please try it and tell me if it satisfied your hunger and your taste buds for that same old taste. If you want that same taste, please do not substitute ingredients.

You can use a dosa batter you make at home or a one bought at a store. I will follow this up with an authentic and easy dosa batter recipe. But the point of this one and the star of the show here is the masala.

Prep Time: 15 mins Servings: 10-12

Ingredient List:

1) Dosa Batter (I used store-bought)

2) Amul cheese

3) Oil

4) Onions 2

5) Capsicum 1

6) Tomatoes 3

7) Cilantro/ coriander 1 cup

8) Mix masala

9) Butter

Mix Masala Recipe:

Add 1 tbsp of each:

1) Sambar masala

2) Pav bhaji masala

3) Chat masala

4) Garam masala

5) Ching’s Schewzan masala

6) Salt

Mix all these masala’s together and use the mixed powder for this recipe. You can store this masala like you store the other dry masala powder’s.

To the Dosa batter add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cut the onions, tomatoes, cilantro and capsicum finely and mix them in a bowl. Use shredded Amul cheese.

Spread dosa batter on the tava, add to it 2 tablespoons full mixture of finely chopped vegetables, add ½ tsp butter, 1 tsp shredded Amul cheese, ½ tsp mix masala.

Mix this on the dosa itself and spread all over the dosa.

After the dosa turns golden brown, fold and serve piping hot with some chutney.

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