After preparing the thali, I still thought something was amiss..there was still something this Dusshera that I hadnt explored from Mysore... and that's when I came accross the mighty Mysore Masala Dosa.
I really wanted to taste the very traditional Mysore Masala Dosa …after researching that it’s a specialty of Mysore with its beginnings 60 years ago , in a small hotel called Mylari in Mysore ,Karnataka ,India ,now being run by the next generation.Yes, some of us may have tasted it many times in many of the casual dine South Indian restaurants here in Dubai , and many of you may ask what is special about it.,a question that I wanted answered too .....
The usual suspects of Karama and BurDubai came to mind and were recommended by many,but I thought of asking the chef and manager at The Oberoi Hotel at Business Bay whether they served this Dosa as part of their menu. As luck would have it , they do serve it as a request item as part of for their fantastic breakfast spread where they serve amazing South Indian fare.
Whenever we think of Dosas we think of going to the fast paced dine in’s and never a hotel,(at least in Dubai). But I thought it would be worth a try.I was introduced to Chef Saneesh, the Chef de cuisine at the hotel who informed me over the phone that he would be ready with all the ingredients when I visited on Dusshera! . Chef Saneesh was mentored by his grandfather who taught him the traditional recipes of Kerala style cooking and has learned the specialties of Tamilnadu and Karnataka from his senior chefs during his 7 year tenure in Bangalore and Chennai In India.
The ever smiling Chef Saneesh
As I entered the all day dining restaurant, Nine7 One at the Oberois ,I was greeted by Chef Saneesh and he escorted me into his kitchen .
He wanted me to see the most important part of the Dosa and that is the red chutney that is smeared on the inside of the dosa which gives it a very spicy and distinct flavor.This is the backbone of the the flavour of the dosa.
The powerful and pungent flavours of garlic , red chillies and onions hit my throat when I tasted this ..I was told , it is 10 times spicier than this!
Then the moist filling of potatoes came next , sautéed brilliantly with accurate timings and consistency.
After heating the tawa,the Dosa batter was smeared adeptly taking care there were perfect circles made making sure it spreads thick and thin alternatively.This ensures the distinct texture of the Dosa making it different from a normal Masala dosa.
The red spicy chutney was smeared by hand ( I was told it should always be done this way, and not with a spoon!) and then the delicious potato filling was placed on top.
When the dosa turn golden brown , it is folded once.
And the Mighty Masala Dosa was ready to be tasted with two delicious chutneys- onion and coconut , to accompany it …
With my first bite, I realized why this is a special Dosa and the freshness of the batter and ingredients were crucial to the taste .The flavours …the moistness of the potatoes and the crispness of the dosa , complemented each other perfectly.
I have never tasted a more delicious Dosa ever and it was as if I was introduced to the Dosa for the first time. It is a very simple preparation clearly needing a very high level of skill and passion in making a simple dish like this, taste like heaven…everything about the Dosa was perfect from the texture to the spice levels.It was defintely worth my title of "Mighty".
If you ever wanted to eat a Dosa for breakfast of lunch , its worth a trip to the Oberoi's in Dubai … as I did to taste a bit of Mysore. I ended my day satisfied, that even if Mysore was still a pending culinary destination on my travel list , I am grateful to have had the opportunity to taste its specialty here.
The Mysore Masala Dosa is on the menu of Nine 7 One as part of a request item in the breakfast buffet (Aed 160 per person) or can be ordered a la carte at Aed 35.
Chef Saneesh's recipe for the Mysore Masala Dosa
For dosa batter:
1000gms Raw rice
200gms Urad dal
50gms Chana dal
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste
For spicy chutney:
20ml Refined oil
30gms Chana dal
25gms Whole red chilli
to taste Salt
5gms Mustard seeds
1no. Whole red chilli
10gms Chana dal
2 sprigs Curry leaves
50gms Onion sliced
1no Green chilli
20gms Carrot julienne
Salt to taste
a pinch Turmeric powder
150gms Boiled potatoes (mashed)
For the dosa batter:
Soak all ingredients together in water for 3-4 hrs, drain and keep aside
Grind them in wet grinder with adequate water to fine paste like batter consistency.
Leave the batter on a warm place for about 6 hrs, until the batter get ferment well.
Add enough salt and sugar and keep aside
For the spicy chutney:
Heat oil, add chana dal and red chilli saute in slow flame , then add the shallots, garlic and salt
Keep aside until the mixture get cold
Grind them in a blender to get a smooth paste, keep aside
Heat ghee, splutter mustard, then add red chilli and curry leaves.
Now add the chana dal and sauté until golden brown colour.
Then add the sliced onions, ginger, green chilli and carrot.
Saute until the vegetables get wilted.
Now add enough salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.
Gradually add the mashed potatoes in to the mixture and mix well.
Finish with some butter to get a smooth texture.
Making the dosa:
Follow the same method of dosa, but use ladle instead of using any flat base bowl.
It helps to produce a thin and thick concentrate of circles in the dosa.
Apply the spicy chutney all over the dosa and sprinkle some ghee.
Place a bowl of hot dosa masala in the centre, and cook until the dosa get crisp and brown.
Remove and serve hot with a tea spoon of butter on top, coconut and onion chutney.
Chef Saneesh has successfully opened many restaurants in his career at Angsana Oasis spa and resort, Bangalore, The Trident Chennai, The Oberoi Gurgaon and The Oberoi Dubai. Some of his restaurants have won many awards and accolades under his supervision in multiple cities.
In 2012, he was awarded the honor of ‘Best Coastal Chef’ by The Food and Nightlife Magazine in India.
Recently Ananta at the Oberoi Dubai has won an award for “Best Indian restaurant in the Middle East” by BBC Good Food Awards.