Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recipe of the month: Musti Polo

If your wondering about the unusual name of this dosa, then you are not alone! 'Musti' in Konkani means fistful and 'Polo' means dosa. Musti Polo is a thick dosa which uses very little urad dal (just a fistful) and hence the name. These dosas are typically cooked only on one side and are characterized by their distinctive soft and fluffy texture. Call it an Indian pancake if you will! This dosa reminds me very much of the set dosa that I used to enjoy at one my favourite restaurants Nalpak in my hometown of Mysore. Ah! the nostalgia 😊

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through Facebook book and happened to notice this recipe for Musti Polo that one of my friends had shared on her wall. It was from a page called Nisha's Culinary. I found the name very intriguing since it sounded nothing like I had ever heard before. The photo that accompanied the recipe appealed to me and the instructions seemed pretty simple, only a slight variation from the rice and lentil dosas that I usually make. I'm always looking for good dosa recipes so I was immediately prompted to try it out which I did the very same weekend. After overnight fermentation, the batter was well aerated so when I poured the first ladle full of batter on a hot pan, I was pleased to see plenty of holes appear within a matter of seconds. With regard to this dosa, the number of holes in it is directly proportional to the degree of awesomeness of the texture and taste! The dosa turned out super soft and fluffy and I was delighted with the outcome. I had made two kinds of chutneys to go along with it - one was a regular coconut coriander chutney and the other was an onion tomato chutney. Both accompaniments paired well with the Musti Polo and alongside a steaming cup of filter coffee on the side, it made for a heavenly breakfast!

This is a gluten-free recipe and it is also vegan-friendly recipe provided you use oil instead of ghee for roasting the dosa. The recipe below serves 4-5 people but since I was cooking only for two, I halved all the ingredients. On the same note, if you are cooking for a large number of people, this recipe easily doubles. I highly recommend that you try this dosa. It has become a recent favourite of mine and I've already made it thrice since coming across the recipe! It is that good, trust me 😊
Musti Polo

Preparation time: 12-16 hours (includes soaking time and overnight fermentation time)
Cooking time: 20 to 30 min
Serves: 4-5
Recipe category: Breakfast/South Indian
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe Source: Nisha's Culinary


2 cups dosa rice 
2 fistfuls of whole skinned urad dal (skinned black gram)
1 tbsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 cup avalakki or poha (beaten rice), washed, soaked for a few mins in water until soft and drained
1 cup grated fresh coconut 
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee, for roasting


1. Soak urad dal and methi seeds in water for about 3-4 hours. Also soak rice separately in water for the same duration.

2. Grind the dal and rice along with grated coconut to a fine paste using a little of the soaking water. I used a stone grinder for this purpose but you could do it in the blender/mixie too.

3. Now add the drained beaten rice and grind until the batter is smooth. The consistency of the batter must be thick like milkshake (similar to idli batter consistency).

4. Keep aside in a large vessel covered with a lid to ferment overnight.

5. Next morning you will see that the batter would have risen. Add salt to taste and fold the batter gently to mix.

6. Heat a non-stick tawa, apply oil or ghee and take a ladle full of batter and pour it on the tawa (don't spread).

7. Close the lid over the dosa. Keep the flame medium.

8. Keep in mind that this dosa must be roasted only on one side.

9. Serve hot right off the tawa.

10. Relish with coconut chutney, onion tomato chutney or hing chutney.

  • Rinse the urad dal and rice just once or twice. Don't over rinse 
  • Preferably use whole skinned urad dal and parboiled dosa rice 
  • The ideal soaking time for ural dal and rice is 3-4 hours. 
  • Don't over ferment the batter or else it will turn sour. Once overnight fermentation is done, keep the batter in the fridge if you are not making the dosas immediately
  • Keeping the batter in the fridge for more than 2 days may turn the batter sour
  • This dosa tastes the best straight off the pan so I would not recommend piling them one on top of the other or keeping them in a hotbox until later



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