Paneer Dosa is a crepe made with spicy cottage cheese filling. A favorite heartwarming South Indian breakfast dish. It is also a fusion food with a South Indian base and North Indian-style masala filling. Let us learn how to make this comforting Paneer dosa with step-by-step pictures and a quick video. This is a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, cleaning-eating, and real-food Indian recipe.
This paneer Dosa is one of the essential vegetarian recipes served in almost all the restaurants in Chennai, India. Since it has the flavors of both regions, it is welcomed throughout the country.
Dosa is the staple South Indian food. But Paneer dosa is not an authentic or traditional recipe of this zone. This became more popular at the same time as dosa became popular in Northern India. This dish might have originated when North Indians started customizing dosa to their palates.
Dosa is made with a fermented batter of rice and lentils. The filling is made of cottage cheese with onion and tomato gravy. It can be served as a main course at breakfast or dinner times.
My son loves Paneer dosa and wishes to eat the same again and again during our stay in Chennai. Every restaurant has its unique taste and he likes them all.
But we do not get the real flavorful Paneer dosa here in Central Pennsylvania. Though we have a few restaurants nearby, we are not getting that authentic taste like in the Chennai restaurants.
So, what is next in the story? It is, of course, recreating them in our kitchen. This is not as hard as you think to do it. All the ingredients are available in Indian stores in the United States. And with all the small tips and secrets, we can make the same authentic and delicious paneer dosa in the comfort of our kitchen.
It's winter here, and it is getting darker by 4:30 in the evening. Hence, we have longer. And to be home today as it is almost 28 Fahrenheit in the first week of December. At times, we feel lonely and will miss our family and the food that we loved the most in the past.
When my son asked me to do this, I immediately said ‘yes.’ Since this recipe is easy and quick to make.
What does this paneer dosa taste like?
This paneer masala dosa has two layers of taste. Dosa's base is crispy, and the texture is similar to western crepes, which tastes mild and subtle with a hint of yeast flavor. In contrast, the filling is delicious and spicy with bold flavors. The combination of these contrasting elements gives the eminent pleasure of eating.
How to make paneer dosa
Dosa Batter. Dosa batter is available in Indian stores. You can also make your own. Making dosa batter does not require any expert knowledge; all you need is time and patience.
Paneer. This is cottage cheese, one of the famous dairy products of the North Indian region. The making process is straightforward, even for the people who visit the kitchen occasionally. To make this, boil the milk and cuddle it by adding vinegar. And strain them, that is all, the freshest Cottage paneer is prepared with ease. Alternatively, you may get it from the Indian store’s frozen aisle.
The best equivalent substitute would be ricotta cheese or Mexicans’ fresco cheese.
Garam masala. This secret ingredient makes the usual paneer gravy to a restaurant-style rich paneer gravy. This gives a bold and robust flavor that changes a regular dish to outstanding food. So, I would not recommend skipping in its absence. Instead, you may substitute with ground cinnamon and bay leaves. Fry the bay leaves in oil before adding to the dish. Frying them gives a wholesome round flavor.
The recipe directions
Make the base. In a pan, add cooking oil and onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. If the onion sticks to the bottom of the pan, then add another tablespoon of oil.
Then add chopped tomatoes and salt and continue to cook until tomatoes become mushy. The salt we have added makes the tomatoes cook faster and even.
Add the spice powders. Once the gravy starts thickening, add red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder. Cook it on low flame till it changes its color slightly. These will get burned quicker, so always do this on low heat.
Add paneer. Now stir in water and continue to cook with the lids on. Stir occasionally in between. When the gravy thickens, add garam masala and fry for a few seconds. Remove it from the flame and keep it aside.
Make dosa. In a griddle, pour ¼ cup dosa batter and spread evenly in a circular motion. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil and cook it on medium flame.
Cook till it turns crispy and changes the color to golden brown on the edges.
Start filling. Now add a tablespoon of paneer filling to the center and spread evenly to the entire surface of the dosa. Then sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
Close half of the side onto the other to make it look semi-circular. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.
- You may add grated carrots that give a more excellent color and a hint of sweet taste to paneer dosa.
- Cauliflower florets can also be added. Chop them finely and dry roast them before adding to the gravy. Roasting keeps them retaining the texture; on the other hand, it adds a crunchy feeling.
- Add minced mint leaves or cilantro leaves for garnishing.
- The same filling can also be used as the spread while making sandwiches.
- If coriander powder is unavailable, you may skip this ingredient as it will not break the recipe.
- I have mentioned the quantity of paneer as half a cup for this recipe. But you may increase it if you prefer a rich, cheesy filling.
Best to pair with Paneer dosa
Paneer dosa is best served with sambar and coconut chutney. The Chutney powder, garlic chutney, radish chutney, and cabbage chutney would also be the best companions. This Radish sambar also tastes great.
Generally speaking, since the filling is spicy, it usually does not need a side dish. The curried mixture by itself makes it a stand-alone food.
How long can you store it?
You can store the Dosa batter and the paneer filing separately. And cook by combining them whenever needed. The cooked paneer dosa will not stay good after an hour. It is best to be eaten as soon as it is prepared. But the batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, and the stuffing stays suitable for a week if refrigerated.
Like Pizza parties, Dosa is parties also famous among Indian families. And if you are planning for such a party or want to prepare beforehand, you can do it. Both the batter and the filling can be made ahead of time. To say precisely, you can make it 2-3 days before the party day by refrigerating it in a sealed container.
Can we make this recipe healthier?
If you worry about the carbohydrate in the paneer dosa recipe, you may substitute rice with quinoa. You may add green peas, grated carrots, or beets to the paneer filling to make it nutritious and more vibrant. Adding veggies to the stuffing is an intelligent idea to include more vegetables in our diet.
Printable recipe card
Paneer Dosa Recipe
For the filling
For making the dosa
- 1 cup dosa batter
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil /ghee
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
For the filling
- Over medium heat, in the pan add 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and finely chopped onion.
- Cook it till it becomes translucent.
- Add tomatoes and salt.
- Cook further till tomatoes becomes softer.
- Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder.
- Sauté for few seconds. And add water and salt.
- Cook by covering with the lid until the masala thickens.
- Add crumbled paneer, and garam masala.
- Give a gentle stir till the masala combines well with paneer.
- Remove from the flame and keep aside.
For making Dosa
- To make dosa, heat a griddle in a medium flame.
- Pour about a quarter cup of batter and spread in a circular motion using a flat spoon.
- Then keep a tablespoon of paneer masala at the center and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle cilantro leaves.
- Drizzle ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil evenly over the surface.
- Cook until the edges become crispy.
- Close half of the dosa to make it semicircular.
- Serve hot with the chutney or sambar.