Dosa is probably one of the most famous dishes from South India, but if you ever happen to travel down South, you will be baffled with the huge variety of dosasprepared and served there. Of course, you’ve heard about the popular ones like the Mysore Dosa or the Rava Dosa, but what about the Neer Dosa or the famous buttery delight from Bengaluru – Benne Dosa? The word ‘Benne’ literally means butter and as the name suggests, this delicious treat is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Doused in butter, these dosas are crisp yet have a soft and spongy texture not quite like the paper thin Masala Dosa that would fall under Udupi cuisine. The Benne Dosa is smaller in size, has a thick and fluffy texture and is made with a rice batter. Food Blogger Nithya Ravi from Bengaluru tells us, “Benne means ‘butter’ in Kannada and this dosa is aromatic and flavourful. It is prepared like a regular dosa but with heaps of white butter and accompanied with coconut chutney. A popular variety of the Benne Dosa is the Davangere Benne Dosa, which is named after the town Davangere in Karnataka and is stuffed with a potato filling.”
(Also read: The Most Famous Dosas from South India)
Some other popular variants of the Benne Dosa are the Open Benne Dosa, the Benne Khali Dosa (empty dosa with no filling) or Ondu Benne Dosa (single Benne Dosa). Benne Dosa is most enjoyed as a breakfast staple in Bengaluru. The potato filling, which is also known as the Potato Palya, is often served separately and taste a bit bland. It is a simple side dish made with boiled potatoes tempered with some onions and green chillies. When dipped in the fresh and spicy coconut chutney, the Benne Dosa tastes heavenly. You can’t get a better way to start your day.
“To get the taste of an authentic Benne Dosa, you can make a quick pit-stop at Raghavendra Davanagere Benne Dose Hotel, Vidyarthi Bhavan or CTR in Bengaluru,” suggests Nithya. A regular plate contains two dosas and mind you, they are rich, greasy and sinful. So, if you have a small appetite make sure you ask for the Ondu Benne Dosa (single piece).
We’re not quite sure, who came up with the brilliant idea of dipping dosas in butter, but the Benne Dosa has become an intrinsic part of the menu at most restaurants in Bengaluru that serve authentic South Indian fare. It is believed that the recipe was first created at the Mahadevappa Benne Dosa Hotel, which has been running since 1928 but it is hard to trace its true origins.
The trick to make the perfect Benne Dosa is to use good quality white butter. You can even use home-made white butter for a more robust flavour. Try this wonderful recipe shared by Food Blogger Nithya Ravi from Bengaluru:
Benne Masala Dosa Recipe
Ingredients for the dosa:
Par boiled rice-1 cup
Poha-1 1/2 cup
Urad Dal-1/4 cup
Ingredients for the filling:
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
How to Make Benne Dosa:
1. Rinse par-boiled rice, poha and urad dal separately and then soak for 4-5 hrs.
2. Strain and grind to a smooth batter and add salt and sugar and mix well.
3. Ferment for at least 8 hours.
4. Boil and mash potatoes. Chop the onion and green chilles and set aside.
5. In a pan, add oil followed by mustard and channa dal.Add green chilli and chopped onion to it.
6. Now, add mashed potatoes and turmeric powder. Add salt and mix well. The filling is ready. You can keep it aside till you make the dosa.
7. In a griddle, add butter and once it has melted pour the dosa batter after mixing it well.
8. Spread it like a regular dosa and place filling in the centre.
9. Once the bottom is crisp and golden take it out on a plate.
10. Serve hot with sambhar and coconut chutney.
So, all the dosa lovers out there, give your cravings a new meaning and try this delicious Benne Dosa at home.