A classic Indian dish that can be served as both a snack and a meal. It is a crispy, savoury pancake that served with curries and chutney (spicy Indian sauce). Thosai is a popular breakfast and dinner dish rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
What is Thosai?
Thosai goes by many other names such as dosa, dosay, or tosai. Thosai is made from a dough of rice and lentil flour. It is generally prepared the night before to allow it to ferment overnight. On the next day, the flour batter then ladled into a flat cooking girdle and spread out to form a crepe-like pancake. Once cooked, thosai either rolled up to create a tube or fold into a triangle. At most Mamak restaurants, thosai is usually served with curries, chutneys, or a dhaal (lentil curry). Chutneys are made from coconut, chilli, mint, or peanut. Like most Indian food, you eat thosai with the right hand. Tear the thosai apart, ball it up in a triangle and dip it in curries or chutney. Every bite of thosai is wholesome and flavourful.
History of Thosai
Thosai originated from South India. The earliest mentions of thosai dated to the sixth century during the Sangam period in India. This South Indian cuisine gained popularity after the Independence of India. It made its way to Mumbai in the 1930s and then to the rest of the world.
Variations of Thosai
There are many different versions of thosai depending on size, content, and cooking method. Let’s explore some of the thosai version that is available in Malaysia.
The most common thosai is Masala thosai. Masala is an Indian word used to describe any spices mixture. Masala thosai consists of a mixture of flour and potato filling that is heavily spiced, giving it a yellow colour. This dish is quite filling and can keep you satisfied for breakfast.
Rava thosai differs from normal thosai as it is made using semolina flour which has a nutty flavour, and it need not be fermented overnight. It has a lighter texture and appears browner.
There is no difference in ingredients between Paper thosai and standard thosai. The preparation differs slightly as Paper thosai is spread incredibly thin on the pan, making it crispier than the other thosai. The Paper thosai is twice the size of standard thosai and usually served in a cone shape.
Egg thosai is simply an addition of egg that is scrambled on top of cooking batter. It creates a fluffier version of thosai. For the cheese lover, cheese thosai is a must-try dish. Melted cheese on a plate of thosai is one of the tremendous evolutions of modern thosai.
Furthermore, there is onion thosai which give the dish a sharp flavour and rough texture as the onion is only partially cooked. Besides the savoury thosai, there is also sweet thosai served as a dessert. The most common sweet thosai is Thosai Milo which appeals to those with a sweet tooth, and the Banana Nutella thosai, which slowly gaining popularity among Malaysians.
Where to find Thosai in Malaysia
Thosai is readily available in any Mamak restaurants throughout Malaysia. Thosai is generally served during breakfast and dinner. You can get thosai from Thosai Bazaar (Johor Bahru) or Thosai Cafe (Petaling Jaya). Find more of the Indian cuisine on foodpanda!