World Dosa Day 2024: How This South Indian Breakfast Became A Worldwide Favourite

Dosa, a quintessential South Indian breakfast dish, holds a special place in Indian cuisine. Celebrated under various names and coming in many different types, this pancake, made from fermented rice and lentil batter, has gained worldwide popularity. It even has its own dedicated day on 3rd March to prove that dosa's charm transcends all.
Dosa

Dosa

Ask any Indian to name a famous breakfast dish, and you’re sure to find Dosa at the top of any list. Referred to by various names such as Dosa, Dosey Dosai, or Dosha, this crepe-like rice pancake is a common morning choice in South India, offering a balance of carbs and proteins through its fermented rice and lentil batter. It’s become so popular, it even has its own day and the 3rd March every year is dedicated to this delicious dish.
Originating in South India, Dosa’s popularity has spread across the nation and across the world. In a recent report, food delivery platform Swiggy stated that they delivered a staggering 29 million dosas between 2023 and 2024, averaging 122 dosas delivered per minute during breakfast. Bengaluru, known as the dosa capital, outpaced Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata combined, ordering twice the number of dosas.
But even though we all know dosas are loved, it’s roots still remain a mystery. With a complicated past and many theories about how it was invented, let’s take a look back and understand the origin story of the humble dosa.
Dosa
Dosa
Photo : iStock
History Of The Dosa
The dosa, originating from South India, has an elusive geographical origin. According to food historian K. T. Achaya, Sangam literature references suggest its presence in ancient Tamil countries around the 1st century CE. He contends that it was prevalent in the 'ancient Tamil territory,' encompassing Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Lakshadweep Island, and certain areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, as outlined in Sangam literature – the earliest form of available Tamil literature. In contrast, historian P. Thankappan Nair attributes its origin to Udupi in present-day Karnataka. This could be why many South Indian eateries, particularly those renowned for dosa, often incorporate the term 'Udupi' in their names. Around 1126 CE, Chalukya King Someshvara III, who ruled Karnataka, detailed a dosa recipe in his book Manasollasa, a Sanskrit encyclopedia from the 12th century, referring to it as dosaka.
Achaya notes the earliest written mention of dosa in 8th-century literature in Tamil Nadu, while Kannada literature references it a century later. Popular tradition links the dosa to Udupi, possibly due to its association with Udupi restaurants. The traditional Tamil dosa is softer and thicker, while the thinner, crispier version emerged in present-day Karnataka, as documented in the 12th-century Sanskrit encyclopedia, Manasollasa.
The dosa made its way to Mumbai in the 1930s by establishing Udupi restaurants. Post-Independence in 1947, South Indian cuisine gained popularity in the North. The Madras Hotel in Connaught Place, Delhi, became a pioneer in serving South Indian cuisine.
The most entertaining origin story suggests that a Brahmin cook from Udupi, seeking to break free from religious constraints made a brave attempt to ferment his alcohol using rice. But it didn’t quite go to plan and unsuccessful in his brewing, he ended up pouring the mixture onto a hot pan and spreading it around. Upon cooking, it transformed into the crepe-like dish now known as dosa.
Dosa’s International Status
Although it started as a street food, dosa has swiftly surpassed its modest origins, making its way into high-end dining establishments all over the world. Internationally acclaimed chefs began to experiment with dosa infusing it with a variety of ingredients from caviar to chocolate and proving that this simple dish has a world of potential. So this World Dosa Day, as you relish a crispy, golden bite, reflect on the journey it has undertaken to grace your plate, bringing joy and delight to foodies worldwide.
End of Article
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news