Serving more dishes would have been an unnecessary distraction from the two sumptuous staples

Magadi Road does not exactly have an eat-out culture. Industries in the area are mostly run by families, so there aren't many single workers travelling there either, needing catered food.

But, a few residents of the area seemed excited about the ‘dhabas' coming up on the road.

While some of these had little more to offer than greasy, tasteless preparations, a small non-descript joint offered us some incredibly tasty fare, irresistible even on a full stomach.

With no name or sign board, the restaurant is tucked away on a lane off the main road, a little after the Outer Ring Road junction, at Sunkadakatte. It is a ‘tiffin centre' that serves Davangere benne dose, thatte idli and not much else.

It is just as well, for other dishes would have been unnecessary distractions from these two sumptuous items.

Covered in butter, Davangere benne dose defies expectation that rich dose needs to be crisp.

While the appetising smell draws you into tasting at least one, the heaviness of the butter keeps you from gorging. That is where the thatte idli or plate idli comes in.

To make soft, fluffy thatte idli, the batter is poured on shallow plates and steamed. The end product is an idli, thinner and wider than a regular one.

While thatte idlies can be made on any plate, it is said that in Tumkur, where the idli comes from, there are special plates to make them. Magadi Road is close to Tumkur, and so, this tiny eatery has beautifully shaped thatte idlies brought out of their special plates.

Both the benne dose and thatte idli come with a spicy side of white (coconut) and red (tomato and chilly) chutney. The dose also comes in a podi (chilli powder) covered version for the palette open to something spicier .

History on walls

The little eatery's walls are adorned with paintings about the history of Karnataka, ancient monuments and scenic waterfalls.

The first Chief Minister of the newly created Karnataka state S. Nijalingappa and a host of other leaders look down at you as you devour the delicacies doled out of the kitchen.

Unsurprisingly, you will not be able to call up this restaurant and make reservations.

Drive down Magadi Road until you reach the junction where it meets Tumkur Road and continue for about 4 km.

Well into Sunkadakatte, people will be able to point you to the Davangere benne dose place. It is open in the morning and evening.


Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011

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