A generous amount of butter is a given at 99 Variety Bombay Dosa
The pride and joy of south Indian cuisine, the humble dosa has gone from being a standardised dish to a platform for much experimentation and innovation. While the States of the south may squabble over the birthplace of the dosa, the double-digit variety dosa stands that have sprung up in the city over the past decade seem to be redefining the dish itself. 99 Variety Bombay Dosa near the Sony World signal on 80 ft Road in Koramangala doesn’t actually have as many varieties of dosas as it claims it does, yet one is left wondering which of the 45 or so dosas to pick.
Cooked on flat coal-heated iron pans, this concept of variety dosas has been lifted from the street food culture of Bombay, claims head dosa chef Dinesh. He says he was trained by his mentor Mallikarjun, a Kannadiga who went to Bombay almost 40 years ago and was supposedly one of the first few to introduce the concept there. Dinesh himself claims to have prepared variety dosas there for about 17 years in close proximity to Sachin Tendulkar’s Bandra residence, and boasts that Sachin’s father was a regular customer.
The dosas are made with a special batter that uses a higher proportion of lentils, adding to the taste, colour and crispness of the dosa. Once the batter is spread over the pan, a base sauce made of tomato and assorted spices is smeared over it, after which customers can choose from the 12 regular and exotic vegetables, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and even noodles are made to blend together to form the most outlandish dosas that might even tempt purists.
A generous amount of butter is a given at the stall, which has even passersby salivating. Their food is priced between Rs. 25 for the plain dosa and Rs. 75 for the mixed veg dosa, which is a combination of all 12 vegetables along with generous amounts of cheese. Open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on all days of the week, this joint looks like the site of a minor riot on weekends.