DOSAS with a twist

At Photo: S. Mahinsha   | Photo Credit: Photo:S. Mahinsha

We need our regular fix of crispy dosas (and idlis too), dipped in hot sambhar and mildly spiced coconut chutney. We also have an irrepressible craving for meat and seafood, especially when we’re dining out. That’s why, with its mind-boggling variety of dosas, mostly non-vegetarian, seems to be our kind of rustic foodie heaven.

It’s just a couple of weeks old, but early on a balmy evening, the restaurant, situated opposite the Hindi Prachar Sabha at Vazhuthacaud, is already packed to the rafters. It’s got a homely, upmarket thattukada-like feel, the fluorescent yellow-orange-green, frankly, garish, décor notwithstanding. Everywhere we look customers, young and old, families and groups of teens, are all relishing dosas and the other naadan fare on the menu.

The menus are right there on the table so without further ado we start browsing through it only to be stumped within seconds. After all, there are more than 100 varieties of dosa (curiously spelt as dossa on the menu – the extra s promising an extra sizzle, perhaps?), not to mention an extensive list of other hot favourites such as puttu and appam, besides a whole lot of biriyanis, juices and desserts. There’s pepper chicken dosa, paneer mutter masala, palak paneer dosa, garlic chicken dosa, Kada mutta podi dosa, prawns masala dosa (seasonal), thattil kutti dosa, fish peera dosa, choconutty dosa, a series of family meals titled ‘Bheeman dosas’…

We spend a few fruitful minutes debating on what to order but in the end, we ask friendly young Malu Raveendranath, who’s come to take our orders, for her recommendations. It turns of that Malu, a student of chartered accountancy, and her mother, Jayasree, run the restaurant. “Each item on the menu is based on my mother’s recipes,” she says, pointing towards the open kitchen where we can see her mother and a couple of chefs whipping up dosas by the dozen.

The special appetisers for the day, says Malu, are Unnakkai and Irachipathiri. “Our head chef, Baburaj, is from Thalassery, so we will gradually be introducing lots of Malabar dishes,” she explains, as one of the bearers, all of who sport black T-shirts with the tagline Dosa thinnan aashayundo?(reminiscent of the popular lyrics from the yesteryear movie Muthassi), serves complementary welcome drinks of ginger-lime. We go for Irachipathiri, which is sort of like puris stuffed with chicken. It was still crispy though it was obviously made earlier in the day. It was flavourful too, with just the right amount of chicken to temporarily satiate the hunger pangs. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long for the rest of the order. Our fish masala dosa was the first to arrive. We attacked it with gusto, our taste buds exploding with delight. Interestingly, the dosa (or for that matter all the other dosa we sampled) did not ooze oil as is usual with typical ‘paper’ dosas. The fish masala dosa was as yummy like eating crispy dosa with granny’s fish pickle. Both the chutneys (white and red) were delicious, with the red one having the flavour of dosa podi. The sambar too was tasty, albeit cold.

We had to wait a while for the rest of our order. Meanwhile, we could see that this staggered delivery – that we attribute to the restaurant’s teething troubles – was common across the tables, where one person would be eating his/her dosa and the others (literally) licking their lips in anticipation. Our Kancheepuram chicken dosa and Fish kothu dosa, though, arrive together. While the former comes stuffed with micro-diced vegetables such as carrots and beetroot and a generous portion of chicken masala, the latter looks much like a kothu porotta, with shredded dosa, lots of diced fish, onions and the like. Both were equally scrumptious and filling. Next up, a short while after we gulped down the ‘Madurai special jigar thanda’ (a sort of a rustic milkshake with ice-cream and tutti-fruiti), was the Irachi puttu. Piping hot off the stove, it was simply scrumptious with the chicken masala well complimenting the soft rice flour.

We topped off the meal with Kitkat shake – a smoothie of lots of Kitkats and chocolate ice-cream, rightly a chocoholic’s dream.

The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. but dosas are available only from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dosas are priced between Rs. 20 and Rs. 250 depending on the ingredients and the size, with the price of most between Rs.100 and 150. Contact: 2336644

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:01:53 AM |

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