Mysore masala

Mysore Tiffin House started off as a small restaurant opposite the Secretariat in 2001. A year and a half later, they had to look for a bigger place to shift base, proof enough of the quality of food they offer. The new one is located at Vazhapilli junction.

Though it cannot boast of a variety of spreads from Mysore, they have succeeded in bringing a Mysore touch to their food. The batter they use in making dosas has a peculiar taste as does the sambar. Dinesh Rao, one of the partners of the joint, was reluctant to reveal the `magic ingredients' of the batter, but said that it was always "used fresh".

The dosas are neither too thick nor thin, but sufficiently crisp and the filling has a `different' taste. Devarajan Potti, another partner, attributes it to the peculiar taste of freshly ground masala. Dinesh suggested that I try out a Mysore masala (Rs. 13). And I would say it was the only Mysore-speciality dosa I found there. This is an ordinary masala dosa, with a filling made of potato, onions, and beans, but with a coating of Mysore chutney, a concoction of chilli, garlic and jeera.

The other dosas available are butter masala (Rs. 13), ghee masala (Rs. 13), set dosa, served with kurma (Rs. 10), ghee roast (Rs. 10), rava roast (Rs. 10) and the inevitable onion oothappam (Rs. 10). Then there is chappati, parotta and chana batoora.

Mini meals are the fast-moving variety for lunchtime. Says Dinesh, "If full-meals are served, each person takes at least 10 minutes to finish it, but in the case of mini meals, people take much lesser time to finish off. For us, time is money. We do provide plain rice, sambar and thoran. But only to those who specifically ask for it."

Rao and Potti have plans to start an exclusive dosa outlet too. This would give us a chance to taste more Mysore food.