In 2005, I arrived in Bangalore with a cringing nose to the smell of dosas and idlis. I absolutely detested them. The roots of my aversion could be aptly blamed on the many so-called “South Indian” restaurants in Guwahati that serve really weird smelling dosas, watery sambar and white-pasty-coconut that pass as chutney .
So, when I reluctantly tasted what the actual dosa tastes like, my senses had a sort of revelation! I asked forgiveness to the Dosa-God for hating it all these years and dived deep into the world of dosa, sambar and chutney.
Most of the monsoon days in Bangalore, I would crave either for a Masala Dosa or biryani. The smell of ghee melting on a hot dosa, the pungent smell of sambar and the heady smell of filter coffee to go with the dosa: all of it is a sensory overload!
I love rava dosa, second to masala dosa; however, I still don’t like set dosa (and you, non-South people, were thinking there’s only one type of dosa, weren’t you? Weren’t you?) Neer dosa is currently one of my favourites and I love it with Vindaloo.
Anyway, since I came to Mumbai, I sort of miss those crispy dosas (I don’t miss idli much, sorry, Idli-God). At first, I was pleasantly surprised to see dosa-stalls in almost every nook and corner of Gokuldham (Goregaon) and my heart did a lovely double-flip! But when I saw the filling of raw-tomatoes, cucumber, carrot (and what not!) spread on the dosa, my heart did a reverse double-flip. That’s when I realized I’m an orthodox-dosa fanatic and if it is a dosa, it needs to have potato and not tomato.
So, I set out to make my own dosa. Yes! Heights of desperation leads one to the kitchen. We bought the batter (thank god for it because I have no clue what goes in the batter) and one fine Sunday morning, I made my husband sit at the dining table to be experimented on.
My sambar was never that terrible and my potato filling too was close to the real thing. But my dosas? Fat lumps of undercooked mass. Spongy, instead of crispy. Terrible to look, terrible to taste. My husband still ate 2-3 dosas and was really sweet to compliment but who was I kidding?!
Eight years in Bangalore and I never learnt to prepare dosa; and here I was, in Mumbai, trying my hand.
After the first epic failure, I didn’t make dosas for a month. Then, when I went to Guwahati and my mother insisted on going to the ‘South Indian’ restaurant, my Bengaluru spirits got a new kick and I told her “No, you shall not have that terrible sambar or those weird bad-taste-in-the-mouth dosas.”
I didn’t add that “If you want bad-taste-in-the-mouth dosas, you shall get it from my kitchen!”
So, after that ultimatum, I purchased a MTR packet of readymade dosa, followed instructions, mixed the yoghurt and made dosas. They turned out to be quite alright! Much better than the ‘South Indian’ restaurants of Guwahati and everyone lapped it up!
And so, ready and prepared, I came to Mumbai and told my husband, “Bring the batter!!” Ready for some PG’s dosas?
And he bought…umm… ONE kg of batter. Well, what the heck, with one kg, I can practice more.
So we had dosas for breakfast and dosas for lunch, dosas for snacks and no… we couldn’t have dosas for dinner anymore. Too much of a dosa-day it had become (we went out)!
Next day, tired of dosas, I made pancakes… yes, you guessed it right… with the dosa batter! And dude, they are awesome!
Anyway, with so much of practice, I think I am almost qualified to be MTR’s next dosa-chef! Wanna try my dosas? Come home for a visit.
Have a yummy dosa-day!