The best masala dosas we’ve ever had were, unsurprisingly, in India - at a cafe called Anand in Calcutta. We went there three days in a row for breakfast, and when we left for Malaysia on day 4 we were probably more sorry to be saying goodbye to the cafe than the country.
The masala dosa is a thin Indian pancake made from a fermented lentil batter that gives a subtle sour tang. It’s usually stuffed with a spicy potato curry, and served with a bowl of sambhar (dhal) and coconut chutney.
Even now, despite eating great dosas in Penang (Malaysia) and at Chennai Dosa in London, we’ve never found anything that comes close.
Anand raised the bar for dosas, and so it was with some apprehension that I ordered one from streetfood vendors Dosa Deli at Kerb a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be completely honest, I normally would’ve ordered anything but the dosas – surely I’d be setting myself up for disappointment? However the alternative was vast amounts of meat & carbs (burgers, pulled pork baps, more burgers) from the other stalls which, while mouthwatering, didn’t work out so well for my productivity levels last time.
Dosa Deli’s food looked colourful and healthy and really quite appealing… and so I handed over £5, loaded my tray up with sauces (yoghurt, tamarind and sriracha) and hoped for the best. Dosa Deli’s dosas are a different species to the traditional ones, but still surprisingly good - packed full of spiced potatoes, fresh spinach and creamy homemade paneer, and served with yoghurt sauce, tamarind sauce and sriracha. They were actually the perfect lunch – interesting, full of flavour, and filling, and they gave me enough energy to get through a busy Wednesday morning.