Have you ever tried Dhosa? It’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever eat, I can promise you that. How to descibe it… It’s kind of like a South Indian crepe, rolled out reaaaaally flat and toasted so that it curls back round on itself. I personally like to have mine stuffed with Chicken Masala – It’s tasty enough that I don’t mind losing some Dhosa real-estate for using with the dips.

Oh, hadn’t I mentioned the dips? Yes, everywhere I’ve ever had Dhosa, it’s come with fairly standard dips. There is:

  • Green Stuff – Probably coriander based, it’s by and far my favourite. Very refreshing, and quite savoury.
  • White Stuff – Possibly coconut based, sweet and cooling and very very creamy.
  • Red Stuff – Potentially chilli based, it packs a nice punch but isn’t too spicy (although I guess that depends on your palate!)
  • Sambar – Definitely lentil based, it’s like a thin dahl that I like to pour onto the bits of Dhosa I’m eating with the masala inside. Absolutely delish.

Now, the Dhosa and the Dips are definitely the main attraction of the dish, but having the Chicken Masala inside is just heavenly. It’s like a starter and a main packed into the same course. Having said that, I do enjoy ordering up a few starters to share. On Friday, we had a few things (after determining that none of them had nuts in them, so that my good friend would not go into horrendous anaphylactic shock). I had an old favourite of mine, the Chilli-Fried Idli. Idli is a kind of fermented rice cake, similar in texture to deep-fried tofu. This dish was INCREDIBLY spicy, and I had to order up a whole new Mango Lassi just to kill the heat on my tongue. Not ones for skimping on the spice, we also ordered Chilli Paneer – a kind of cheese, if you didn’t know. My word was that tasty. It was a whole different flavour to the Idli dish. While the Idli were salty and tangy and red-hot spicy, the Paneer was fruity and sweet and tangy, as it had been cooked alongside onions and peppers. We also had a couple types of chicken – One was definitely Manchurian Chicken, a curious dish that is essentially a south-asian attempt to mimic Chinese style cooking. It works VERY well. I can’t even remember what the other chicken dish was – just that it was damn tasty.

So, not that I set out to have a moral to this story but you’re getting one anyway, I strongly urge you to give South Indian cuisine a go! It’s very different from the Punjabi-style food that’s prevalent through much of the UK and, I suspect, much of the rest of the English-speaking world. If you love spice and deep flavours, you will not be disappointed!

… I really wish I’d saved that tub of masala now, instead of eating it yesterday… Ah well, I’ll just have to find another excuse to go back soon!

Bon appetit, tout le monde!