Taste: Foods You Don’t Know: Dosa
What it is : A crispy South Indian crepe, usually made from fermented rice and lentil batter. One of the most common filling variations is the masala dosa, which is stuffed with a potato mixture punched up with coriander and mustard seed. If you get a mysore dosa, you‘ll also need water; it’s coated with ground red chiles.
Where to find it: A few years ago, New York was just about the only place to find decent dosas, and they’re hotter than ever there right now. But they’ve begun creeping into our area—though not with Manhattan’s roasted asparagus with goat cheese flourishes. For a dosa primer, visit Cherry Hill’s Rajbhog (1900 Greentree Road; 856-751-0257), Tandoor & Dosa in the Northeast (9321 Krewstown Road; 215-969-6110), or, if you can make the drive, Café Chettinad in Newark, Delaware (2671 Kirkwood Highway; 302-286-0805), where 11 types of dosa are available—the widest selection we’ve seen—including a $30, five-foot-diameter “family dosa.” Expect to pay $4 to $6 for a basic dosa, and up to $10 for some of the more elaborate versions.
How to eat it: Definitely a finger food, the dosa should be ripped apart by hand and dipped in bowls of sambar—a lentil curry—and coconut chutney.
How to make it: Dosas are not for the timid or impatient cook. The batter requires lengthy fermentation, and the griddling must be lightning-fast and precise. But if you’re good with crepes, you’re halfway there.