Friday, September 10, 2010

The daily dose of dosas

    The greatest thing about festivals is the food ; and the love and warmth that is served with it. The Biriyani served during Ramzan (that’s today), the ‘kozhukattais’ made during Ganesh Chathurthi (that’s tomorrow), the sweet pongal prepared during the festival of pongal and all the jalebis, ladoos and home made murukku  on Diwali….wah!  the list goes on..

Meet the Masal dosa
hola Rasgulla!
Early this year, Outlook proclaimed Masala Dosa as India’s national dish and Rasgula (Rosgulla, Rasagola or whatever it is called) as nation’s favourite sweet. But that sounds so weird. There can be never be anything as such. Every time a magazine conducts a poll on food- which state’s favourite dish is which, I really get annoyed. Every sweet, every dish that has been ever made is so special and wonderful with a distinct flavour of its own and picking something as India’s national dish is incredibly unfair.

 ** I love dosas alright (never mind it's the only thing i can cook). The full vegetarian "hotel" in my locality serves dosa in several variants - rava, panneer, mushroom, kodhumai (wheat), raagi (finger millet?), set dosas and of course the masal one. There's also this cousin - appam. I love each and every type of dosa available (including the burnt ones I make)!**

  It’s comforting to see the menus getting bigger in today’s restaurants. Who said South Indians devour only idlis and dosas? Stuff from the Tandoori oven is such a rage here. Atleast there’s no racial discrimination when it comes to food.  Only music and food transcends boundaries unlike anything else. There’s a downside too. You go to a restaurant in some other city or state, hoping to discover some new flavours and divulge into the regional fare, you are greeted with the same old mixed noodles, parathas with green peas and the boring sweet corn clear soup. As far as I know, there are indeed very few restaurants which specialize in a specific cuisine. Experimentation is something that is to be experimented in smaller towns like Coimbatore where I live. Authenticity is important, surely. But traditional food can be slightly changed to suit the taste of a region, can’t it be? International cuisine can be blended in to make the overall dining experience a learning experience as well (but I don’t want that to be a lesson learnt hard). 

    Before I rant off how restaurants are all the same and make the same gooey gravies, I’d like to say how much of a stress-buster food can be. Some say cooking is (I never know since I haven’t cooked   anything that can be called serious cooking). The smell has that enticing power; that soothing effect. A hard day can have a hard effect on your mind but a good dinner with a good company can change all that.

     So, head to a restaurant, order the strangest thing on the menu and munch on. No one’s going to complain (as long as you have a fat wallet).


  1. I love shiny 'kozhukattais’ made during Ganesh Chathurthi oozing with liquid Jaggery. Unfortunately not made in hotels on this occasion!

  2. @magiceye- thanks for visitin!
    @S.R.Ayyangar - how true! Wish restaurants heed your advise, sir. thanks for visitin!

  3. Haha, its fun to be different sometimes. I live in a small town with a fixed number of restaurants and eat out a lot. And though I tend to stick to a certain fixed menu everywhere I've found that I get sick of the place very often unless I try something new once in a while. :)

    But seriously, Dosa and Rosgulla as the nation's dishes! :( I call dibs on the dhokla as the nation's snack. :D

  4. @Vikram Karve: Thanks!
    @Sakhi: Well, loved your feedback! I love dhoklas too!