City Food – Egg Dosa, North Campus
A strange dish.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Really, it oughtn’t to be allowed, to make dosa like that.
The South Indian staple is a crepelike pancake of fermented lentil-rice flour batter stuffed with mustard seed-flecked potato mush. Accompanied with mild coconut chutney and fiery sambhar curry, masala dosa should be crisp, brittle and thin.
What if the same potato mush is filled inside an omelet, with sambhar and coconut chutney as side dishes?
In the South Indian Café, an open-air eatery in the North Campus of Delhi University, this fabrication is called egg dosa (Rs 40). In successful instances of fusion cuisine experiments, flavours from different schools of cooking unite to give something new and delicious. But in egg dosa, egg and sambhar, or egg and potato, remain as far apart as Kipling’s East and West.
Dosa is appreciated for its shattering crispness, but egg dosa is soft and fluffy. If you have a happy disposition, the dish, at best, may tickle your taste buds.
Else, egg dosa makes you feel so weird it becomes a memorable experience, perhaps to be enjoyed only in this café, one of the loveliest and most relaxing places in North Campus. Tables are laid under trees. Cats lie under the furniture. Diners mostly consist of graduate and post-graduate students discussing movies, lecturers and cricket. Many come in gangs. Those who enter in pairs of two look so involved with each other they could only be items. A few arrive alone carrying novels and notepads.
The place seems to be especially popular with the area’s Tamils. I have seen people reading Tamil-language newspapers. The café’s Tamil owner assures me that everyone eats egg dosa in Chennai.
End the meal by tending your shocked palate to the conventional comforts of the café’s South Indian filter coffee (Rs 7). Served in the traditional steel tumbler and davara, it tastes like any scalding, frothy sweet-bitter Chennai-style kapee. The brew calms the restless feelings stirred by egg dosa.
Where South Indian Café, P.G. Men Hostel, Delhi University Nearest Metro Station Vishwavidyalaya (take a rickshaw from there) Time 9.30 am to 9.30 pm
Spot the stuffing
We are loving it
Spot the cat
Eyeing my egg dosa
Dosa, not omelet
You’re right! It sounds totally yucks!
I love it already! Must try it next time I’m in DU (the last time was 20 years ago).
eggs and potatoes have been together for ages, ask any Spaniard or anyone familiar with tortilla de patatas.
No thanks, my stomach isn’t graveyard for the bird foetus and carcasses of dead animals. Yikeees… Let me remain human.
My stomach’s more open-minded to refugees of any species. All God’s creations welcome.
Yes, your stomach’s the graveyard for plant foetuses and carcasses of dead veggies. Kind of still lets you remain a human, right?
Matka, you creationist! I try to think of it as ‘carbon-based matter’. Ah, and I like to invoke Baba Darwin before I do so.
Mutta – Dosai (Egg Dosa) very common in Chennai – Whipped egg smeared on a Dosa while it is still cooking on the griddle, served with sambhar, Chutney and Malagapurhi – one of the best roadside eats down south. No masala though and certainly no tomatoes or onions.
No wonder it is not known by its Chennai name. Without revealing the dirty details, I am sure Mutta Dosa won’t sound very appealing to any person who has spent a considerable time in any Hindi-speaking region, especially Delhi. Then there is that damnably suggestive ‘whipped egg’ bit.
Comments are closed.