Mar 24, 2010

A Thosai Brunch

I prefer Thosai (or "Dosa" as India Indians write) to Prata. It's less oily, more filling and tastier.

For those who don't know, Thosai is a crepe made from lightly-fermented rice and lentil batter. Sometimes it is filled with stuff like egg, or Masala (curried potatoes and vegetables) or whatever catches your fancy. It is usually accompanied with condiments such as Sambar, coconut chutney, and some chilli thingie. It is normally eaten in the mornings but it can be eaten any time of the day.

Masala Thosai from Wikipedia
Masala Thosai (src: Wikipedia Commons)

I'm going on and on about Thosai as Nesh and I had a Thosai brunch during the week at Chettinadu Restaurant (Add: 41 Chandar Road; Tel: [65] 6291 7161). It was a nondescript restaurant in Little India that we randomly veered into whilst looking for food.

The restaurant was one of those old-school "share-everything” types where banana leaves were used as plates; grabbing and mashing food with fingers (always the right hand!) was encouraged; the condiments came in three massive tin cans shared amongst the diners (ask for it nicely); and waiters waggled their heads politely in approval or looked sheepish when it came to screw-ups.

Chettinadu Restaurant

Before this brunch, I had tried Thosai plain, with egg fillings, and Masala . According to Wikipedia, there's more variations such as "chilli, butter, ghee, wheat, appam, cheese, adai, paper" Thosai. Nesh was deeply into the Rava Onion Thosai which used semolina batter for the crepe and julienned onions for filling.

It’s a simple dish really. Sweet, crunchy and crispy; courtesy of the julienned onions and just-right frying technique. But what really made it good were the condiments that gave it richness, spice and bite only when mixed together. Thus, heap on the chilli thingie, go easy on the coconut chutney, and let the Sambar soak into that Thosai's pores. Adjust according to taste.

We were craving for it much later during a 7-11 beer session. Unfortunately as Nesh pointed out, "Dude. There aren't any 24-hour Thosai shops." Not at 2am in Little India, Serangoon Road. 

Nesh pointed out, "Dude. There aren't any 24-hour Thosai shops." Not at 2am in Little India, Serangoon Road.

Cook it!

Basics: Thosai Batter

Thosais: Basic Thosai | Masala Thosai | Rava Onion Thosai | Paper Thosai

Condiments: Coconut Chutney | Sambar

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