Do the dosa twist

Updated: Oct 01, 2019, 07:42 IST |

With traditional and oddball Chindian varieties, a dosa joint in Khar is a fave among locals, tourists and with SRK too

Byline: Krutika Behrawala

Roadside dosa stalls may well pass off as open-air flavour labs, trying to build a chemistry between the savoury crêpe and all sorts of ingredients — from chocolate to cheese and chowmein. That many of them receive patronage from a large number of foodies is testament to the city's growing indulgent and experimental palate.

One such haunt is Manju Dosa Center in Khar-Santacruz. The nondescript space, set up in a shop over a decade ago, is easy to miss if it weren't teeming with crowds at most times of the day. Celebrities swear by it, too. Shah Rukh Khan had told mid-day in an interview in July 2017, "When we end up working late, I like eating sada dosa or masala dosa with coconut curry from Manju Dosa Center, near my office."

Schezwan cheese paneer dosa
Schezwan cheese paneer dosa

The menu features over 80 varieties, from rava to American choupsey (in a section called East West Touch), palak paneer and Jain dosas, and an array of uttapams. We order the rava Mysore dosa (Rs90). The tava sizzles as a staff member ladles the batter with flourish. He tops it with mashed potato gravy, chopped onion, tomatoes, capsicum and a dollop of butter. As we watch this little performance, a customer gushes, "This is exactly what I saw in the video!" We learn he's a visitor from Ahmedabad and landed up here, guided by a Facebook video.

The rava (semolina) dosa is crispy and sufficiently pockmarked but the Mysore gravy is bland and underwhelming. The same stuffing greets us in the sandwich uttapam (Rs90), hiding between two layers of too-thick and dry uttapams. We ditch them for the schezwan cheese paneer dosa (Rs100). It is paper-thin and none of the three ingredients overpower each other. The dosa is a hit.

Jini dosa
Jini dosa

The jini dosa (Rs100) is stuffed with shredded veggies — carrots, cabbage, capsicum, beetroot — laced with sweet-spicy-sour sauces and oodles of cheese. While the Sai Samarth Dosa Centre in Vile Parle remains our favourite for the jini dosa (its crispy texture unperturbed by the nuzzling of sauces), Manju comes a close second for getting its flavour balance right. We make a mental note to plan our next meeting at the swanky coffee shop in the next lane so that we can return to Manju's and sample its other oddball offerings. The classics, however, are best left to the Udupis.

At Manju Dosa Center, 16th Road junction, Santacruz West.
Time 1 pm to 11 pm

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