A return to Saravana Bhavan

While we were chasing our favorite Indian chef all over town, we skipped most of the other restaurants in favor of his. Now that we can’t find him, we’ve had to branch back out. First Chat Patti and now Saravana Bhavan.

It’s hard to resist Medhu Vadai. Savory lentil doughnuts. Mmmm.

Sticking to my standards, I also got the Mysore Masala Dosa.

The inside is spread with a red spice mixture. It’s not really hot, but it is warming as you eat it you can feel your innards getting toasty.

And I finally made it to the blob of potato goodness in the center. It was a little bit oily, but not too bad.

Masala Dosa

If you’re ever in the mood for quick and tasty Indian food, it’s only a box of dosa mix away. I keep a box or two in my cabinet for these occasions. No, the mix doesn’t come out exactly like the dosa you get in a restaurant, but it tastes good and is close enough for lazy food. I usually end up using more water than the box calls for in order to get the batter thin enough.

This is the recipe I used for the potatoes. There’s even a recipe for the dosa if you’re feeling not lazy. And look, it’s healthy, I ate a bunch of broccoli with it.



One last time

Last week Matt and I went out for Indian food. He wanted meat so we tried Madras Woodlands even though the good chef is no longer there. His meat was terrible and not spicy even though he ordered it that way. My veg food was okay, but nothing spectacular. There are definitely other places around town doing it better. My main complaint about the samosa was the lack of complexity of the filling. The dosa wrapper was really good. But the potato filling was oily and a bit bland. The main flavor of it was the onions. I’m glad I opted for the Mysore Masala Dosa because the extra spice was needed.

However, this Evil Twin Ryan & the Beaster Bunny, along with the Stillwater Artisinal Ales┬áDebutante and Victory Prima Pils that followed at the Midway were mighty tasty. Hanging out, drinking good beer, watching a down pour from a covered patio … most excellent.

South Indian Food Love

You know, it actually took moving to Atlanta before I had really good South Indian food. The few places I tried in San Francisco in the 90s were definitely of a Northern sort, and gringoed to boot. I will say that I’ve been back to SF since and discovered perfectly lovely South Indian food between Union Square and the Tenderloin.

Atlanta, though, has a ton of South Indian options. Even so, sometimes I like to cook it. I’m too lazy to bust out enough dishes to fill a thali, but recently I did manage two dishes and dosas. I think a full out scratch recipe for dosas isn’t hard, but making them from a box, a box less than $1, is way easier. It’s pretty tasty for a mix and will do when you’re feeling lazy from making two other dishes.

Both of these dishes come from Healthy South Indian Cooking. This is not even a vegetarian cookbook, but it has many, many vegan recipes. I’ve gotten so I don’t mind some meat recipes. Usually they can easily be veganized.

This is a blurry Potato Okra Mandi. I accidentally made two things that were pretty soupy. D’oh. This one is full of sour tamarind goodness. I’m not usually a fan of okra, but they don’t slime up in this dish.

I thought Beans Kootu was more dry last time I cooked it. Heck, it probably was. At least it wasn’t a full on soup. Sugar snap peas in a coconutty bean sauce.

And here it is all together with the dosas.

Speaking of Indian stuff in Atlanta, one of my favorite places to stock up on supplies is Taj Mahal Market. Spices, beans, mixes, chutneys, thali, etc. This week I made a quick trip up there during lunch for black mustard seeds and came back with that plus red lentils, tamarind paste, saffron, black salt, coconut milk, two dosa mixes, young jackfruit in brine, roasty tasty (peanuts covered in a bean flour coating, not fried) and rose spread:

Even if you don’t need anything, it’s worth stopping in for a browse.