Dosas in Hicksville
- George Kappus
I recently had lunch at at a restaurant called House of Dosas in Hicksville. (A sign in front that is easier to see from S. Broadway than the restaurant name itself proclaims mysteriously "Formerly of Dosa Hut.") The lunch was very good overall, with a couple of high points.
I had a vada(?) (a lentil flower(farina?) doughnut) and a mysore masala dosa (here without cashews). The vada was a revelation. I usually find South Indian appetizers/snacks of this sort a little bland and spongy, needing chatni to give them character, but the vada was light and had a nutty flavor. (It was made even better by superior chatnis, including a thin red one that I had never had before and whose ingredients I couldn't identify.) The dosa was good, but I have had as good before. (To put things in perspective, I've also had many that I didn't think were as good.) The sambar (sp.?) that went with it was delicious. All chatnis were exceptional to my taste.
The two people that I was with had, respectively, a vegetable curry and a spinach dosa. (House of Dosas offers an array of dosas with vegetarian fillings that I have never seen offered anywhere else. Is this the Magic Pan approach to South Indian cooking?) The vegetable curry was tasty. The spinach dosa tasted good, but struck me as a little odd. Think of palak paneer without the cheese, wrapped in a dosa.
House of Dosas is on S. Broadway a half mile (more or less) south of Old Country Road. It is in a strip mall on the right as you head south. When I was there on a Tuesday, it was packed, and some people were waiting for tables. Everyone other than my group appeared to be Indian.
I would like to hear if anyone else has experience with any of the other Indian restaurants that seem to be multiplying rapidly in this part of Hicksville. As far as I know, House of Dosas is the only South Indian one. (Or is Dosa Hut still out there somewhere?)
"Dosa in Hicksville". Ahhhh. To me that's more romantic than "April in Paris"
George, another dynamite post. Thanks!
Let me explain one thing: Dosa Hutt is a phenomenal, hyper authentic Indian snack shop in Flushing, Queens right next to the Hindu temple. The masala dosa is awesome, the rava dosa excruciatingly delicious. They also make good iddly and vada.
There was also a Hicksville place called Dosa Hutt ( 470 S Broadway Hicksville, NY (516) 938-7517) and I suspect that your place is the new...um...incarnation. If I'm wrong, and your place is another address on S. Broadway, so much the better. We can play one dosa against another.
Ok, time to mobilize the troops. I did not know there was an Indian enclave in Hicksville, so I guess I'd better get eatin'...
Forgive me George, but what is a dosas?
As for other Indian restaurants in the area, there is Indian Oven and Rangmahal, both on the left hand side of the same road (heading south), Indian Oven in the large mall on the corner of Old Country Road (with a Chucky Cheese in it), and Rangmahal about 1/2 mile further south, near a tatoo parlor. Both were originally very good, but over the years the food has deteriorated. I haven't been to either one for at least 8 months, but of the 2, perhaps Indian Oven was better...it use to have fabulous kulfi (and maybe it still does). Rangmahal tends to use too much salt and is now very greasy.
I just ate at Syosset's Jewel of India last night (still recommended by an Indian friend as the best Indian restaurant on Long Island) but the chicken korma had horrible, overcooked, tough and almost (tasting) spoiled chicken with an extremely mild sweet sauce, and the kulfi had big chunks of frozen ice crystals in it. The lamb Rogan Josh was good, as was the poori.
I apologize for the long delay in responding to your inquiry. Dosas are lentil flour (mixed rice and lentil flour?) crepes. The crepe is folded around the filling to make a roughly conical package a foot to a foot and a half long. The commonest filling, in my experience, is a spicy potato mixture. This is usually called masala dosa on menus. With the addition of cashews and, perhaps, other ingredients, the common menu listing is mysore masala dosa. House of Dosas has a wide variety of fillings. (I believe, however, that they use mysore masala dosa for the plain potato filling version without cashews.)
If you search chowhound under dosas, you will find at least one posting with a more detailed description of how dosas are made.