A deconstructed dosa
A deconstructed dosa Image Credit: Gulf News

It’s a crowded world full of spiced and simmering lentils, large wraps and – sometimes chunky - chutneys. I dare you not to drool when you enter a dosa parlour (which is what I’m calling it) in India. The great moves – from North to South, East to West, and a slew of other directions - has meant a mutation of flavours that suits each taste bud it encounters. And a travel abroad has not bruised the chomping experience either.

When last week we headed out to suss out Dubai’s versions of the old favourite, it seemed like mission impossible; around each bend of brick lay another, hospitable plate with the lentil rice mix that had been fermented and fluffed on a large iron board that doubled up as cooker.

While the experience may seem muffled to the aficionados – so many varieties lie in wait for the experimental eater – we’ve listed a few that we are already prepping to return for.

Karandi’s, Karama

Dosa Karandi's
It may be simple, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste amazing. Image Credit: Gulf News

One could argue that it’s difficult to wreck a simple potato masala dosa. And that one would be wrong. It’s a balancing act between potatoes, curry leaves, onions and a sprinkling of lentils, and a little more of one or a little less of the other can turn the happy moment into a very unhappy one. At Karandi’s, in Karama, fortunately, the balance is maintained and a hot spicy tomato-based chutney only enhances the flavour. Follow our lead and order a filter coffee for the complete experience. Total damage to the wallet: Dh11.

Shri Krishna Bhavan, Karama

Shri Krishna Bhavan
Buttermilk complements this one.

Next up, in Karama again, we headed to Shri Krishna Bhavan. If you are looking for more varieties than you can possibly sample in one sitting – this really is the place to go. The Gongura Dosa, which is layered with a paste made with gongura leaves and red chili, is a tart treat. If you like to smack your lips to a tangy flavor, this Dh13 dosa has you covered. Another thing we really loved was the Open Dosa (Dh16), which is a deconstructed take on the classic and with a dab of butter.

Mami's Illam, Discovery Gardens

Special mam dosa
Mami's Illam in Discovery Gardens has a secret sauce Image Credit: Gulf News

Head over to the other side of town and to a small place called Mami's Illam in Discovery Gardens and get ready for the Mami special (Dh12). A ‘house-only’ paste with tomato, onion and other things nice – the secret lies in the undisclosed ingredients – is slathered generously onto the fermented dosa paste. The result is a sandwich of sorts - and a lovely breakfast opportunity.

Hari Prasad Pure Veg Restaurant

Hari Prasad's offerings
Hari Prasad's offerings Image Credit: Gulf News

A few doors down from Mami’s is Hari Prasad Pure Veg Restaurant, which is known for its neer – rice paste and lots and lots of coconut – variety. This is –literally- a soft option. I much prefer the masala dosa, with a giant dollop of coconut chutney (Dh13).

Bikanervala, in JLT

Dosa Bikanerwala
Another masala dosa experience is available at Bikanervala.

Another masala dosa experience is available at Bikanervala, in JLT, for Dh 14. The crispness of the offering is legend; the taste is classic. But to up your game here, you need a partner in crime who will eat another Bikaner-favourite, aloo-puri. Dip your dosa into the chutney that comes with the Punjabi favourite and your taste-buds will be thanking you all day long.

Let the dosa journey continue – are there any places that you’d like us to try? Write in to us at readers@gulfnews.com and tag us on your dosa adventures on Instagram.