Confidential gives you the low down on these giant crispy pancakes - a speciality of ITR
INDIAN Tiffin Room specialise in great examples of the kind of snacks you are likely to find in the colourful bustling streets of Bombay, or the type of slow-cooked dishes many a traveller has enjoyed while stopping off in highway dhabas for a rest.
Dosas are deceptively filling and there aren’t many better value lunchtime dishes of this quality for around a fiver in Manchester.
One of the things ITR specialise in is its dosas; over-sized thin and crispy pancakes made from a batter with either a lentil, rice or semolina base stuffed with a delicious and hearty potato masala filling. All are traditionally served on a tray with freshly made coconut and tomato chutneys and a mild spicy lentil and vegetable sambar flavoured with mustard seeds and curry leaves. These popular pancakes are such a staple in Indian streets, restaurants and homes that they’re enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
While these delicious treats are popular in many Indian homes, with mums and dads effortlessly knocking up perfect examples by the dozen, we think these are probably best left to experts chefs at ITR. Imagine the equipment alone? To make these yourselves, you’d have to own a huge griddle (at least double the size of your average crepe pan) or a super-heated plancher grill top, or a supersized hob to cook them on. The Indian Tiffin Room kitchens have a special dosa grill which the owners had imported from India.
So let us guide you through the many different types of dosa’s on offer at ITR. More are listed on the dinner menu than on the lunchtime menu, but if you have a favourite and you ask nicely, they’ll definitely sort you out with the one you fancy at any time of the day. Dosas are deceptively filling and there aren’t many better value lunchtime dishes of this quality for around a fiver in Manchester. So if you find yourselves near First Street or Cheadle, dive into ITR for a delicious dose of your daily dosa.
Plain Dosa (£3.50)
This is one for those who like to keep things simple, or for those keen to stimulate their appetite before exploring other dishes on the menu. This thin and crispy crepe made from rice and lentils is a great way to start a meal. Break bits off and dip them into the coconut and tomato chutneys and the lentil and vegetable sambar.
Masala Dosa (£4)
This is the basic, entry level dosa. Same giant lentil and rice crepe described above, but with a delicious spiced potato masala filling in the centre. An infinitely better (and bigger) lunchtime option than a soggy wrap.
ITR Mysore Masala Dosa (£4.85)
This is similar to the Masala Dosa above, but they have incorporated some homemade ITR chutney into the batter to slightly enrich the flavour and colour. This huge crepe again is filled with the delicious mashed potato masala filling.
Madurai Masala Dosa (£4.85)
These have added spicy red chilli chutney to the rice and lentil crepe which gives it a slightly reddish tint, a hint of spice and makes for a slightly crispier batter around the potato filling. This one is on the dinner menu.
Rava Dosa (£4.50)
This dosa is made using a different batter which is made from semolina rather than rice and lentils. It’s mildly spiced but still light and crispy. This crepe is served simply with chutneys.
Rava Masala Dosa (£4.95)
Thin and crispy semolina crepe as above, wrapped around the delicious spiced potato filling.
Onion Rava Dosa (£4.95)
This one looks quite different to the others. Crispy fried onions have been incorporated into the semolina batter giving it an almost lace-like appearance and added texture. It’s perfect for ripping into pieces and dipping into the spicy chutneys.
This crepe is a speciality of ITR (no other restaurant that we know of does it) and it is usually a homemade speciality rather than a restaurant dish – even in India. This slightly green, thin and crispy crepe has been made using ground moong dal or mung beans. Instead of the usual potato masala filling, this pancake comes filled with crushed cashew nuts and fresh pomegranate seeds making it another perfect starter.
If you’ve never tried a dosa before, or you consider yourself a bit of a dosa connoisseur, make sure you visit Indian Tiffin Room for your daily dosa. These giant pancakes with the spicy potato filling make the perfect lunchtime pit stop; light enough to prevent a mid-afternoon carbohydrate coma, yet filling enough to satisfy. As each one sells for under a fiver, there aren’t many better mid-week lunch options around. If it’s more of a full on curry or street food experience you’re after, start with a dosa is probably one of the best ways to begin.
Book a table online or call ITR on 0161 410 0340
Indian Tiffin Room, Isabella Banks Street, First Street, Manchester M15 4RL