It may be quintessentially South Indian, but the diversity of people who call Mumbai their home has made the dosa one of the most sought-after meals in the city. What makes this delectable snack all the more exciting is the unimaginably wide range of options it encompasses — from run-of-the-mill masala dosa and rava dosa to the more adventurous Schezwan and pav bhaji variants. Whether you take your time and enjoy a dosa at a quiet meal in a fancy restaurant, or quickly gobble one down at a busy stall on your way to work, here is a round-up of the best dosas that the city dishes up.
Mysore Onion Rava Sada Dosa at Hotel Ramashray
The crowning jewel in a string of South Indian restaurants located in Matunga East. Hotel Ramashray’s delectable sambhar and grainy, spicy Malaga podi make every dish here a winner, but the Mysore onion rava sada dosa truly stands a cut above the rest. This pyramid-shaped, ghee-soaked delight is crunchy on the outside with a generous drizzle of spicy red chili, garlic chutney and finely garnished onions on the inside, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor.
Fusion dosas have been quite the rage in the city for quite some time and this tiny food stall right opposite Mithibai College dishes out some of the most scrumptious ones you could imagine. One favorite is the spring roll cheese dosa which comes packed with a filling of cabbage, carrot, capsicum, green chili, spring onion and paneer tossed in a spicy red sauce. A real firecracker—it comes with a large quantity of grated cheese to balance the spice quotient.
Areas around colleges are the best places to find some delectable food that’s easy on the wallet. We happened to find our next fusion favorite at this small, no-frills joint near Juhu’s Ritumbhara College. The pizza dosa is an absolute must. Essentially a pizza with a dosa for the base, this unique variation comes with a generous topping of chopped tomatoes, onions, corn and capsicum, oozing with melted cheese—good enough to give any normal pizza a run for its money.
This upscale South Indian restaurant located in Juhu is best known for its scrumptious thalis, but also does a neat job with its dosas, with a variety that’s sure to spoil you for choice. Our favorite is the rajni dosa, which elevates the usual masala dosa to superlative levels by combining the potato bhaji with paneer and cheese, tossed in a masala of onion, garlic, green chili and curry leaves.
This iconic Churchgate haunt may have lost some of its sheen over the years, but there are certain dishes that you can count on to never go wrong. One of them is the prawn masala dosa, a must-try for those who love both seafood and South Indian fare. Finely chopped flavorful prawn tossed in a spicy onion and tomato masala ensconced in a crisp thin dosa. This is served with tangy sambhar and coconut chutney – earning full marks for both novelty and taste.
This hole-in-the-wall joint near Opera House dishes out some of the best street-side dosas you will ever have. At Narayan’s Dosa, you may have to forego the comfort of being seated while you eat, but their mouth-watering dosas are sure to keep you coming back for more. After sampling a wide range of regular and fusion dosas, our vote goes to the palak paneer dosa—crisp on the outside with a filling of smooth, creamy, garlicky spinach paste and tender chunks of paneer. Add to this a dollop each of fiery red garlic chutney and coconut chutney and you have a meal that’s nothing short of heavenly.
Any list to do with South Indian fare is incomplete without a notable mention of Café Madras, one of the oldest and most iconic South Indian restaurants in the city. As any regular visitor here would do, we vouch for the raagi dosa, a healthier and much tastier option than its rava and rice counterparts. Made from the coarse and highly nutritious raagi (also known as millet), this crisp, dark-brown dosa is accompanied by a dollop of fresh white butter, tangy sambhar, chutney and podi—health and flavor all in one scintillating dish.