99 Variety Dosa – Koramangala – Food Truck

Oh boy, this is good stuff. This is a food truck – an articulated auto. Good quality ingredients used (all amul stuff). We tried this on friday and last friday. Both experiences were very good. Tried different types of dosa. There are basically 4 different varieties – chinese base, pav bhaji base, potato base, and cheese base.

The chinese base has a smattering of chilli, garlic, and soya sauces. Some have cooked noodles and shredded cabbage tossed in.

The pav bhaji base has the pav bhaji masala as the base. A smattering of all kinds of vegetables, cheese and paneer are toppings based on your choice.

The potato base or the mysore masala as it is called has the traditional “aloo palya” base and a smattering of vegetables, cheese, or paneer as toppings based on your choice.

The cheese base has veggies and cheese. period. Each dosa with cheese in its name gets a grated cheese cube (oh yeah, one full cheese cube grated fully!).

All in all, good stuff. Do check this out. This is on the road that joins the NGV gate and the forum road – also called 80 ft road. When you head from the NGV gate, there are two positions that this food truck takes. It is either on the left, right outside the Laxmi Devi Park ; or further down the road on the right hand side right opposite to the Ganpati temple.

Power of a smile …

On Saturday morning, I had gone to the nearby Darshini (“Krishna Upahar”), the super awesome food joint near my place for breakfast. I am quite a regular here. The dosa master here is a fantastic guy. Churns out one of the best dosas ever. Though he is kind-of in the back, I always smile and sometimes give some appreciative gesture in sign language. The dosa grill is quite at the back of this small restaurant.

I digress. On that day, I had ordered a masala dosa. I had paid up, given the chit to the front-guy, who took it and gave a bark – “Bhattare – ondhu masale ….”. The guys who work in this restaurant have always called this dosa master as “Bhattare” .. dont know why (I wish I knew enough kannada to ask…). No sooner than he had said that, the dosa master had started pouring the dosa. Just then I realized that, I was not up for much spice that morning. I quickly said, “Red chutney beda”. The masala dosa in these parts have a spicy red chilly-garlic-tomato chutney spread inside the dosa for added flavour. But only then I realized that the dosa master had started spreading the chutney. The front-guy looked at me and shrugged – which basically meant – sorry dude, damage is done.

But then, I saw through the corner of my eye that the dosa master had heard this conversation. We made quick eye contact. He smiled and asked in sign language if I did not want the chutney. I nodded sadly. Without a second thought, he removed the dosa which had just started cooking, tossed it into the bin below, and poured me a fresh new dosa. And he turned and smiled.

It may have been due to a variety of reasons, but the one that strikes out to me, is that this compassionate gesture was all because of the simple smile.


Basavanagudi dharshan (gandhi bazaar, vidhyarthi bhavan dosa, bull temple and other temples)

Yesterday was Basavanagudi dharshan for R and me. Started off from Koramangala at around 2PM. First stop was Gandhi Bazaar. Found my way until Lalbagh gate without any problem, but then after, multiple people gave multiple directions, contradicting each other, so we roamed around in spaghetti circles for some time. At last, parked next to a Khadhi Bhandar shop, which said Gandhi Bazaar in its nameboard. Found it to be Bugle Rock Road. A friendly fruit shop owner said, all this area is Gandhi Bazaar and the main road is walking distance.

The main Gandhi Bazaar road is basically the Bangalore’s own TNagar Pondy Bazaar. A large tree lined avenue, both sides peppered with small platform shops and medium sized shops. Fruit markets and vegetable markets set the whole place ablaze with the colours of fresh produce.

pic: bangalore.burrp.com

Amidst all this circus stands, Vidhyarthi Bhavana, a >75 year old eatery – which has supposedly been ranked as second-best dosa in Bangalore (next only to CTR, Malleswaram). Ofcourse, this was one of the high points of our dharshan.

Review of Vidhyarthi Bhavana:

I see why, it is next only to CTR. CTR rocks any day ! The dosa there is way better, and the sambhar heavenly. VB does not have Sambar. Let me let that statement sink into you. No Sambar. Only chutney – and I did not like the chutney that much either. R could not digest the fact that dosa could be served without sambar. R liked the dosa more than me. For me, my tongue had tasted CTR, and would not accept this. It was only Ok-Ok. The place is clean – and the waiters (all dressed in dhoti – tied lambda/2) did perform the circus of balancing a dozen dosa plates on one hand. But for me, I would prefer CTR any day.

We then bought veggies, and moved on to our next destination – Bull Temple. We visited the bull temple – the Nandi is very big – and um, very cute too. Little feet, cute nose etc – in all a pleasure to gaze at. After paying homage to Siva’s personal secretary, we wanted to see the other temples in the complex, but they were to open only at 530PM.

pic: bangalore.metblogs.com

So we crossed the road, and visited Nava Mantralaya – a Raghavendra temple – where a music school was celebrating its yearly anniversary. 50 kids (all below 12 yrs) were on stage and were singing bhajans – heavenly.

At 530PM, we crossed the road, back to see Mr. Dodda Ganapathy – a huge Ganesha Temple – beautiful vennai kaapu (butter decoration) – very nice and had a good dharshan. Also visited the Bala-anjaneya temple and Kannapar temple in the same complex.

At this point, R and I knew, there were more temples in this area, but did not know where. So called V (my brother in law) – who lives in closer locales (Bansankari). He visits these temples more often. On his suggestion, went on to see Karanji Anjaneya – a very old Anjaneya temple walking distance from the bull temple. At this time, R commented, if all the temples in this area, were super sized temples 🙂 – all deities were minimum 4 times larger than us!

After Karanji Anjaneya, we hiked over in the opposite direction, to Govardhanagiri temple. This is a concept temple – yes, you heard it right – a concept temple. Beautiful. The whole temple looks like it has been carved into a granite hill. You enter through the side, and inside there is an enclosure, where you see, Lord Krishna holding the hill with his little finger – a beautiful sight to behold. Very nice and peaceful inside. Good arrangements to sit in front of the deity and meditate. This was our favourite temple.

We then took our car, and went the opposite direction, and visited the Ramakrishna Math. It was just like the other RK Maths I have visited (Chennai, Kolkata) – peaceful, serene, green. The aarthi was going on. We spent some time there,

Bengaluru Dharshan

Ok, now comes the most interesting part of the evening. We had finished all our dharshans, and the food, and now it was time to get back home. We saw a board which said Lal Bagh west gate. I kind-of figured out that, if we headed to Lalbagh, and circled it (like we did on our way to Basavanagudi), we would at some point hit the road from Nimhans/Diary circle. Um, we took the wrong turn. We ended up seeing Minerva Circle, JC Road, Town Hall, Hudson Circle – and thankfully I knew the way back to Koramangala from there (lessons learnt from our many trips to the Majestic Railway station). We headed back through Residency Road, Magrath Road, Lower Agaram, Vivek Nagar and at last, home sweet home 🙂

Worlds best Masala Dosa and Vada Sambar – CTR and Janata

My wife and I are proper foodies. We just love food – any food (anything vegetarian that is). The facilities/admin manager at my workplace knows that -since I am probably the only guy who goes and thanks him for the good free food we get 🙂 Anyways, he has been telling me of a couple of really old food joints in one of the core kannadiga-heartlands of Bangalore – Malleswaram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleshwara ). It is where True Bangalore lives. Beautiful, breezy, clean, no pollution. Nice. Anyways, getting back to food, He had mentioned two joints, each famous for different things.

The first was CTR – Central Tiffin Room, aka CTR. Apparently the name board alone has changed to Sree Sagar. Why do I say – apparently? Because the new name board is written fully in Kannada as well. So I would not have realized it either ways. My dear manager friend had given me spot-on directions, to reach the place, and even where to park (opposite side of the road – near the ground periphery – the cops ticket you if you park on the hotel road). But he had not mentioned how big/small it was. If you are going there for the first time, I am pretty sure, you will miss the hotel in the first go (like we did). But ask anyone, they will point you to the hole-in-the-wall entrance.

                                         You will defenitely miss it, if you do not know how to read Kannada.

                                            The worlds best butter masala dosa (benne masala dose).

Once the dosa had been gulped down, it was time to go to the second joint that my manager friend had recommended – Hotel Janata – famous for its Vada Sambar. You need to walk down to eigth cross for this (CTR is in 7th Cross). It is but a 10 minute walk. It is difficult to miss this hotel though. English name board and prominently displayed too.

                                                                              Hotel Janata

                                                             The worlds best vada sambar.

All in all, what started off as a ‘what-the-he**, let us just try these places today’ morning, became a wonderful morning spent on delectable kannadiga good.

*BURP*. I mean *AMEN*, I mean *Thathaasthu* :=)