I recently had a lovely press tasting at Dosai, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in NYC. To help me with trying the food for this review, I brought along my non-vegetarian boyfriend, and he gives Dosai a thumbs up! Our dinner was delicious! If you’re in the NYC area and searching for some Indian cuisine, try this place.
Dosai is located in Manhattan at 104 Lexington Ave. It has been open for about four months now. Everything on the menu is vegetarian. They use dairy in some dishes, but it is easy to find several items on the menu that are 100% vegan. Just ask your server!
I absolutely love Indian food; it’s in my list of top five favorite cuisines. Though I have been ordering vegetarian food at Indian restaurants for years now, I have never been to an all- vegetarian one, so this was a cool experience being able to choose among all-veggie dishes on the menu.
For our appetizers, we received Onion Pakora, which are onion fritters served with coconut chutney. They were very crispy and heavily breaded. There was no oil residue on the plate, which I love, because it is disgusting when you order something fried and there’s a bunch of grease on the plate. These were great! My boyfriend and I were unable to finish the portion there, so this dish would be great for sharing with a group.
We received a second appetizer – Aloo Banda, which are spiced potato balls with chutney. This was pretty good, though I much prefer samosas to them if I am going to eat a fried appetizer before my entree. The chutney that accompanied the Aloo Banda was a nice, mild variety that is good for pleasing a wide variety of guests.
My favorite part of the meal was the Vatha Kozhambhu, which is a special Southern Indian entree consisting of okra and black chana (chickpeas) in a tamarind-based curry. The tamarind gave it a great flavor! I have never had a dish like this one before; it was quite a pleasant surprise.
We also received a very tasty dosa stuffed with potato masala. Yum! You are supposed to eat this dish with your hands and dip it into one of the accompanying chutney spreads. It’s much more fun that way! My boyfriend and I began with forks and knives, but when our server told us the dish is traditionally eaten with your hands, we quickly understood why. We both loved this dish, and between the two of us, we ate the whole thing. To make the dosa, the chef told me that they use Cream of Wheat and rice, then they cook it on a grill.
For dessert, we had Badam Halwa, which is made with Cream of Wheat, almonds and butter. It was very rich! This one is not vegan. It’s so buttery in fact that I thought it was too rich for me. My boyfriend, however, loved it. Just a few bites were enough because of that, but it was tasty. Hey, it was a special occasion; that’s why being 99% vegan works so well.
There were several other dishes on the menu that sounded delicious, such as the Red Pumpkin Thoran, which is red pumpkin and kala chana (black chickpeas) with coconut and curry leaves, or the Banana Varuval, which is a crispy sauteed green banana with house blend spices. I will definitely have to go back and order more from Dosai.
Usually, when I order Indian food at restaurants, I am getting Northern Indian specialties. I enjoyed that I was able to try Southern Indian dishes for a change.
Top image: The Village Voice
Note: I received a complimentary press tasting at Dosai for this review.