Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The First Supper at The Dosa Temple

This evening I arrived in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts completely famished after spending the whole day traveling.  My parents took me to The Dosa Temple in Ashland, MA, which is a vegetarian Indian restaurant. The combination of fatigue and hunger seemed to supersize my cravings and as I sat down for dinner, I felt like I hadn't eaten in a week. Lucky for me, the menu was extensive with a huge variety of delicious options. The menu contains a combination of Northern and Southern Indian dishes in addition to integrating Chinese food. Their specialty is definitely Southern Indian food, although every dish I've had there has been amazing. I also know that it is authentic Indian food, as my family and I are usually the token Caucasian bunch.

This restaurant has two discounts that can be used together. The first is that they are featured in the entertainment booklet that can be purchased online for a small fee and includes various other discounts to restaurants. We used the online booklet version that my dad has free access to through his auto membership. The coupon is good for up to $8 worth of a free entree with the purchase of another entree. The second discount this restaurant offers is that if you pay with cash, you save 5% off your bill. We took advantage of both and got a delicious meal at a very low price.

First, we each ordered soups. My dad and I ordered the rasam soup ($2 each) and my mom ordered the sweet corn soup ($3).
The rasam soup was delicious and I could not believe it was such a large portion for only $2! It had a nice kick to it, but I did not find it too spicy. The tangy tomato flavor was perfectly matched with the cooling greens and had a subtle sweetness to it. This is definitely one of my favorite soups.

My mom let me try some of her soup and it was also very delicious. It had a very creamy texture that sharply contrasted the crisp and crunchy vegetables which the soup was so largely composed of. The soup also had a very distinct taste of corn, although I didn't find it to be too overwhelming. I liked the soup a lot, but I still prefer my rasam.

Next, we ordered some appetizers to share. We got an order of 2 vegetable samosas ($4.50) and the mixed vegetable bajji: onion, potato, eggplant, chili and bell peppers ($5).

The samosas were delicious and the outside was very crispy. The inside was filled with well seasoned and spiced potatoes that were soft and easy to eat and a great contrast to the hard outer layer.

Similar to the samosas, the fritters had a great batter that was deep fried and the vegetables inside still remained soft and flavorful. This dish was way spicier than the samosas as the chili powder coating the vegetables gave it an intense kick. Our mouths were burning from this dish and we constantly found ourselves reaching for the water glasses. Thankfully, the waiter was very attentive and continuously kept refilling it, otherwise I don't think we could have handled this dish. My favorite was the onion fritter, which was basically a very deep fried, very spicy version of an onion ring. If you love spicy food, this dish is a must, otherwise I would stick to the less spicy fried food alternatives on the menu.

After having this dish, we needed something to balance the spiciness out. We ordered the tossed kachumber salad ($4) which was very cooling and refreshing.

All the different vegetables really worked well together and the dressing was very light, but still noticeable.

Next, our entrees came. We ordered the Temple Special Masala Dosa: crepe with spiced chutney, sauteed onion, tomato and potato, rolled and sliced ($9) and the Vada Curry: lentil balls cooked in coconut and mild spices ($9).

The dosa came with 6 pieces of a scrumptious crepe rolled with perfectly spiced vegetables. The crepe was very savory and the contents inside had a creamy consistency and was so flavorful, especially with the chutney and lentil soup poured on. I love how the crepe was rolled and cut up as it allowed each piece to be well distributed with the mixture. I hate going to a restaurant where they give you a long dosa with a lump of the mixture in the middle and expect you to actually do a good job spreading it out yourself. This is always disastrous, so we were happy The Dosa Temple did the work for us.

The Vada Curry was extraordinary and unlike any other Indian dish I've ever had and I eat Indian food a lot! It was very creamy and had a strong nutty flavor. There were so many different textures, from the smooth, luscious coconut sauce to the crunchy lentils and corn. The sweet sauce worked really well with the spiced lentil concoction and was so scrumptious. We were fighting over who would finish this dish and I am happy to report that I won!

Lastly, we ordered some paratha bread ($3) which was the only vegan option. I was glad this was the only vegan option as it was spectacular and a great way to end the meal, since none of the desserts were vegan. The bread was very flaky and oily and seemed more like a pastry than an Indian bread. It satisfied my craving for something sweet and worked really well to balance out the spicy food.
Overall, the food was so delicious, authentic and unique. This is one of my favorite Indian places and a must if you are in the Massachusetts area. This place is already very reasonably priced, but with the discounts we only ended up paying about $33. The food was very satisfying and well worth it.

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