Residents of Jayanagar 4th Block are in for a treat. ‘Dosa Plaza’, a chain of restaurants which serve innovative, often rather unusual dosas, is setting up shop right opposite the Jain Temple.
The chain, which began as a simple stall back in 1998, now boasts of 44 outlets across the country, as well as a scattered few in New Zealand and the Gulf.
The chain was started up by T Ganapathy more than a decade ago — at the time, it was a modest stall that made simple dosas. “Then, I worked on branding the stall, and my roommate helped me a lot in this. I opened another stall, which was a huge success and then finally I set up a kiosk,” recalls Ganapathy.
At the time, his dosas were of the traditional variety. But a few years later, he started experimenting with international flavours as well. “I set up a Chinese food stall which flopped. But then I thought, why not put some of the Chinese flavours into a dosa?” says Ganapathy. He came up with a few innovative recipes, including the bizarrely named Schezwan Dosa, which was stuffed with noodles and khatta-meetha sauce. Later, additions like paneer and chilli were also made.
Visitors to the eatery are spoilt for choice — it boasts of 104 different kinds of dosa, of which 27 are trademarked. The most popular, maintains Ganapathy, is the salad variety.
The crisp dosa is stuffed with vegetables, shredded lettuce, mayonnaise and spicy sauces, after which it’s rolled up and sliced diagonally. It’s served with a liberal sprinkling of grated cheese and sliced onion. The end result is something like a roll, which combines international flavours as well as a strong South Indian element. “People don’t realise that dosas can be made in this manner too. It’s a completely new taste for them, which is why they love it,” claims Ganapathy.
“I think the success behind my chain is that it has such a huge variety. Youngsters like to try something new. They’ve tasted Chinese food and pizzas, but here they can have the same thing on a dosa, which is completely new for them. Also, dosas are a much healthier option when compared to junk food like burgers,” explains Ganapathy.
One of the new dosas he’s recently introduced to the menu is the American corn dosa, which is stuffed with corn, sliced vegetables, salad leaves and spring onions. Ganapathy insists that each new recipe is concocted by him alone.
“I come up with different ideas, and then personally try them out to see what they taste like,” he says. Considering that the items are moderately priced — the dosas start at a mere Rs 20 — it’s no surprise that his other outlets have become immensely popular among students and families alike.