Dosa Corner – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
With over 20 years in Columbus, Dosa Corner may just be the spiciest vegetarian/vegan restaurant in town.
Sitting at the corner of Old Henderson and Kenny, Dosa Corner is a small but mighty creator of unique-to-Columbus South Indian dishes like dosas, idli, vada, pongal, and uthappam. We’d driven by quite a few times as the Tensuke Plaza sits roughly catercorner to Dosa. With delivery and carryout options, their small storefront can crank out dosas and other dishes fairly quick.
We were new to the dosa scene (more on that later) so we snagged a broad swathe of things to try.
We ended up with two dosas (Butter Masala Dosa and Onion and Hot Chili Masala Dosa), some Aloo Bonda (Spiced potato dumpling with roasted cashew, fried in chickpea batter), wada (Lentil doughnut fried crispy, fresh coriander), Spicy Spinach Uthappam (rice and lentil pancake topped with fresh spinach, onion, chili, and spices) and an order of bread (parata we believe). South Indian was a completely new style for us, so we went a little crazy but man the flavors on these dishes were phenomenal.
I’ll be real honest, I could probably order 10 Aloo Bonda as a meal and be set. The order comes as two fist-sized spiced potato dumplings with roasted cashew, fried in chickpea batter. Noted as a snack a majority of the time, a quick Google shows Aloo Bonda of all different sizes. With mustard, curry, ginger, garam masala and coriander, the spice list on these balls is right up our alley. Definitely recommended.
We’ll get to the spicy dish momentarily, but wanted to discuss a spicy unsung hero, the wada.
A wada is a lentil doughnut fried crispy, fresh coriander. Dosa Corner has multiple types of wada and as this one came as a combo with one of our dosas, we’re not completely sure which variety this was. What we do know is that it packs a little kick and was too much heat for The Lady of the Farm. A tiny lentil circle with the ability to make you sweat? We’re in.
Now, the picture does not make it look the most appetizing because it’s loaded up with cooked spinach and peppers, but the uthappam is interesting. A rice and lentil pancake topped with fresh spinach, onion chili and spices, it was definitely the least flavor packed of the items we tried. The chilis weren’t as cooked as in the dosa and while there’s a solid heat, my preference was definitely for the onion and hot chili masala dosa between the two.
To the best of our knowledge, all Dosa Corner dishes are vegetarian, and a majority are also vegan and gluten-friendly. Be sure to verify as we are not experts on those qualifiers.
From redditor /u/ethicaledibles “To my fellow vegans : I used to eat here, specifically the aloo matar, because I was indeed told by staff that it was vegan friendly. After seeing the gallons of dairy milk they keep on hand, I asked if cow’s milk or coconut milk was used for the aloo matar and was informed they use a mix of both. So unfortunately, I would take what they call “vegan” with a grain of salt.”
As first-time dosa eaters, I’m not afraid to admit we had to look up the proper way to eat one. Note to the reader, it is not intended to be eaten like a burrito. It is best to pinch and pull off chunks of dosa and filling to then dip into the chutney or sambar. Seeking the spiciest dosa on their menu, we opted for the Onion and Hot Chili Masala Dosa. The length of an adult arm, we broke the dosas in half (the Lady of the Farm snagged the Butter Masala Dosa) and went to town.
With slices of green chili spread throughout the dosa, a steady heat appears. It had been a while since a dish had green chilis and I forgot the level of sneakiness they have. Taste-wise, unless added raw, the green chili tends to blend into the rest of the ingredients. That was the case with this dosa and the higher than jalapeño heat began to creep further. I paused to let the heat catch up a bit, got a few sniffles and then started back in on the dosa.
Pinching and pulling my way through, the heat lingered, but never got overwhelming. It’s a solid complement to the potato and onion filling inside and the spices (cumin, turmeric, mustard) are an excellent pairing with the green chili. Speaking of pairings, there’s a hot and cold pairing in the sambar and chutney. The sambar is a vegetable stew-like dipping vat that adds some heat and additional spices (this was my preference), and the chutney is a colder dipper that I was not as fond of (The Lady of the Farm was a big fan). Dipping into the chutney definitely cools down the chili lingering on your tongue, while the sambar seems to enhance it.
A steady stream of sniffles had grabbed hold of me and as I finished up the dosa, the linger settled in for a few minutes. Low and slow, it’s a comfortable heat that allows you to appreciate everything else going on in this dish. All things considered, we’re placing Dosa Corner and their Onion and Hot Chili Masala Dosa at #53, just below Satori Ramen’s Kara Kapow and above the Xi Xia Western Chinese Cuisine Dapanji Stirred Noodles.
You can find Dosa Corner at 1077 Old Henderson Road, Columbus, OH 43220, or on Facebook.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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