Dosas to die for

FINE SPREAD

Dosas to die for

l People having the famous ‘benne dosa’

A steaming hot dosa and snow-like-butter melting on it makes a delicious sight anywhere. At the Central Tiffin Room (CTR), by the time the waiter brings you the golden brown-coloured dosa to your table, the white blob of butter, placed as a topping, eases and spreads all over the disk making the famous benne dosa all the more delightful.

For many travelling through Malleswaram Circle, a benne masala dosa and a hot cup of South-Indian filter coffee, is like a religious ritual. For Gururaj Rao, a 78-year-old retired postal employee, going to CTR is a daily ritual, without which his day is half-done. He stops his hired auto at the hotel, orders for a hot cup of coffee before going home.

Gururaj has been following this routine, from when coffee was just one anna and dosa, four annas. Except the owner and prices of coffee and dosa, nothing much has changed for people like Gururaj. “This (filter coffee) is same, as it used to be in 1954. Taste, smell...nothing has changed except the price,” he says. More than the filter coffee, it is the special benne masala dosa which Krishan, the chief dosa-maker at the hotel prepares, that CTR is famous for. Every day, Krishna prepares nearly five to six hundred masala dosas.

“This benne masala dosa is special, though it is oily. You cannot resist having two,” says Mahadev B S, a student of MES College, who was busy munching his third dosa. “Gulp two cups of hot filter coffee and your throat is clear again,” he adds. A fan of CTR, in fact, has gone one step further and has changed a Sandalwood song into “Naniruvude nimagagi, CTR iruvude namagagi, benne beke, plain beke, thinniri ella hayagi…”
It isn’t a surprise that the hotel’s dosa was selected as the ‘king of all dosa outlets in Bangalore’.

Ask the owner Sanjeeva S Pujari about the secret of the yummy dosas and he says, “We follow the same thing that was followed in the past. We get butter from the village and other required things from the best places.” He doesn’t say anything more.

Neither the new owner of Sri Sagar (CTR), Sanjeeva nor regular customers like Surya Naraya, Udaya and Gururaj know when exactly the hotel was started. In 1992, it was transferred to the new owners after the death of Ram Krishna Holla, who used to look after the hotel till then. It is believed to have started in 1950.

The menu has not changed since then. The new management has just added the ‘rava idli’ to Mangalore bajji, rice bath, puri, idli, rava idli, vada, khara bath and kesari bath that were famous earlier. “My intention is not to compete with rest, my intention is to give the best to the customers,” Sanjeeva added. “I never concentrate on what rivals think and do. I do what I have to do,” says he.

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