Half Masala Dosa, Idlis
Bottles of water are stacked all around you
Its rustic environment and their wafer-thin, super-crisp half masala dosas.
Wedged between a row of houses, the only thing that notifies you that you’ve reached Siddappa Hotel is the small crowd of people waiting in queue in the courtyard. As you join the line (there’s one for the people who want their famous half masala dosa and a much shorter one for those who don’t), you’ll notice other details. Like the stone carvings etched with various renditions of the Snake God standing stoutly in front of the hotel.
You’ll also notice Siddappa, an intimidating man, sitting on a stone bench. He sits with bowls filled with new coins (to hand out change) and his cash box, chatting with regulars and shouting out instructions. He started off this venture over 30 years ago and no amount of fame and fortune (they have had plenty of that) can nudge him out of this hole-in-the-wall establishment onto greener pastures.
We tried the Kali Dosa, a fluffy, thick dosa that had just a hint of crispness to it. While we had no major complaints with it, we’ve eaten better versions in this very city. The idlis, however, were soft and still steaming, and melted in our mouths, and paired with the coconut chutney and the vegetable sagu, we had little trouble gobbling it up.
Finally, after a considerable wait, the dosas made its way out and we were served our half piece (they only serve one half because demand is high and they don’t have the resources to push out more. If you need another serving, you’ve got to stand back in line). Spread evenly and oozing with ghee, the super-thin dosas were fried to a crunchy crispness. The bland potato filling in the middle actually balanced out the richness of the dosa perfectly.
The DL on the ambience
Siddappa Hotel runs out of a small, traditional home painted in muted blues. The walls are covered with colourful pictures of deities, whose eyes follow you as you park yourself on one of the benches (there are no tables here).
So we’re thinking…
It may be hard work, all this standing patiently in line for half a dosa, but as long as those dosas come as crisp as they do, we’ll be lining up again and again.
Where: 38, 7th Main, Near Hotel Geo, Sampangiram Nagar
When: Monday to Saturday, 8.30-noon, and Sunday 7.30-noon
Contact: +91 9980286249
Price: INR 150 for two
Featured image by: Devika Raman