If you’re in New York City and on the hunt for dosa — a South Indian pancake made from rice flour and ground pulses, typically served with a spiced vegetable filling — there’s really only one place you should visit. Here’s a hint: it’s not a restaurant.
Thiru Kumar, also known as “The Dosa Man,” has been serving New Yorkers dosas out of his award-winning “NY Dosas” street cart in Washington Square Park since December 2001.
Students, professionals, passerby, and loyal fans alike line up outside of his cart to purchase his vegan dosas, which he serves to his clients with a smile until he runs out of ingredients for the day.
“Thiru, the Dosa Man, Dosa Boss, the Dosa with the Samosa, is without a doubt one of the best vegan options that you can get in an area deep with vegan options,” writes one of Kumar’s fans on Yelp — and we totally agree with him.
Kumar’s menu items tend to cost between $4-$6 and feature bold flavors, bright and colorful veggies, and best of all are made with lots of love.
Kumar’s cart is credited as the first vegan dosa cart in the world, and he appears in 42 countries’ guidebooks. His menu features thin, crunchy dosas made with fermented dough; thick pancakes mixed with vegetables called uthappam; doughy and decadent samosas stuffed with potatoes and vegetable roti, cooked in a mixture of Indian spices.
His dosa cart even features a “Little Vegan Monsters” sticker, which guarantees “No Transfat, No Dairy Products, No Animal Products” to his customers.
Not in New York? You Can Still Make Your Own Vegan Dosas at Home!
Even if you don’t live in New York City, you can enjoy some vegan dosa magic all on your own. We searched through the archives of our Food Monster App to bring you three of our favorite vegan dosa recipe suggestions. Let us know if you decide to try any of them out!
This Masala Dosa With Sweet Potato Filling by Priya Lakshminarayan is gluten-free and vibrant in color.
In this recipe, dosa is stuffed with a spicy, savory sweet potato filling. It’s filling, flavorful, and packed full of good carbs to give you the best start to your day.
For fans of fermented food, these Dosa Cakes With Curried Cauliflower and Kimchi by Nathalie Fraise are sure to satisfy.
This gluten-free and fermented Indian dosa is made from a mixture of white lentils and rice. The lentils and rice are soaked overnight, then blended separately into a batter before being left in a warm oven to ferment for a few hours. The result is a sticky and tangy crêpe that becomes the perfect vehicle for all sorts of toppings, savory or sweet. Here, it’s served with roasted, curried cauliflower and spicy kimchi.
These Black Lentil Dosas by Kushi pair perfectly with your favorite chutney.
These are seasoned generously with green chili, ginger, garlic, and coriander. Then they are stuffed with a delicious mushroom, onion, pepper, and cabbage filling. Yum!
If you’re interested in finding some more scrumptious vegan recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead photo source: Masala Dosa With Sweet Potato Filling
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