Dosa, also spelled "dosai", is a dish that is fairly popular in the Southern regions of India. I had to find out the hard way that all Indian cuisine is not created equal. Having friends from India who have walked me through this very fact, I understand (and appreciate) that Indian cuisine is very regional and it is hard to compare the North to the South and really any location in between. This is one of the many reasons I was excited to try The Dosa Factory, a new fast casual vegetarian Indian spot located off Richmond Avenue (in the Galleria area).
At first glance, the Dosa, a pancake-like item, reminded me of a crêpe. Crêpes are typically very thin with a uniform texture and slightly crispy edges. Almost translucent, but much more firm, the Dosa is just as "see through" as its French counterpart. Dosas are made from fermented rice and black lentils, and like a savory crêpe, can be filled with many things including potatoes, chutney, spinach, cheese, beans, and/or vegetables like green peas, carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower. This may seem fairly simple and straightforward, but the highlight of this dish is the combination of flavors. The seasoning and spices apparent in the dish are perfectly blended, and if you prefer a little "heat", then this will be right up your alley.
The Dosa Factory focuses primarily on this dish, but they also offer fried lentil donuts called Vadas. Think savory donuts and not the glazed ones you get from Shipley's :). Also available on the menu is the Idli, or steamed rice cake. They can be served alone or with a sauce. Take the Vaghar Idli for example, in which the rice cakes are tossed with onion, garlic, and ginger and tomato paste, then mixed with mustard seeds and curry leaves. In addition to the Dosa, I would also recommend their Samosas (pastry filled with potatoes and vegetables) or the Gobi Manchurian (deep fried cauliflower served with manchurian sauce).
The Dosa Factory calls themselves the "ultimate Indian crepe experience". I couldn't have said it any better myself. Even if you are not a vegetarian, you can be rest assured to not miss the "meat" during your visit.
The Dosa Factory
5959 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77057
Urban Swank did receive a complimentary tasting, but the opinions expressed are our own.