08/26/13 9:49am

Fried Iddly: A Spicy, Crunchy Twist on a South Indian Staple


Think of them as Hindi home fries.

For many years, my go-to spot for South Indian cuisine was Dosa Hutt the restaurant next to the Ganesh Temple in Flushing. After a walk through the park I’d reward myself with a crisp, buttery dosa ,a crepe of sorts made from fermented rice and lentils. Lately I’ve been hitting the Temple Canteen more than the Hutt, as it dovetails nicely with my food tours. The other day though I popped into Dosa Hutt and I’m glad I did. For I discovered the awesome snack that is fried iddly ($4.50).

Like dosa, iddly are made from fermented rice and lentils, and served with the usual accompaniments, the vegetable souplike samber and coconut-coriander chutney. Unlike dosa though the soft puffy disks, which resemble a squashed matzo ball, are nowhere near as fun to eat. Slightly sour  and a bit bland, iddly are best eaten to soothe an upset stomach, or serve as a foil to spicier fare. Whichever cook at Dosa Hutt had the idea of slicing these puffy disks up into wedges and frying them is a genius. I have come to think of the golden morsels, crunchy on the outside but still soft within, as Hindi home fries. Showered in sautéed onion, chilies , and curry leaves and served with a pool of pitch black tamarind dipping sauce they represent a fusion of short order cookery and South Asian cuisine that could only happen in Queens.

Dosa Hutt, 45-63 Bowne St., Flushing, 718-961-5897

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