Travel at Home

The Dosa Experiment

by Kristin Zibell
All photos by Kristin Zibell.

Kerala, India, is called God's Own Country because of its natural beauty: lush, languid waterways, endless green rice patties, and white sand beaches that drop into the Arabian Sea. The pace is slower than most places, the people nicer, and the feeling tropical. It is a cherished respite from the dizzy chaos of North India.

I had my own divine experience on these backwaters, not just absorbing the scenery, but also experiencing the region's cuisine. I ate hearty crepes called dosas for breakfast and lunch, lapped up coconut fish curries that were more like soups than stews, and slurped lassis blended with fresh mango. In the two months I spent in South India I never got tired of breakfast on a banana leaf, lunch on a tin tray, and dinner seated on the floor.

Now, living in San Francisco, I miss India. A lot. Two South Indian restaurants (Dosa and Udupi Palace) sufficed for awhile, but I needed to get back to the countryside. 
So I hunted around and found a class on Meetup called “Delectable Dosa: The Art of Making South Indian Crepes,” which I attended with five other hungry students one rainy evening in San Francisco. Our tour guide, Nalini Mehta, a chef and Aruveydic guru, shared her dosa-making tips.

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