In the foodie world of India, the dishes that have effectively stopped the barrage of Punjabi foods like Parathas, Chhole and Bhaturas, are the South Indian snacks like Idli’s and Dosa’s. Right from Kashmir in north to Aasam in the east, entire north India, loves the great South Indian snacks. Even abroad, any restaurant serving Indian dishes, always serves these mouth watering south Indian delicacies. During my young age, These snacks were certainly available in the restaurants all right, but were not so popular as today. The local Maharashtrian dishes like ‘Sabudana Khichadi’, ‘Kanda Pohe’ and ‘Misal’ used to be very popular earlier. I hit upon these South Indian snacks for the first time, when I moved to Bengaluru City for my education. Our hostel mess used to serve these dishes every day for breakfast and for snacking along with afternoon tea. On many sunday evenings, we would troop off to Brigade road area, to enjoy the fabulous Dosa’s served by a restaurant known as ‘Koushy’s’. The taste of those crisp Dosa’s, makes my mouth water even today. This restaurant is gone now, yet the taste of Kaushy’s Dosa’s still lingers in my mouth. Those wonderful Dosa’s used to cost in those days, maybe a Rupee or two. It is also a fact that in the range of South Indian snacks, not much choice was available for a foodie in those days. One might got ‘Rava Idli’ or ‘ Rava Dosa’ or a ‘ Mysore Dosa’ at the most. Today, we have endless number of varients and choices like ‘Kheema Dosa’, ‘Chicken Dosa’ or even a paper thin Dosa. I am writing all this today on the subject of Dosa’s for a special reason. ‘Rajbhog’, a restaurant in Bengaluru City’s posh Malleshwaram area, has come out with a brand new class of Dosa’s.
Few years ago, coating eatables with silver foil or leaf, had become an item of high fashion. Top quality Indian sweets like ‘Laddu’ or ‘Barfi would normally be coated with a thin silver leaf. Even today, this practice is continued by some sweetmeat shops. More expensive varieties of ‘Betel nut Paan’ (an after meal mouth freshener ), are also many time coated with a silver leaf. I also remember having eaten a similar ‘ Paan’ with a coating of a gold foil, from a stall near one of the 5 star hotels in Mumbai. Maybe, taking inspiration from that Gold foiled ‘Paan’ or some sweets, the Dosa’s available at this ‘Rajbhog’ restaurant are actually coated with a Gold foil. Before serving a hot Dosa to the customer, a golden leaf of approximately six inches by six inches is stuck on the Dosa.
The price of an ordinary Dosa today, which has already touched the sky according to me, is somewhere in the range of 50 to 100 Rupees. Rajbhog’s prices of Rs, 1011 for a Dosa with a gold leaf can not be said to be unreasonably high. Rajbhog restaurant guarantee’s that they would be serving at least 1 mg of gold to each customer. Gold oxides are already in use in India’s traditional medicines of ‘Ayurveda’. There is nothing unhealthy therefore in Rajbhog’s gold Dosa’s, Rajbhog is buying the gold leaves from a company in Rajsthan state of India and Food department of Bengaluru Municipal Corporation has already given green signal to this Dosa. A question is likely to puzzle readers about who is going to eat this Dosa? In Bengaluru, there are many people, who have stuck a gold mine from the Information Technology Industry. This Gold Dosa could be a nice way for them to flaunt their wealth. When this Dosa was offered on an experimental basis by the restaurant, the response has been quite encouraging. It has been therefore included in the standard menu now.
I read somewhere recently that India imports 1000 Tonnes of Gold . Few Gold leaf Dosa’s are hardly going to make a big difference.