Dosa and Uttapam

What seems like the names of a comedian duo is actually the names of two staple dishes in India.

Dosa(Dosai) is crispy and light. Made from lentils or rice, Dosa is a carbohydrate and protein rich dish. The batter consists of rice and lentils soaked in water and then grounded into a batter like substance. It is left to ferment over night. The making of Dosa is very similar to preparing a crepe. The batter is then thinly ladled into a frying pan or griddle. When the crust is flipped and crispy on both sides it is served either rolled up or flat. Dosa is typically a vegetarian dish. It could be served with a variety of chutney, vegetables, spicy powders, curd, or ghee.

The Dosa is eaten in several parts of Indian as a breakfast since many places desire a light breakfast. However, in some parts of Southern Indian it is customary to have a light dinner instead of a light breakfast and the Dosa is eaten at night.

Uttapam is the thicker version of Dosa. Unlike its crispy, crepe-like cousin, the structure of Uttapam relates more to that of a pancake. The ingredients are put right into the batter. Also made from rice and lentils, Uttapam along with Dosa lean towards being vegetarian dishes. When making Uttapam, the thickness is important since the batter is meant to be more of a flatbread/pancake. Hence why it occasionally is referred to as an Indian pizza.

So remember, if you want to munch on a delicious crispy, vegetarian snack then order a Dosa. If you want something more hearty and vegetarian then order the pancake-like Uttapam.

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Food Focus: Malai Kofta

Today we would like to focus on one of Jackson Diner’s favorite vegetarian dishes: the Malai Kofta. Deep fried potatoes in a thick, creamy sauce. Sounds too good to be healthy right? Malai Kofta is the perfect dish for wanting that “I’m eating junk food” feel and not feeling guilty because vegetables = healthy, right? Right.

Malai Kofta is the Indian version of meatballs, without the meat. The word “Kofta” derives from the Persian word “kūfta” ( کوفتن ) meaning meatball. The “malai” refers a South Asian term for “clotted cream”. This cream is created by indirectly heating up non-homogenized cow’s milk and letting it sit, which creates clots and layers of fat. These are removed upon a repeated process before using the cream. This dish was popularized during the Mughlai Empire, and considered part of the rich, flavorful Mughlai cuisine.

The kofta are made with potatoes, vegetables, and spices. The consistency of the potatoes and mixed ingredients are important, otherwise the ball won’t “stick together” for when it is deep fried. The sauce is usually a mixture of varying amounts of spices (coriander, cumin, paprika, tumeric), garlic, ginger, chili pepper(powder or crushed), paneer, cream, and crushed nuts. Some recipes add ghee as well. Covered in a rich, creamy sauce with varying levels of spice, we find these vege-balls are well worth the long preparation.

An excellent example of Malai Kofta from Maria’s Menu

Jackson Diner: Your Passage to Indian Cuisine

Jackson Diner, an authentic Indian restaurant with its roots in Jackson Heights, New York, welcomes you to our new blog! We decided to create this blog as a way to connect and explore with our customers and all Indian food lovers. Jackson Diner is currently located in the core of the village in the greatest city New York! As a customer you will experience the wondrous diversity of culinary dishes from Northern and Southern India. Our menu will inspire and satisfy your Indian food loving appetites.

Our robust menu is prepared by our talented chef and contains classic dishes as well as unique appetizers.

Jackson Diner will bring India to you, offering catering for events and gatherings, large and small, for all your family and friends to enjoy.

Come and experience a magical feast that will please every discriminative pallet!

We now have an official Facebook page and twitter!!

You can also find us on Yelp and foursquare!