FARE OF THE COUNTRY;
The Vegetarian Snacks of South India
AT 7 A.M. in the restaurant at the New Woodlands in Madras, more than 10 people are already waiting in line for breakfast. The scent of coconut drifts through the air as barefoot waiters race past bearing trays loaded with steaming white patties and large, fragrant pancakes. Madrasis and visitors pore over their morning papers, washing down patties and pancakes with small cups of sweet, milky coffee.
AT 7 A.M. in the restaurant at the New Woodlands in Madras, more than 10 people are already waiting in line for breakfast. The scent of coconut drifts through the air as barefoot waiters race past bearing trays loaded with steaming white patties and large, fragrant pancakes. Madrasis and visitors pore over their morning papers, washing down patties and pancakes with small cups of sweet, milky coffee. As sure as the sun rises over the Bay of Bengal, another day begins with idlis and dosas, the all-purpose snack foods of south India.
Although they have no real Western equivalent, idlis and dosas are similar to many of our foods. Idlis, which resemble spongy dumplings, are always served in pairs. Dosas are crepelike pancakes served neatly rolled. Both are widely available throughout south India - and difficult to find anywhere else.