New darshini-style cafe brings authentic Karnataka flavours to Chennai

This newly launched quick-service restaurant serves delectable Karnataka delicacies
Benne Masala Dosa
Benne Masala Dosa

The newly launched Sashwatha Cafe on Chamiers Road was packed to the rafters when we visited the plush Karnataka darshini-style café on a balmy Monday evening. As we stepped into the self-service eatery, the heady aroma of masala dosas wafted in the air. It seemed to be the crowd favourite as the hot, piping dosas, we noticed, sold like hotcakes.

We found a nook for ourselves next to a wall-mounted dining table and embarked on our culinary voyage with some delectable Udupi delicacies. The Ghee podi thatte idli set the stage for the evening. The soul-warming pillowy idli, generously laden with ghee and podi, was accompanied by three varieties of chutney — coconut, tomato, and mint — and sambar, made in typical Karnataka style, deep red in colour and mildly sweet. The podi is an in-house recipe, and we must say, they have a winner in their hands.

Soon, Bonda soup, Rava idli, Rava dosa, Benne masala dosa, Maddur vada, Chow chow bath and Mangalore buns made a beeline for our table and literally jostled for space. It’s a quick-serving food joint, after all. Among the aforementioned dishes, our picks were the Benne masala dosa (of course), Rava idli and Rava dosa

Benne Masala Dosa
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While we quite liked the crispy Rava dosa, the Benne masala dosa is a meal in itself. The flavourful, aromatic dosa, laden with potato masala and liberal helpings of ghee and podi, can make your mouth water at the very first glimpse.

We didn’t even need the accompaniments for this one. On the other hand, the coconut chutney goes well with the crispy, golden-brown Rava dosa. But ensure that you polish off your dosa soon after it is served.

As for the fritter-type street snacks, Mangalore buns would have worked better had they been a tad sweeter. For those looking for some healthy grub, we recommend the Akki roti and Ragi roti combo. These flatbreads, made with chopped onions, curry and coriander leaves, and mild spices, instantly won our hearts.

They go well with coconut chutney and tangy tomato chutney, and they were a match made in heaven. Both are best eaten when they are just out of the tawa. We concluded our session with the popular South Indian filter coffee. 

Even as we indulged in our tasting session, we observed that the majority of the customers preferred to dine standing at this QSR food joint. And the icing on the cake is that you can watch your food being dished out right in front of your eyes.

Meal for one starts at `180.

7 am to 12 am.

sangeetha.p@newindianexpress.com

@psangeetha2112

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