After an inexplicable hiatus, the Dosa cart is back in Morningside Heights, but in a new incarnation. The bigger, spiffier cart touts a tantalizing list of vegetarian Southern Indian staples—from varieties of dosa and uttapam to flavored rice, aloo tikki, samosas and exotic drinks like tamarind and guava.
The jaunty owner and I have a little game going. I ask him for the enticing lemon or coconut rice dishes, and he laughs and says, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow.” An Indian Columbia graduate spoke to the owner in Tamil and confided to me that the cart was so like ones in India, in which the “whole universe” is advertised and yet only some dishes are really available at any one time.
However, uttapam are available—with onion, cheese, masala potatoes and spices, or vegetables ($5). Uttapam is a bright white pancake made with urad dal and fermented rice, the latter giving it a light, bubbly texture. Ingredients are cooked into it, not layered on top—except the fluffy, spicy turmeric-yellow potatoes of the masala version. Then the owner cuts it into four pizza slices, perfect for sharing on a hot summer evening. So far from Flushing or Curry Village in the East 20s, it’s wonderful to have access, again, to healthy, Southern Indian street food.
Vegetarian Indian Food Cart
Broadway (Betw. West 114th & 115th Sts.)
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