Southern Indian meals shines at Santa Fe’s Paper Dosa

Dahi Vada ($10) is doughnut formed lentil fritters topped with a mélange of three chilly sauces at Paper Dosa. (Heather Hunter/For the Journal)

In a culinary panorama of limitless Christmas burritos, there lies an unique island off Cordova and St. Francis the place chutneys, raithas and dosas reign supreme. That is Paper Dosa, a scorching spot that has been scorching since husband-and-wife duo, Chef Paulraj Karuppasamy and Nellie Tischler, began as a pop-up in 2014 and opened the restaurant in 2015.

Specializing in Southern Indian meals, which facilities on rice, lentils, spices, herbs and coconut, Paper Dosa is the place vegetarians and gluten-free eaters are in heaven. Every part is recent and naturally gluten-free – just one appetizer (Behl Puri) and one dessert (Gulab Jamun) are usually not labeled gluten-free. And most every little thing could be made vegan by eliminating the ghee. However, carnivores shouldn’t be afraid, as a result of the meals is neither timid nor too heavy like Northern Indian delicacies could be, and there are a number of delicious rooster and lamb dishes.

For greater than 5,000 years, Indian delicacies has loved the advantages of Ayurvedic practices which mix components for bettering well being. However this isn’t tasteless well being meals. Paper Dosa is something however tasteless. Layers of herbs and spices are floor, fried, sautéed and added to every little thing. Heavy doses of cumin gentle up the dishes and handfuls of cilantro carry herbaceous undertones that, like a great fragrance, tickle your entire senses.

With ample appetizers and three entrée sections – dosas, uttapam and curries, this menu requires a bunch to collect and share dishes. A cool vibe, Indian music performs within the background and practically each desk is crammed by 5:15 p.m. The meals is beautiful. It’s also playful, inventive and requires consuming together with your palms, which makes the expertise that rather more tactile and satisfying for all ages.

An array of appetizers begs you to make essential selections. However don’t over- order the primary time. As a substitute, go away your style buds wanting extra for the subsequent go to. Begin with the Spinach and Onion Pakora ($10). You and your desk mates will likely be entranced. Crispy half-moon onion slices and wilted spinach and kale leaves are dipped in a tempura batter and fried till completely golden and crispy. Served with spicy eggplant chutney, you’ll be combating over the past crunchy morsels.

Traditional Masala Dosa ($12) at Paper Dosa is crammed with potatoes seasoned with turmeric, caramelized onions, complete crimson chiles, mustard seeds and cashews. (Heather Hunter/For the Journal)

The Chennai Rooster ($12) appetizer comes with a aspect of raitha, a spiced yogurt sauce with diced carrots and cucumbers. Tender items of rooster are dusted with a spice rub and cooked to perfection. After rave evaluations, our eating companions declared “Paper Dosa understands chicken, uses high-quality birds, seasons them well and doesn’t overcook the meat.” This masterful consideration to element and creativity is proven in each dish.

A show-stopper that may be too fairly to eat, Dahi Vada ($10) are doughnut formed lentil fritters topped with a mélange of three chilly sauces – spiced yogurt, tamarind chutney and mint chutney – which can be artistically paying homage to a kaleidoscope. The profile of this dish jogged my memory of the well-known Mexican chile en nogada, which I’ve by no means understood. The sauces are scrumptious on their very own and I needed to spoon the leftover sauce on one thing, however total, this beautiful dish was my least favourite.

The signature entrees are the Dosas and Uttapam. Produced from black lentils and rice, the batter is fermented to carry out the probiotic advantages. Every plate features a steaming cup of sambar, a lentil and vegetable stew made with tamarind, and two chutneys – tomato and coconut. If you end up questioning what to do when your dish arrives, there aren’t any guidelines as to how you need to use the soup and chutneys. As a dipping sauce for the dosa, positive. To pour on prime of the uttapam, why not? I like to recommend you style all of it and see what mixtures give you the results you want as a result of that is your culinary journey.

We ordered the Traditional Masala Dosa ($12) crammed with potatoes seasoned with turmeric, caramelized onions, complete crimson chiles, mustard seeds and cashews. The easy dish arrives and the crisp dosa is the star. The graceful, spiced potatoes play properly towards the skinny and crispy dosa that leaves your fingers a bit greasy from the ghee.

Utilizing the identical dosa batter, an Uttapam is a pancake that includes completely different components. We opted for the Farmers Market ($15) with fingerling potatoes, parsnips and leeks and topped with a superbly sautéed mixture of spinach and kale. Delicate however sturdy, this dish was my favourite. Maybe it’s as a result of I’m a fritter fanatic, however the mixture of textures and flavors received me over.

As soon as once more the kitchen shows its ardour for poultry within the Rooster Curry ($19) which was well-prepared. Served with a aspect of coconut rice, our eating companion, who was an Indian meals skeptic, was impressed with three beneficiant items of tender rooster that was so plentiful, he took the leftovers house.

Heavy on spices, the meals isn’t “hot,” although a Ardour Fruit Custard ($7.50) for the desk offered a luscious ending. Candy and chilly ardour fruit custard is topped with a light-weight coconut milk tapioca pudding. Stick your spoon all the best way right down to the underside of the glass to get the fruit custard and the bubbly tapioca pearls. It will likely be simply sufficient sweetness to reset your palate.

The house is heat with vases of colourful and blended recent flowers on each desk. Our server, Edie, was pleasant and informative. The kitchen was in full swing because it ready meals for hungry prospects in addition to take-out. Employees buzzed concerning the restaurant filling water glasses, delivering dishes and eradicating plates from tables whereas a younger bartender served glasses of wine and beer whereas partaking the bar patrons.

There was a joyful and joyful rhythm that was palpable. Everybody was smiling and their style buds had been dancing to the Indian beat.

When you find yourself swimming in a sea of crimson and inexperienced chiles and it’s essential to broaden your palate with unique spices and wholesome components, the Paper Dosa awaits with an thrilling menu and culinary expertise that’s distinctly distinctive to Santa Fe.

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