MADRAS DOSA HUT (1330 Gerrard East, at Highfield, 416-677-3672) A suburban chain of southern Indian restaurants moves to Little India. While there are lots of veggie options, some meat dishes are available. Complete dinners for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Open daily 11 am to midnight. Unlicensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
another family-style restaurant and recent addition to the street, Madras Dosa Hut has two other locations, one in Etobicoke, the other in Mississauga. The new downtown spot is far fancier than Udupi Palace's Spartan look -- tables are set with spongy vinyl covers, a walled-off area full of toys takes up a corner and opposite it a large-screen TV pumps out Hindi hiphop videos.Start with the vegetable samosa ($1.50), an oversized fritter stuffed with turmeric-tanged potatoes, peas, carrots and cabbage. Each is served with a subtly spiced sambar, coconut relish and a lovely pink dipping sauce that tastes like sweet ketchup spiked with hot sauce.
These two condiments also show up with Mysore Masala Dosa, a lovely, crisp crepe spread with minced ginger and chilies and stuffed with potato masala. Rava Masala Dosa (both $7.99) finds the bread spread with shredded coconut and chilies, then rolled around the same masala. Very, very filling. Veggie-lovers beware: there's meat on the menu here.
After lunch, we head northeast to the edge of Scarborough to check out Sultan of Samosa (1677 O'Connor, at Sunrise, 416-285-6565), a fast food takeaway that devotes itself exclusively to the triangular street food.
While you're waiting for your order, look through the plate-glass wall and watch kitchen staff pack pastry pockets with such non-traditional stuff as fresh spinach mixed with feta and mozzarella, or ground chicken seasoned with onion, ginger, garlic and fresh coriander.
There are six different samosa styles altogether, starting at $4.10 for six, $7.50 for a dozen, or $29 for 50. Or, if you'd like, they're sold frozen (from $7 for a dozen, $28 for 50). Pop them into a 200° F. oven for 20 minutes and you've got instant party food.