When the perfectly rolled and immaculately buttered dosa is brought out to your table, and placed in front your fingers jittering with excitement, it’s tempting to think of this dish as that quintessential crêpe.

But on closer inspection—if you’re patient, and not knuckle-deep into chutney and sambar—you notice that it’s crispy and savoury, and paired with sides both cool and warm. It might be hollow, or filled to the brim with spicy potato masala. These are not the cones of Cordon Bleu fare. Rolled and stuffed with every dosa are the stories of migrants from Southern India who bring their culinary creativity into their kitchens and restaurants, seasoning our city’s food landscapes with every plate.

In our explorations of Scarborough’s flavours, it should be no surprise that a dish that we can devour as quickly as dosa takes hours of careful, loving preparation.

Every dosa starts from those simple, everyday ingredients found in every South Asian kitchen: rice and lentils. With the precision of a Parisian chef tending to their crêperie, the dosa chef tends to their bubbling fermented batter, with the perfume of the grains’ natural sugars mixing with pungent fenugreek. It sizzles on the flat tava, teasing its crispy finish, and bursting with fragrance from the stovetop to every corner of the dining room.

And—thanks to the ubiquity of South Asian restaurants in Scarborough—to every corner of Toronto’s east end.


There are a great many ways to make this dish; the video above is simply one version. If you search YouTube, you may find several from which to choose.

Restaurants with dosa

Anjappar Chettinad
place 3090 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.265.2695
av_timer Hours: Tuesday 11:30:00 to 22:00:00
star_rate Rating: 3.90
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Ceylon Flavor
place 3341 Markham Rd, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.298.4400
star_rate Rating: 3.50
Kairali - Taste of Kerala
place 1210 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.909.0994
av_timer Hours: Tuesday 11:30:00 to 22:30:00
star_rate Rating: 3.50
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place 1225 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.701.0003
star_rate Rating: 3.80
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Samosa King - Embassy Restaurant
place 5210 Finch Ave E, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.332.0944
av_timer Hours: Tuesday 10:00:00 to 21:00:00
star_rate Rating: 4.00
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Saravanaa Bhavan
place 1571 Sandhurst Cir, Scarborough
local_phone Phone: 416.293.7755
av_timer Hours: Tuesday 11:30:00 to 20:30:00
star_rate Rating: 4.00
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