We’ve celebrated the traditional Dosa before, and now it’s time to introduce a unique take on this Indian dish. Madras Pantry (877 Queen St. West) has updated the Dosa to make it enticing, palatable and hand-held for the Queen West crowd. Think of it as an Indian burrito or stuffed crêpe, with savoury contemporary fillings like Butter Chicken, Szechuan Beef, Tandori Shrimp, Spinach & Paneer or Jerk Chicken (all $7 including tax).

Ryan Fisher, one of the restaurant’s owners, took the time out to describe a traditional Dosa and reveal how it’s been remixed to become their own.

Madras Pantry just opened their doors at the beginning of August and already the Dosa’s popularity has exceeded expectations. Co-owner and chef Roger Mooking says they hoped to sell 70 Dosas per day. Last Friday they made over 160 and had to close early when they ran out of ingredients.


The space itself is completely eye popping. Designed by Commute Home, the interior installations feature wrestling chimeras, a magnificent sword-swallower and Siamese twin pigs. Enjoy your Dosa at the long communal table or borrow one of three picnic baskets (complete with placemats) and enjoy the scenary at Trinity Bellwoods Park across the street. Before you head home, pick up a few items from their pantry, such as chutneys, spices, rice, pickles and masala chai tea.


I decided to take Ryan’s advice and order the popular Butter Chicken Dosa. The batter contains rice flour and ground lentils, and each “crêpe” is made-to-order. The filling includes butter chicken, delicious curried potatoes with onions, lettuce, tomato and scallions, all topped with a generous dose of coriander mint sauce. It’s a surprising mix of east meets west, and the butter chicken is moist and flavourful with a bit of kick. Swig it down with a Mango, Strawberry Mint or Lime Lychee Lassi (yogurt drink), or a soda imported from India; Thums Up, Limca or mmmm, Orange Fanta.


Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to waver from the traditional, but Madras Pantry makes it easy to make the jump.