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Chetan

Sri Sagar (formerly CTR - Central Tiffin Room) Bangalore

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Much to my surprise , CTR (Central Tiffin Room) aka Sri Sagar won the Times dosa coffee contest leaving Vidyarthi bhavan in second place. I had eaten the dosas here way long ago and now I had to revisit this place. Provoked by the results of the Times contest , I decided it was time to have breakfast at CTR , even if this meant changing my perception of the Worlds Best dosa! With my alarm set at 6:00 am in the morning I decided to go with an open mind.
Left home by 6:45 am and reached Margosa road in Malleswaram at 7:20 , I recognized the place as soon as I saw it. To my surprise there was absolutely no crowd at all.
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It kinda made me feel if I was at the right place and I was the first of their customers.
The doors of CTR were yet to be fully opened and I made my self comfortable right in the middle. The place itself has an old world charm to it with a antique clock in the middle of the wall , surrounded by quotes and pictures of the Great lord Krishna. CTR in Malleshwaram, Vidyarthi Bhavan in Basavanagudi are legendary for creating great tasting Masala doses. Both these places are reminiscent of life in the sixties to people who have been around since then. These restaurants have hardly upgraded with time, preferring to retain their original ambiance which is now antiquated, but thankfully without compromise in food quality. Vidyarthi Bhavan did go through an upgrade though shutting doors for 3 weeks in May of this year ! Getting back to CTR ...right opposite where I sat was the menu board on display&#33
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I asked the friendly waiter for a Benne (butter) Masala dosa - (Rs 20 ).It took about 10 minutes and there it was .....

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The dosa looked crisp with an aroma of fresh ghee (heated butter). I dug into it and it was as crisp as it looked , with a unique taste of its own. There were two chutneys on offer one a plain coconut chutney and the other a pudina (may be methi) chutney. The taste of course was an experience to remember.
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I ordered for another one and by this time the place was quickly filling up. After having the 2nd dosa , I ordered for coffee.

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Nothing special about the coffee though but tasted good like most filter coffees with the right amount of milk and sugar.
My bill was a meager Rs 46 and the experience priceless.
It would be wrong for me to compare Vidyarthi bhavan dosa and CTR dosa , they both are legendary in their own way , but personally Vidyarthi bhavan for me is still the un disputed leader in DOSAs ! Having satisfied my craving for dosas , I dragged myself out and got on my way to office.

Now Called Sri Sagar.
No.154, Ground Floor
Margosa Road, 7th Cross, Malleswaram, Bangalore - India


 

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Here is the complete CTR / Sri Sagar Album.

The Menu Explained.

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Kesari bath - (Saffron colored sweet rava) Rs 10

Chow Chow Bath - (Mix of kesari Bath & Khara Bath) Rs 16

Khara Bath - (Uppma , Uppit ) Rs 8

Bene (Butter) Masala Dosa - Rs 20

Masala Dosa - Rs 17

Plain Dosa - Rs 16

Khali Dosa - Rs 16

Akki Idly (Rice Idly) - Rs 10

Rave Idly (Rava Idly) - Rs 12

Uddina Vade - Rs 8

Poori Saggu - Rs 17

Bisi Bele Bath - Rs 13 ( hot & spicy rice)

Rice Bath - Rs 13

Net Dosa - Rs 17 (Anyone Care explaining what this is?)

Bonda Bujji - Rs 13

Coffee , Tea , Badam Milk - Rs 6

Maddur Vada - Rs 10

Errulli Dosa (Onion Dosa) - Rs 20

Bene Plain - (Plain Butter Dosa) Rs 19

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I Must add , the dosas look beautiful , especially the consistency in getting the concentric circles of white and brown on the under side of the dosa (notice the above image). And the upper part has a glazed finish to it.

Any one know the how to in getting the concentric circles (white and golden brown) is it the way the Chef would add the batter on the tawa?

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Dear Chetan,

Although our Ravum is the expert here having had her own excellent dosa et al. restaurant, I will put in my 2 paise: what I have seen

1. Given the choice, the dosa kaal is made to undergo a temperature change, relatively lower when the batter is ladled on, progressively higher for the cooking and the browning/finish.

2. The slightly lower temperature interacts just so with the fluidity, the rheological properties of the batter, allowing just sufficient dispersion due to mass x gravity effect. Note that I use the term "rheological" specifically to indicate this.

3. The dosa master establishes a dispersion surface on the kaal: a thin film of oil brushed on by various semi-absorptive devices, eggplant disc, onion disc, rag etc., leaving a fine, atoms-thin layer adsorbed to the carbon-fat non-stick surface already created, the "seasoned surface." This interacts with the rheological properties of the batter x temperature to affect dispersion rate, before fluidity declines.

4. Now the practiced master picks up an empirical volume adjusted by experience to the area of the kaal plus the heat flux. The batter is laid down in a spiral centrifugal pattern. There is batter creep between ridges because of the batter properties, kaal temperature, and kaal surface properties as discussed above. A thin layer now attaches the "ridges" in a continuous membrane, ridge to ridge, and in a thin underlying disc. Because of the rheological properties and increasing temperatures, the ridges do not collapse further but solidify in place, their water being driven off, their pore structure strong enough to hold them up.

This Ridge & Valley type of dosa then goes on to brown, being sprinkled with oil at the discretion of the cook. This type created a pleasant contrat, crisp membrane plus a tender, sft re where one's teeth can sink into, where one can relish the batter and appreciate its own distinct flavor and quality, a pleasure not possible to an equal degree with the popular Paper dosa.

With the R & V, the batter thickness and quality become very important, any aberration being immediately reflected in the cooking process. In the Paper dosa, the surfeit of oil and the excessive frying can conceal a range of imperfect batters. This is merely the very inexpert, ignorant opinion of an amateur Bengali.

5. Now, for PAPER DOSA, just after the the interlnking membrane has been established, the very, very wet ridges are repeatedly attacked [by a spatula "splashing" not inconsiderable quantities of warmish oil from a container kept close to the kaal] and flattened and pulled out radially 360 degrees over that foundational membrane and well beyond it. The oil keeps the moist batter from sticking to the spatula, and that batter gets pulled and smeared over a very wide area. Simultaneously, the heat flux is being raised higher and higher until the disc becomes almost crisp and brownish, lifting off the kaal.

Usually the heat surce use to be a kerosene stove furiously being pumped with the left hand while the right equally furiously effects the "paper" transformation. Plus the associated tasks: serving of chutney etc. collecting change, absorbing abuse. This is not an easy or safe accomplishment, given the relative masses of kerosene stoves [low], kaal [high] the moment of motions [towards toppling], the speed [furious, lunchtime, long lines], danger & problems with stoves, operator strength [ very thin, small kids] I have seen in the office areas of CCU!!!!

Then the flame is allowed to drop, the kaal cooled down a bit, reaching the correct temperature to receive the next round of dosa batter.

A little, skinny white calf stands by very patiently. She is the garbage disposal unit, hungrily munching up the banana leaf & sal leaf platters and any odd bits that may come her way. After the lunch rush, and before tiffin time, she ambles over to her other job, at the Agarwal Juice Center, a grand name in Nagari and English proudy blazoned on a tired cart equipped with a cane press and a large blender, the atter somehow attahedto the electric wires overhead. Al of thisis manned by a sinny waif, s small that when he turns the handles of the press, he actually has to jump off the ground to complete the motion. You may guess as to his strength and his nutritional status, vis-a-vis the mass of the press and the safety of the electrical equipment!!

Perhaps now they have LPG gas, but in my time it was those killer pump stoves. I never cease to wonder at the amazing, truly miraculous level of skills achieved, and expected of Indian trades; how little this is recognized, appreciated. People in my time almost always used "tum" or "tui" never the honorific "aap" when addresing vendors, who were thouands of times more talented and harder working than they ever would be! I have been shocked when I hear NDTV reporters routinely use "tum" when interviewing people who are poorer than they, be it in Delhi or in the Bihar floods. WHERE the &%&$ do these garbage learn their manners, humanity and professional ethics from? Sorry for the diatribe. Chetan bhai, do you see now why I don't want to write here or anywhere any more?

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Chetan bhai, do you see now why I don't want to write here or anywhere any more?

Your knowledge is something we will always treasure Gautamda! There are no two ways about it.

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Coming soon Davangere Bene dosa review. Anyone already know what the diffrences are between the normal DOSAs and the davngere bene(butter) dosa other than loads of bene (butter).

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Zomato thats pretty cheap what you guys did. Adding screen shots of the photos copied from Gourmet India.

 

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