Last weekend, when my elder son told me “Ma, lets go next Sunday to have Davanagere Benne Dose”, I was all eager.. I have heard of Davanagere (a city in Karnataka, India about 260 kms from Bengaluru, where I live) and the famous Davanagere Benne (butter) Dose but have never tasted it. The very thought of it was inviting and I was doing a mental countdown everyday. Back to being a child for a few moments day on day!!
The much awaited Sunday arrived and we set out to this Davanagere Benne Dose eatery at Banashankari, which was a drive of 5 kms from home. My thought went to, “Will they have only Davanagere Benne Dosa or will they have crispy Vada also? Will they have some Tea to wind the breakfast up?” Then I said to myself, “Anyway I will get to know when I reach there. Why think so much? Enjoy being driven, lady.”
And finally we arrived at Maruthi Davanagere Benne Dose (good to have a name to the place I was going to, for breakfast:-)). A small room with enough place for a one line queue and place for a dose making, packing (take away) and serving counter. And the wait for the Davanagere Benne Dose began. As I stood outside the place, I saw couple of tables where people can stand and eat or a small platform under a tree where a couple of people can sit and eat. I guess if the place gets crowded, one can stand and keep the plate in the hand, eat and leave. Watching a few people eating their dose made the wait a little harder. Whew!!! I mean how long can you keep boring your eyes in someone else’s plate? So unetiquettish it may seem! In all that tantalising and tempting sight and smell of the dose, unetiquettish not being in the English vocabulary didn’t even occur to me. Well, the stomach and the hungry eyes can’t fathom unetiquettish, that’s the mind’s job 🙂 As I was wondering whether ‘to be unetiquettish or not to be’, I saw a small area where I could stand and see the dose being made. Some distraction!!!
I darted there before anyone could move to occupy it. The child in me was out there completely.. The skillet was being made ready to make the next set of doses. From what I could see, a maximum of 8 doses could be made at any point in time. Just then the thought of writing a blog struck my mind. Out came my phone and I started taking pictures (With consent, of course) of the dose making.. If your taste buds and salivary glands are aroused looking at these pictures, the credit goes to the photographer, and of course to the team behind this place :-).. Here we go :
The scoop that is on the left side of some of the Benne Doses is the masala. When I first saw it, I was left puzzled. The masala that I have seen in other places is more yellow due to the turmeric powder added to it and garnished with curry leaves and coriander leaves. This one was looking as though it was just a creamy colored mashed potato and I was like, “Duh!! how is this Davanagere Benne Masala Dose? This is Davanagere Potato Benne Dose”. Words that I ate back a few minutes later..
Finally my Davanagere Benne Masala Dose arrived after a good twenty minutes and three skillets later.. I was salivating just looking at it..
It was crispy and oozing melted butter. The taste of the Davanagere Benne Dose was something I haven’t tasted before. You never know what you have missed in life till you experience it!! As I tasted the first mouthful of the dose with the Masala and the chutney, my taste buds could feel the different flavors – salt, spice, butter, crispness of the dose and much more.. Wondering where the spiciness was coming from, I decided to taste the Masala first and then the Chutney.. OOH!! Both were spicy. Then I saw that the Masala had potato, finely chopped (or ground) onions and green chilli. I quite unashamedly and happily ate back all my words, along with the Davanagere masala Benne Dose
I was tempted to have one more but when I saw the longer single line queue standing in wait for the dose, I swallowed my temptation. Typically one can smell the masala in the fingers even after washing the hands. This time the smell was that of the Benne Dose. The smell and taste of the Masala and Chutney were subservient to the taste of Benne Dose.
I certainly want to visit this place once again and have yet another taste of this Davanagere Masala Benne Dose. Oh yes, definitely a visit to the city of Davanagere for a Benne Dose. Do I hear anyone calling me to Davanagere?