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Perfection: Uthappam at House of Dosas

The mixed vegetable Uthappam at House of Dosas

The mixed vegetable Uthappam at House of Dosas in Hicksvile features onion, tomato, coriander, chilis and peas in a griddled rice-and-lentil pancake. Newsday photo / Erica Marcus (May 11, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

It’s an all-too-rare pleasure: being served a perfect dish. But last night at House of Dosas in Hicksville, the gods looked down kindly at me.

An uthappam is a relative of the dosa. Both are savory South Indian pancakes but the dosa, made from a rice batter, is thin, crisp and can approach the diameter of a manhole cover. The uthappam, made from a batter of rice and lentil, more closely approximates the size of a dinner plate and, while it’s crispy on the bottom, the top is tender and spongy. The flavorings are embedded in this tender top surface. The specimen pictured above, “mixed-vegetable uthappam,” featured red onion, tomato, sliced chilis, coriander and peas. A perfectly harmonious blend of savory and spicy, fresh and toasty. It was served with two coconut chutneys, one faintly green and one faintly pink, and sambar, a sort of vegetable stew-soup-dip. Best of all, you eat uthappam with your hands.

House of Dosas, one of LI’s top vegetarian restaurants, is at 416 S. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-938-7517. If you are heading south on Broadway, make a right turn, just before the restaurant, on Boehme Street for access to the parking area.

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