Dosa is a breakfast item that a Malayali can never say no to. Moreover, it is one dish that you can crave at literally any time of the day!
Last weekend, my family and I woke up with a major craving for Dosa and off we went into the streets of Mankhool, Bur Dubai in search of dosas that can feed four grumbling tummies (plus one kunji tummy). Little did we know that one dosa was going to satiate all our cravings. And not just any dosa, but what they call “the longest dosa in the UAE”! Yup, you read it right!
We barely had a clue that the epicureans in us were in for a gala feast (and how!) when we discovered Saarangaa Bhojan Shala, a restaurant that promised to serve a wide variety of authentic and tasty South Indian cuisine.
Saarangaa Bhojan Shala is the brainchild of Mr Kumar who is a native of Trivandrum. Being a long-term expat in the UAE (27 years, to be precise) Mr Kumar, a Venjaranmoodukaaran, launched his restaurant business in the year 2009. Discovery Gardens in Jebel Ali was the locality he chose to kick-start his venture. Later, he expanded to areas such as Dubai Marina, Business Bay, Al Khan (Sharjah) and finally Mankhool, Bur Dubai.
We picked the Family Dosa from their menu as we heard that it has earned the cult status of the “Longest Dosa in the UAE”. The Family Dosa was served on a humongous tray and it measured a whopping 4.5 feet long. One look at this dosa and we instantly knew that this was indeed a king-size meal for the four of us. Actually, make that five! Because almost fifteen minutes into the massive culinary treat, the four of us (and of course, my little chap) were full to our brim while quite a decent portion of it was still winking at us from the tray.
Oh, and did I tell you that the Family Dosa in Saarangaa Bhojan Shala extended way past the tray as well as the table we were seated around? This was the first time ever I saw one dish overriding the length of the table. I’ve seen tables being occupied by bowls and plates of dishes, but one single dish occupying the entire table. Now, that’s a sight!
In fact, what is more interesting is that the dosa stone it is prepared on is 1.5 meters long and it actually takes seven burners (I know!) beneath it to keep the show going. At least two chefs are required to skillfully roll the dosa into shape and finally disembark this ethereal dosa from the stone. They serve it in a tray in the niftiest manner so that it does not break off from the middle. So, you can imagine the amount of hard work and effort that goes into creating the longest dosa in the UAE.
Mr Kumar fondly reminisced, “The very first time this Family Dosa made its way out of our kitchen, I remember there were at least 100 customers seated in our restaurant at that time. Everyone laid their eyes on this ginormous dosa that seems to go on and on like a never ending cylinder. They turned their heads to see the table it aimed to land on and rushed to click pictures of it.”
“The idea of a Family Dosa is not to fill a family’s tummy, but to take them on a joyous experience of sharing and eating from a single plate Of course, you can order 4 Ghee roasts and call it a meal. But will that lone plate of Ghee Dosa you ordered give you the same contentment that you would get from this tray of Family Dosa? ”, Mr Kumar asked rhetorically.
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Saarangaa Bhojan Shala whips the Family Dosa in two forms – Family Plain Dosa and Family Masala Dosa. We chose the latter one and it is priced at AED 64 while the former is priced at AED 58. If you go for the Family Masala Dosa, you would be served the masala separately which you can stuff into the dosa and devour to your heart’s content.
“Every time a customer orders a Family Dosa in any of our branches, our team takes a picture of it and shares it on the workgroup. It is amusing to see how all 5 of my branches are competing between themselves to create the perfect Family Dosa!”, shared Mr Kumar.
Apart from the size, what makes the longest dosa in the UAE stand out is the sheer crispiness it lends to your taste buds. Super paper-thin and temptingly aromatic with an accompaniment of sambar, coconut chutney, tomato chutney and pudina chutney– our stint with this glorious Family Dosa was right out of our culinary dreams!
If you are in Dubai or Sharjah and are planning to head out for some traditional breakfast this weekend with your folks, why not indulge in this Family Dosa at Saarangaa Bhojan Shala? It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that is completely worth the choice, we guarantee! And if you happen to pop into the Bur Dubai branch as we did, don’t worry about getting a table. You’ll be sure to find plenty with the restaurant having a spacious party hall that can accommodate almost a hundred customers at a time.
You can spot Saaranga Bhojan Shala restaurant at 5 of these locations in the UAE:
1. Discovery Gardens Branch: Zen 02, Discovery Gardens, Jebel Ali, Dubai
2. Dubai Marina Branch: G Floor, Marina Pearl Bldg, Dubai Marina, Dubai
3. Business Bay Branch: Shop No.6, Clover Bay Tower, Burj Khalifa Street (Business Bay Area), Dubai
4. Sharjah Branch: Tamkeen Bldg, Al Khan Street, Al Khan, Sharjah
5. Bur Dubai Branch: Nashwan bldg, Shop No.1, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai