December 3, 2012

First Impression: Guru Lukshmi

Gather around ladies and 'gents, todays culinary adventure takes us to Mississauga for Dosas at Guru Lukshmi. 

Dosa is a South Indian crepe made of fermented rice and lentil batter. Each dosa platter comes with a tomato lentil soup and three dipping sauces; tomato, coriander and coconut. This was my first time having dosa, and I can guarantee it will not be my last! 
We started our meal with chili bajji ($4.50) These were  deep fried mild chillies coated with spiced chickpea batter, served with coconut and coriander chutney. They were a lot spicier than I expected but nothing I couldn't handle. The batter was a little doughy but nice and crispy on the outside. I found the coconut chutney very mild and preferred the coriander chutney overall. 



We also shared the fried potato samosas ($3.50). I was very surprised by the light and flakey pastry they used for the samosa, but the filling on the inside was nothing special. 

We ordered the coriander + cheese dosa ($8.50)  as well as the spicy mushroom dosa ($12.50) and one uthapam which is similar to a flatbread/pizza/pancake with savoury toppings. I was completely surprised and blown away when they came to the table with these huge white platters. The plates were absolutely beautiful with the multi colour dips and giant crepe - I couldn't wait to dig in! 

Dosa is meant to be eaten with your hands so don't expect anyone to drop off a fork and knife for you! Eating with your hands was probably my favourite part of the meal. It was so much fun pulling and tearing pieces of cheesy dosa and playing around with the different dips. At first I was a little disappointed about the all vegetarian menu but once I had a few bites of dosa, I was thoroughly satisfied. The crepe itself was both crispy and chewy and the cheesy potato filling was flavourful and light. There was something about this dosa that was very comforting - like a bowl of mac & cheese or a warm cup of chicken noodle. 
The  coriander dosa came with fresh coriander and spices crushed into a fine paste infused into the dosa with chunks of potato and shavings of cheese. The spicy mushroom dosa had three chillies next to its name so I was a little nervous but still willing to give it a go! It came with sliced button mushrooms cooked with red chillies, and a special herb spread with fresh coriander.

I wasn't too impressed with the filling of the mushroom dosa at first, but was pleasantly surprised once I teared apart my first bite. The bold flavours and heat really blew me away! This'll definitely set the lining of your stomach on fire, but it'll be completely worth it because every mouthful will be mind blowing delicious. The lentil soup helps with the heat, but not much. I found the cold coconut dipping sauce which I wasn't too fond of in the beginning, really helped tame the heat. 
The best part about both dosas had to be the paper thin crepe. The combination of lentils and  fermented rice for the batter creates these beautiful flakey and chewing sheets that somehow manage to have a hard brittle exterior but a warm pillow interior and still manages to be uber thin. They were more magically delicious then a Costco size bag of Lucky Charms! 
The Uthapam was a little mild on its own but quickly became MVP at the table once I realized if I wanted to salvage the lining of my stomach, it would be wise to alternate bites of my spicy dosa and the pineapple and cheese uthapam.
For dessert, we all opted for the pistachio flavoured Kulfi ($2.50).  My mouth was pretty much on fire at this point so something light and sweet really hit the spot. 
I absolutely loved my first dosa experience and I can't wait to return to try a few of the other signature dosas.  The place was pretty busy when we arrived but there was a fast turn over and flip of a majority of the tables. The service was also very friendly and the servers were a great help when they realized this was my first dosa experience. The menu also does a great job of explaining the different dosa combinations - perfect for anyone new to the dosa scene!



Guru Lukshmi
7070 St Barbara Blvd
Mississauga, Ont
www.gurulukshmi.com
Guru Lukshmi on Urbanspoon


//Pictures for this post are courtesy of my generous friend : Chandary Sok. Check out her work here

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