Madurai’s Iconic Keema Loaded 'Kari Dosa' Screams Indulgence
Image Credit: Shutterstock

We absolutely adore moments when food brings people together. In the Netflix film Meenakshi Sundereshwar, when Meenakshi and her sister-in-law stop by at Meenakshi’s favourite haunt after a day shopping, where the waiter stands with his diary, ready to take Meenakshi’s standard order of Kari Dosai and filter coffee,  Having been raised in strictly vegetarian households, neither Meenakshi nor her sister-in-law could overtly suggest ordering a ‘non-veg’ item. Meenakshi, being the elder one in the equation hesitantly offers, “if you eat non-veg, then you can eat it, I wouldn’t tell Amma”, “No, I don’t eat. You can order if you want. I also won’t tell her”, comes the reply. “Let me bring one-one for each, no one will have to tell anyone”, the waiter mutters. A few moments later, both could be seen giggling and relishing their own portion of Kari Dosai.  

The temple city Madurai is dotted with many big and small eateries, offering several unique delicacies like bun parotta and Jigarthanda, a cold beverage made of condensed milk, vanilla ice cream and Nannari syrup. Kari Dosai is yet another Madurai specialty that will find takers come rain or shine. It is a ‘non-veg’ dosa from a city that prides in its hearty vegetarian fare. The dosa has three layers, which makes it one of the most loaded and wholesome dosas in Tamil Nadu. While the base is that of the plain dosa, made with regular dosa batter, the second layer is that of beaten egg or omelette that is landed on the dosa on the same hot tawa, the top-most layer is that of spicy mutton keema. The keema is cooked and prodded with spices and cold-pressed sesame oil until it becomes this thick, but smooth and brown mixture that can be easily applied over the dosa. The meaty layer of Kari Dosai can be that of mutton or chicken, depending upon your choice.  

Kari Dosa or Kari Dosai was a treasured recipe of the Konar community of Madurai. Konars were traditionally cow herders or Yadavas settled in Tamil Nadu. They started to top their dosas with heaps of traditional home-made masala that formed a whole layer on top. Eventually, the dish became a signature Konar dish.  

About 60 years ago, when a few cooks from the community set up their first restaurant, in the Simmakal area of Madurai, the area became synonymous for their delicious mutton Kari Dosa. Till date, no trip to Simmakal is complete without polishing a plate of the well-toasted Mutton Kari Dosa with coconut chutney. Since the dosa is so heavily loaded, you do not need a bowl of sambhar alongside. To spruce things up a bit, you can also pair it with a little bit of mutton or chicken gravy.

We fetched a recipe of delish Mutton Kari Dosa. Try making it at home and let us know how you liked it.