Canada Dosa Corner

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on May 23, 2012

Don’t let the construction tape on the sign fool you, this place is an absolute gem.

From the delightfully proud and loving owners, to the classic presentation of South Indian cuisine, Canadian Dosa Corner has easily become my new favorite place to grab a nourishing lunch during the workweek.

When I was asked to choose a lunch spot for my colleagues and I on my birthday, it was dosa all the way.

What is dosa? It’s a fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils. It’s rich in carbohydrates, contains no salt, sugar or saturated fats, and is naturally gluten-free! In India, the street food venders usually sold dosa for breakfast, but it can really pass for whatever meal you’d like.

There was a day during my trip to India where I had dosa for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all in the same day. Ya, that’s right… look at me and my bad self!

I loved dosa so much that when it came to choosing 6 dishes for the cooking class I attended in Varkala, dosa was at the top of the list! Now, if only I could replicate the recipe at home… more on that later in the week.

One of the first things I did when I got home from India was locate a restaurant in Calgary that would support me in living out my new-found love for this amazing fermented meal.

When I’m down on my day or missing India a bit too much, I head to Canadian Dosa Corner and I’m brought back to the busy streets of Trivandrum and the food carts of Kallambalam in an instant.

The restaurant is simple and quiet, has free parking out front, and is rarely busy. Every time I go for a visit, I know I’m getting a fresh-made lunch that’s prepared right when I order and will never be over $20, all taxes and tips included.

The menu is packed with South Indian favorites – vada, dosa, baji, a girl could go nuts trying to decide what to order. Luckily I never have that problem.

In the past, I’d always been intimidated to go to ethnic restaurants in fear that I wouldn’t understand the menu, but the folks at Canadian Dosa Corner have done a great job at explaining dishes in English for those that aren’t familiar with the items. Also, the staff are very knowledgeable, patient, and are more than happy to guide you through the choices if you’re unsure.

I generally go for the masala dosa – crepe filled with spicy potatoes and vegetables, but I wasn’t overly hungry so chose the onion dosa instead. The onion dosa is just that – onion and dosa. Plain, simple, and; dare I say, better than the masala dosa.

The dosa was huge (as usual), had more oil than the masala version, and sported the sweetest red onions I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.

Each dosa comes plated with sambar, coconut chutney and tomato pulse for dipping. Mine even came with a bit of masala potatoes, too!

As our plates arrived, many of my colleagues began eating their meals with a fork and knife regardless of being told it was customary to eat dosa with their hands.

Not to worry though, halfway through lunch everyone had their sleeves rolled up and their fingers covered in sambar — a great sign that they enjoyed the meal just as much as I did!

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

Dang that looks so good! I have to be honest though, I would probably have to fight the urge to eat with my hands too. I even eat pizza with a fork. It’s a habit, but if I was somewhere where I should eat with my hands out of respect for the culture, I would probably go for it.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

So interesting! I think one of my favorite things about India was the fact that it’s totally acceptable to eat with your hands. I LOVED it! I’ve kept it up at home, but only when I’m alone. Kevin says it looks weird when I sit on the floor trying to eat rice with my fingers. Heh

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Ok, I must be living under a rock because I’ve never had a dosa before! Gina (the Fitnessista) was talking about them on her blog yesterday and the two of you are making me think I need to track some down. Any dosa recipes in the works in your kitchen? ;)

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LizAshlee

Everything looks delish…I need to step out of my comfort zone and try more ethnic foods!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks

Love restaurants like that….where you can leave full, happy, and not break the bank :)

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Caitlin

i have never had a dosa before, but now i am totally craving one. gotta find a good indian restaurant around to get one! canadian dosa corner looks like an awesome environment.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

It’s a really, really great environment. The trick to finding a good dosa restaurant is to look for one that specializes in South Indian foods. Good luck!

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Liz

Leanne, you wouldn’t happen to have a (vegan) recipe for coconut chutney, would you? Cause that sounds a-MAZ-ing!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I don’t… but I am working on one! Just can’t seem to get it right just yet. You’d think I would given how much I must have eaten over the last couple of months, sheesh. I will post it the minute I nail it, though!

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Liz

Whew! As long as I know you’re working on it, I can rest easy. :) Regardless of the outcome, I appreciate the effort! I’m dying for it to work out, though. :)

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Richa@HobbyandMore

gf life is super simple with Dosas around:) one of my indian friends recently found her sensitivity to gluten and she went glutenfree that day itself. 2 months down the line i asked her if she was having any probles adjusting and she told me, it did not make much of a difference since they already ate dosa and idlis half the time, now its just all of the time with some other varieties of south indian options thrown in!:)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s great! Idlis, dosa, and arrowroor were my saving grace in India. It’s so easy to eat gluten-free when you learn what to look for!

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Lindsay

FYI, I’ve been to two dosa places in Calgary. Canada Dosa Corner is much better than Southern Spice.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks for bringing that up, Lindsay. Yes, much, much, much better!

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Gretchen (Veggie Grettie)

I seriously need to try a dosa!

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Sylvia

I love dosa as well!! And I love your blog, my new favorite thank you for sharing your passion!

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Jen Ming

Hey Leanne,

Hope you are doing well. Just wanted to let you know that we stopped by this Dosa place for lunch today, and it was out of biz (seized by the landlord). Boo….

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Jen! Wow, really? Last time I was in Calgary the same sign was up but they said they were moving to a different location… maybe the move never happened? So sad. I still haven’t been able to find dosa here in Montreal.

Miss all you ladies in Calgary, it’s fun here but nothing like the prairies!

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Jen Ming

I know! I’m so sad. I have been craving dosas since your birthday.

We miss you back! Perhaps a trip to Montreal is in store! Give your puppies a squeeze for me!

PS. SNOW… Lots EVERYWHERE. BLEH

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Ah! I heard about the snow. Honestly? Don’t miss that at ALL! Yes, yes, if you come to Montreal we must get together. I’m getting to know all the bestest places to eat! Have an awesome weekend :)

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