Dosas are made from a rice-based batter and have an appearance similar to crepes. According to senior Manish Malempati, they are made from urad gota (black lentils) and white rice that are soaked in water and grounded in a food processor until it forms a smooth mixture. They are also cooked with salt and oil.
Malempati especially likes dosas because of the way his mom makes them. He recalls eating seven pizza-sized dosas after playing basketball one day.
“They're crispy, but then they get softer over time,” Malempati said. “So you're eating and then your first bite is not the same as your last. It's crazy. I don't know how she does it.”
Natarajan’s mom likes to make different varieties of dosas, adding different types of lentils, chiles or onions to make them extra flavorful. However, her favorite version is a plain dosa with a spicy sauce.
“It's like something that my mom likes to make from scratch and likes to make different varieties of,” Natajaran said. “It's just something I've had my entire life and I want to keep having it just because I think it's so good.”
Photo courtesy of Paul
Biryani originated from Persia, with its name derived from the Persian word “birian,” which means “fried before cooking” and “birinj,” which means rice. Chicken biryani is made from marinated chicken, basmati rice, browned onions, cilantro, mint, yogurt, saffron, ghee and other spices. For Kari, although chicken biryani is her favorite dish, it doesn’t have any special significance for her; she just eats it a lot.
“It's just very flavorful and I really like it because it's not just chicken and it’s not just rice, you can mix it up,” Kari said. “Once you get a hint of the smell, you want it.”
Curd rice is made of homemade or store-bought curd (yogurt), fresh cooked rice and tempering spices. During pooja, a ceremonial worship, curd rice is offered to the gods. It is also offered to deities in temples in South India and distributed among devotees as prasadam (food consumed after worship).
Prasanna describes her tangle of emotions for South Indian food as “home.” Her favorite South Indian food is curd rice.
“My mom's always cooking only Indian food,” Prasanna said. “We only eat non-Indian food on Saturdays or Sundays or during the weekend. These foods are such a big part of my life. I don't know what I'm going to do in college, like I need my curd rice.”
Created with an image by Andrea Leon - "untitled image"