When it comes to quick meals that are also filling and flavoursome, then South Indian combo meals like Sambhar-Dosa, Vada-Sambhar, Uttapam-Chutney and Idli-Sambhar, are clear winners. It is not surprising to see most quick service restaurants in the city reserving space in their menu for these quintessential south Indian dishes. And, they seem to be popular across age groups. But, nothing disappoints more than a soggy dosa or an idli that is not fresh and fluffy. So, if you are looking for some hot and crispy dosas paired with sumptuous sambhar and coconut chutney in Chandigarh, here is where you should head to.
Yes, it may seem a predictable option but there is a strong reason why we recommend Sagar Ratna, particularly the outlet in Sector 17, at the top of our list. Much has to do with their impeccable service and spot-on flavours, each time. The Dosas are always crisp and quick to arrive. A shopping spree in Sector 17 would be quite incomplete if you did not stop here for a bite or the Filter Coffee for that matter.
You can not have a South Indian food list for the city and not mention Swagath.
Consistently topping the charts for being the only restaurant in Chandigarh to offer a variety of Chettinad and Malabari fare, Swagath remains an all-time favourite with most foodies.
Do not come here looking just for Dosa and Idli but their perfectly done Appams, Stews and more.
This stand-alone restaurant in Sector 47 is one of the old-timers and continues to garner new fans. Apart from the usual range of Dosas, there is a dedicated section of dosas rustled up in pure ghee. Their Sambhar is arguably one of the best in the city. The menu also offers Uttapam and Vadas that are very popular here. One of the few places dishing out parottas, but these are available only in the evening. The Kadipatta flavoured Biryani is a weekend special too.
Named after its founder, Sundarams is a home-grown brand that has slowly spread wings to the neighbouring cities. The first outlet in Sector 26 continues to deliver consistently good fare.
We love their rasam for just the spicy kick a Rasam should have and the generous South Indian ‘variety’ Thali that goes beyond Idli-Dosa. The Rava Kesari Halwa and Filter Coffee will lift even the dreariest of workdays.
Indian Coffee House, Sector 17
There is never a dull moment here and getting hold of a table is never easy. It takes a fair amount of patience but it is always worth the wait. Despite being tight on space, the Indian Coffee House manages to make it on the much-recommended list because of its Vada-Sambhar and Idli-Sambhar meals. The Dosas may be limp here but the sambhar lifts it up. One of the only places that are not stingy when it comes to adding vegetables in the sambhar. The consistency – not too runny, not too thick – is just perfect.
This quick service restaurant chain – another home-grown brand going places - may be more popular for its Chaat-Papri and Channa-Bhaturas but it has slowly risen in popularity for its south Indian fare. The Vegetable Uttapam and Masala Dosa are well done and when paired with the freshly churned Lassi makes for a complete meal, and a sleep-inducing one at that. The Sambhar is robust too.
A seasoned journalist, Jagmeeta has worked with The Indian Express for 16 years writing extensively on food, popular culture and fashion. A Master's in English, she completed her honours in Journalism from Delhi University and started her career in journalism with New Delhi Television (NDTV) as a reporter. She was part of the launch team for NDTV.com. Having turned a freelance writer and editor in 2016, she has been writing for The Hindustan Times, Chandigarh and is also a contributor for The Voice of Fashion steered by IMG Reliance Ltd as well as Chandigarh's popular lifestyle portal - simplythecity.com. When she's not reviewing food or dissecting the season's trends, she likes to travel with her daughter and husband, a professional photographer. A photography enthusiast herself, Jagmeeta has also curated photo exhibitions and calls herself a collector of cookbooks and recipes and a proud 'fauji' daughter and sister.