Have a Vegetarian Taste of a South Indian Staple at Hampton Chutney Co.
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
Destination: Hampton Chutney Co. (68 Prince Street; 212-226-9996)
Neighborhood: Soho, Manhattan
Cuisine: Dosa and uttapam
Overview: After the success of the first Hampton Chutney Co. in Amagansett, New York, owners Gary and Isabel MacGurn opened their second shop in Soho in 2001. Though the MacGurns aren't Indian, they met in an ashram in South India, where they fell in love with the staple South Indian dishes, dosas and uttapam. The MacGurns have taken it upon themselves to provide authentic dosa and uttapam with very non-traditional fillings.
Highlights: Dosas are savory, thin, and crepe-like -- a classic masala dosa is typically only filled with the spiced Indian potatoes. Hampton Chutney Co.'s #6 masala deluxe dosa ($10.95) goes a bit beyond that; it's stuffed with spinach, Jack cheese, roasted tomato, and spiced Indian potato. You also have your own choice of Hampton Chutney Co. chutney -- we chose the traditional cilantro chutney.
The dish might not look like much, but the combined ingredients definitely pack a delicious wallop. You could also order the classic masala dosa ($7.95), but then you won't get the Jack cheese, which is a very strange -- but successful -- ingredient for dosa. Other vegetarian-friendly favorites include the #2 kalamata olives ($9.95), the #3 roasted tomato ($7.95), and the #4 grilled portobello mushroom ($8.95).
As a bonus, the restaurant's dosa and uttapam are gluten-free; they're made with a rice-based batter. The restaurant also has some vegan options. Want to try something a little different? Hampton Chutney Co.'s uttapam is made with the same rice batter as dosa, but it comes in a pancake form.