Veggie Guy: Madras Pavilion

May seem bizarre to some that I would compare a South Indian dinner to my Mexican grandmother's breakfast taquitos, but that's exactly what came to mind while chowing down on my potato-filled dosa at Madras Pavilion.

Growing up, my brother Michael and I hated eggs. Still do, in fact. Whenever Grandma would incorporate chicken placenta into our meals, we'd about lose our shit! Eventually she caught on and began experimenting with spices and add-ins to make our meals look and taste as lively as Mom's and Aunt Sylvia's.

One our favorites was Grandma's Papas sin Huevo, a mix of sautéed potatoes, carrots, and peas with garlic, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and a pinch of cinnamon. Grandma steamed the potatoes and carrots first and went easy on the oil, making the mix mushy and packed with flavor. Loaded onto on an extra-large, homemade flour tortilla...holy hell, it was freakin' awesome!

A lot like my grandmother's Papas sin Huevo taquitos, Madras Pavilion's Mysore Masala Dosa (a large crepe made of rice and lentils, then lathered with a spicy paste) is filled with a mashed mix of potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, cumin, and mustard seed--with sides of lentil soup, red onion sauce, and coconut sauce are served alongside for dipping.

Of the fourteen different dosas available at Madras Pavilion, all but two are vegan (Butter Masala and Italian), and more than half of the entire menu is vegan (no milk, yogurt, ghee, and never eggs).

Appetizers include Iddly (steamed rice and lentil patties), Medhu Vada (spiced lentil donuts), Special Bonda (lentil dumplings with onion and potato),Vegetable Samosas (crispy pastries stuffed with fresh veggies and spices)--and several variations of Uthappam (Indian pizza) are vegan.

Vegan dinner specials are Channa Batura (puffy bread served with curried chick peas), and Poori Aloo (fried whole wheat bread with potato masala). Some Indo-Chinese dishes you'll find are Gobhi Manchurian (batter fried cauliflower in spicy, tangy Manchurian sauce), Vegetable Haka Noodles (Singapore-style rice noodles), and Chilli Iddlies (stir-fried iddlies in Manchurian sauce).

The menu also offers a long list of vegan-friendly curries, and a special lunch buffet is available seven days a week. The buffet features a wide range of North and South Indian vegan eats, so do bring your appetite.

But just so you know, "hot" dishes here are not really all that hot. So if you're one of those masochists who considers heat a flavor, move on.

Madras Pavilion
101 S. Coit Rd., Richardson