- Thiru Kumar serves vegan Indian dosas to his loyal fans in Washington Square Park.
- Thiru, better known as the Dosa Man, has fan clubs everywhere from California to Japan, and his food cart, NY Dosas, is listed in 42 different NYC guidebooks.
- INSIDER’s Carly Danner and Medha Imam visit the food cart to try the famous dosas.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Thiru: Hey, how you doing? NY Dosa.
Caller: Are you open today?
Thiru: Open and serving food already.
Carly: Known around the world as the Dosa Man, Thiru Kumar makes the best dosas in New York City. Starting around noon Mondays through Saturdays, you’ll find a line of New Yorkers and tourists waiting for these world-famous dosas in Washington Square Park.
Bhaven: I’m coming from Kolkata, India. I’m a tourist, and I made a point to travel around eight stations just to have these dosas.
Ambili: I’m from Singapore, visiting New York. We checked out when he’s open, and we’re like, “OK, we leave after we try his dosas.” Carly: Between his loyal fans and ongoing 18 years of success, Thiru has garnered fan clubs in Japan and California. He’s also listed in 42 different guide books about visiting NYC and has been profiled in countless publications.
Thiru: My purpose is, like, I wanted to have a quality food for everybody, you know? Like, even poor people, rich people, everybody could have under-$US10, good, healthy, vegan food.
Carly: Hey, guys, it’s Carly.
Medha: Hi, I’m Medha.
Carly: And we’re here in Washington Square Park ready to try out some famous dosas. And I myself have never had a dosa.
Medha: I’ve had a couple of dosas in the past, but I’ve never had it in street form, so I’m really excited to try this out.
Carly: All right, well, let’s do it! But first, we wanted to learn what goes into making these famous dosas. The batter, which is made up of fermented rice and lentil, is formed into a circle on the grill and topped with a hot chutney. Up next, Thiru customises the dosa to your liking. His most popular dosa, the #2 Special Pondicherry, is made with potatoes and a vegetable mix and served with a cup of sambaar, which is a lentil-based vegetable soup, and a side of coconut chutney. The samosa dosa features a chopped-up samosa for extra crunch. We opted for the masala dosa, which is loaded with potatoes cooked with a masala mix.
Medha: So we got our dosas, and we’re super excited to try it out. What are you expecting, Carly?
Carly: You know, so I’ve never had a dosa. I’m expecting a lot of spice, which I’m very excited for. I’ve been eyeing those potatoes all day, so I am ready to bite into these.
Medha: It’s so crispy.
Carly: Oh, and that spice, you can just feel it growing and growing. Medha: This can totally fill you up for, like, a good, nice lunch.
Carly: Mm hmm.
Medha: Eating in Washington Square Park, it’s amazing.
Carly: I read about Thiru a few months ago. There have been videos, articles. He’s won awards. He has a fan club. He’s all over the world. I wanted to know what the hype was about, and I’m here to say it lives up to the hype.
Medha: I definitely understand why so many people are lined up every single day in the park just to have Thiru’s dosas.
Carly: Though he’s the only one doing the cooking, Thiru often gets assistance from friends and volunteers.
Thiru: Most of them are NYU students in between class will come and help me, and the workers around the neighbourhood.
Carly: Besides dosas, Thiru also offers items like uttapam with veggies and a Jaffna Lunch with four small pancakes. Thiru usually sells out by 3 or 4 p.m., but customers both old and new will tell you that this food is definitely worth the wait.
Tobias: This food is freakin’ amazing. Like, you could serve this in an, I don’t know, however-many-stars restaurant. And he just makes it out here! Like, the food just speaks for itself.
Priya: So I find that really special here, to be able to get Indian street food. I think India has some of the best street food, and New York’s known for all the kebabs and hot dogs, and all that stuff, but yeah, this is really special.
Bhaven: This is just exactly what we get in India, and the dosas are awesome, and it should be a must-have in New York.
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