Dosa Hunt: An Indie Indian Rock Star Food Adventure
Eating adventures are quickly becoming the de rigueur badges of honor in the foodie universe. A food adventure may be a pilgrimage to Sweden to partake in the new Nordic foraging cuisine or, as is more often the case, a local journey to a restaurant or food-stand out of your comfort zone or apart from your daily routine. Your journey might be motivated by a sudden desire to try the fiery hot Sichuanese dandan noodles or find the most ethereal eggplant parm available within an afternoon or evening trip.
So you jump in the car—or hop on your bike or ride the train—with the singular goal of tracking down umami-explosive enchiladas con chile verde or a Senegalese peanut stew you’re curious about. But how many of us can bring on our food adventures a roster of top Indian American indie pop-rock stars, musicians, and rappers—all while driving around in a Punjabi-pimped van festooned with sparkling streamers? This is what you do when you’re Amrit Singh, Executive Editor of Stereogum.com, and you have a hankering for dosas, the paper-thin Southern Indian fermented rice and lentil flour crepes Singh first encountered in America (his family’s from the north). Singh’s soon-to-be released short film, Dosa Hunt, tracks one such recent food adventure in New York City.
Singh and his crew—Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, Das Racist's Himanshu Suri and Ashok "Dapwell" Kondabolu, Yeasayer's Anand Wilder, Neon Indian's Alan Palomo, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer—begin in “Curry Hill,” an Indian restaurant enclave in midtown Manhattan, only to discover their relative awkwardness of eating Indian food western-style, i.e. with cutlery. They soon proceed to the outer-boroughs, specifically to Jackson Heights in Queens to sample more dosas along with accompanying savory fillings and dipping chutneys. This is the real deal.
The boys are even inspired to make their own dosas after visiting an Indian grocery store en route. Perhaps a future Dosa Hunt Part II will follow Singh and his mates home to taste the results of a homemade food adventure.