HYDERABAD: We all remember when we used to have pani puri for just Rs 2. We also saw the time when dosa used to be sold for just Rs 3. But rava dosa was always pretty expensive; it still is. But not at this tiffin cart in Vijay Nagar Colony, Masab Tank, next to Ellora Carpets, where it is just for Rs 30. The cart run by Dosa uncle (Ganesh) and Idli aunty (Renuka) attracts crowds from all across the city. CE speaks to Ganesh and Renuka about their tiny yet crispy dosa and soft idli venture that began in 2000.
Both Ganesh and Renuka hail from Karnataka. They moved to Hyderabad 25 years ago in search of a job. Ganesh started working at his brother-in-law’s canteen at Birla Mandir, where he learned to make dosa and idli. Life was smooth; in the late ’90s, Ganesh met with an accident and couldn’t continue to work due to a broken arm. “My friends suggested I open a dosa bandi. I finally came up with this in 2000 and started to sell dosa at Rs 3,” says Ganesh.
Soon, dosa bandi picked up among the residents in the colony, and their business clicked pretty quick. Renuka butts in and says, “Every day, we start at 4 am. I make the chutney, and prepare rava, aloo masala and other podis, etc. We have come up with a unique way of mixing ingredients which is what has made us popular.” “From 6 am sharp, dosa, idli and upma are ready to be served.
By 11.30 am, we wrap up,” Renuka says, adding “We rest during the noon and get back to work at 5 pm with hot bajji, punugulu, mirchi, and egg bonda.” “People give us so much love; our kids have studied and are now hold good jobs. We have been doing this and will continue to make everyone happy with our idli and dosa,” says Ganesh. “We take up all orders that come our way — weddings and small events. We content with what we get. We do not plan on opening bandis around the city” Ganesh humbly asserts.
Revealing how they make their dosa, he says, “First I place the dosa batter, then I add the rava batter. After that I put in some aloo with onions and then add in our home-made masala. We also have soft idli and upma that everyone here loves to have.” “We would suggest Hyderabadis to visit us during early hours to get a taste of simplicity,” Ganesh signs off to make his next batch of dosas.