On Valentine’s Day, charcoal dosa for Chennai’s singles

The new ‘singles dosa’, made with activated charcoal, is being offered at popular Adyar Ananda Bhavan outlets


B Razappan and Mohan Raghavan are eagerly awaiting their dosa at Adyar Ananda Bhavan. When it arrives, a dozen eyes from adjoining tables peer inquisitively towards their tray — for this dosa is black in colour.

Made of activated charcoal, which gives it this unique colour, the offering is probably a first-of-its-kind from the popular A2B chain of hotels. Described as a ‘Singles Dosa’ and priced at ₹60, it is one of their hottest selling dishes this Valentine’s week.

“Doesn’t it look unique?” says Mohan, eyeing the crisp, ghee roast-like dosa on his table, “This is the first time I’m seeing any Indian food item that is black in colour.”

The concept was born when the management of A2B went through the plethora of Valentine’s Day offers for couples and realised that there was nothing for singles. “Of course, families can try it too,” smiles A2B supervisor Pranav S, adding, “We have heard of burgers using charcoal, and we thought about doing something similar in our dosa.”

The making of this dish is similar to that of traditional dosas — the only difference being the activated charcoal, which is mixed into the batter by the chef, resulting in the colour and flavour. There is a health benefit to this, too, claims Pranav. “It helps detox the body,” he says, “It has been proven that activated charcoal, if had in right proportions, can have health benefits.”

That is something we cannot quite guarantee, but the black dosa is certainly Instagram-worthy, and one that’s likely to garner a lot of likes. Admittedly, it does leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. However, thanks to its crispiness and ghee overload, it leaves one satiated.

With a tangy tomato chutney on the side, this charcoal dosa could well be your date this season of love.

Priced at ₹60, the ‘Singles Dosa’ is available at the Adyar, Velachery, OMR, Chromepet, Porur and Guduvanchery branches of Adyar Ananda Bhavan till this Sunday