Welcome to the Q’Stoner food feature, Signature Dish! Once a week we check in with Queens restaurants and ask the owners about the all-time favorite dishes they serve. If you know of a dish you’d like to see featured here, please email email@example.com.
The Spot: Samudra Indian Restaurant, 75-18 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights.
The Deal: The Indian waiter-service restaurant opened at the end of 2013. The owner, Jagdish Shetty, is from South India and serves regional specialties of both north and south India. The exclusively vegetarian menu can attract even meat-eaters with its spiced, spicy, and flavorful recipes. Each dish is made to order, and the kitchen will customize the dish to the customer’s preferred level of spiciness.
The Dish: The menu at Samudra features a large section dedicated to dosas, a South Indian crepe made from rice and lentils. Since opening, the top-selling dosa has been the Masala Dosa, filled with a spiced potato. The dish (pictured above) is served with coconut chutney, sambar, and tomato chili.
“If someone is unfamiliar with dosa, this would definitely be a great starter choice! It is mild, so even those with the most sensitive of tastes will enjoy it,” says Mandy Sprecher, the restaurant manager.
Diners who are more familiar with Indian foods (or who have a hardier spice tolerance) can try Shetty’s favorite, Rava Masala Dosa, which is also filled with the potato masala but the crepe is made with semolina and rice flour.