Khali Dose always reminds us of Sunday mornings. A famous hotel from old Bengaluru, Hotel Dwarka serves the best Khali doses. But unfortunately, hotelier Sridhar Holla (88) who pioneered, Khali Dose in Bengaluru with signature Coconut chutney is no more.
The pioneer of Khali Dose
Khaali means empty in Kannada, Khali doses do not have potato filling in them like masala doses. These fluffy doses served with chutney and butter, are simply one of the best breakfasts. While almost every other hotel in Bengaluru serves these types of dishes, it is Dwaraka Hotel that gave the dish its true value amongst the Benglurians.
The man who made his hotel a proverb for Khali dose and a signature coconut chutney, Sridhar Holla, 88, died on Tuesday. Starting the hotel in 1972, this former Reserve Bank employee introduced and popularised Khali dose at his small hotel ‘Dwaraka’ on Bull Temple Road after two years of experimentation. Unlike popular dose varieties that dripped with oil, his Khali dose was oil-free, light, and smooth.
Sharing the story of the struggle, Krishnamurthy Aithal, Sridhar’s son-in-law, said: “Idlis and open doses were quite popular then. But both failed to fill the hunger. While idlis were largely associated with breakfast, the single-piece open dose left many wanting more. My father-in-law pioneered Khali dose, which was equal to a course of a meal.”
Holla’s legacy is taken care of by Krishnamurthy and other family members. “We follow the 1972 recipe of our father-in-law. All ingredients are rinsed in water for four hours and ground separately at different timings. The pastes are later mixed to achieve a perfect blend and allowed to ferment overnight. For every session (morning and evening), the fresh batter is served,” Krishnamurthy said.
The hotel has a separate fan base for its coconut chutney. Krishnamurthy said: “As long as we operated from the Bull Temple Road building until 2005, we used to serve chutney only twice. But now we provide unlimited chutney.”
The hotel serves 2,500 doses on weekdays, the number adds up to 4,500 during weekends and holidays.
“Not even a single drop of oil is added on the doses, except for a spoon smeared on the tawa at the start and wiped. Sometimes, people traveling to different parts of the country carry it in flight. They inform us of their flight timings and we prepare and keep it ready. Last week, a traveler took 20 Khali doses to Mumbai,” Krishnamurthy said.