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Madras Dosa Co. Brings a Dose of Dosa to Harvard Square

Madras Dosa Co. is located at 22 Eliot St. in Harvard Square.
Madras Dosa Co. is located at 22 Eliot St. in Harvard Square. By Brandon L. Kingdollar
By Caroline K. Hsu and Sidney K. Lee, Crimson Staff Writers

Madras Dosa Co., a chain specializing in customizable dosas, opened its doors last Friday with the goal of bringing South Indian food to Harvard Square.

Located on 22 Eliot St., the new establishment’s menu centers around the dosa, a crepe-like dish made of lentils and rice that is usually stuffed with savory fillings. The Harvard Square location is the second for the chain, which opened its first storefront in Boston’s Seaport district in 2021.

Koushik “Babu” Koganti, the owner and operator of Madras Dosa Co., said that plans to open the chain came about because Indian food, especially from southern regions, is “underserved” in America. “A lot of people think Indian food is chicken tikka masala and naan,” he said.

“Dosa has its own character, so we want to make dosa as big as it can go. That’s why we want to focus on one single dish,” Koganti continued.

The menu includes options to fill the dosa with a wide variety of vegetables and meats, as well as fruits for those looking for a sweeter option. The restaurant also serves rice pilaf, chaat, and sandwiches.

On expanding into Harvard Square, Koganti said that he believes dosa is “a great to-go for the students.” He added that he hopes the restaurant will attract “millennials who are health conscious, who love vegan food.”

Inside the restaurant, customers sit alongside a wall adorned with green foliage, highlighted with a pink neon sign stating, “Dosa is the Answer.”

“We want people to take pictures with this wall,” Koganti said.

Shreeja Kikkisetti ’25, a student at the College from South India, said she decided to eat at Madras Dosa because dosas were a “staple” for her at home. “I feel like it resembles very closely to what I’m very used to,” she said.

Rachna Gupta ’25 described the atmosphere in the restaurant as “very homely” and said she was excited by the opening, despite repeated delays to its opening.

“Me and my friends have been anticipating it opening, like I follow its Instagram page. I know there were some delays, which made us a little disappointed, but we're happy it's here,” Gupta said.

Madras Dosa’s opening saw a series of delays as the restaurant brought the space up to code and obtained permits from the City of Cambridge. The establishment initially sought to open its doors to students in December 2022 or January 2023.

Madras Dosa is open until 3 a.m. every day as Koganti hopes to add the dosa to the list of late-night options in Harvard Square.

According to Koganti, the chain is seeking to expand to major cities around the world, with a location on Madison Avenue in New York City set to open in a few months, as well as another along the Las Vegas Strip. Negotiations are also under way for a potential location in Paris.

“One billion people in India love it. From north to south, east to west, everybody loves dosa,” Koganti said.

—Staff writer Caroline K. Hsu can be reached at caroline.hsu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineHsu_.

—Staff writer Sidney K. Lee can be reached at sidney.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @sidneyklee.

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