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Dosa at Tu
Leslie Ryann McKellar

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How a Dosa Defined the 2019 Generation of Tu

A look inside the new Indian menu

When Xiao Bao Biscuit co-owners Josh Walker, Duolan Walker-Li, and Joey Ryan opened Tu in late 2017, the refrain about the restaurant was “unlike anything in Charleston.” In the land of shrimp and grits, the trio brought eclectic flavor combinations from across the globe, like crudo with guava, “cheese ice,” and habanero.

At the end of 2018, Eater Charleston named Tu Restaurant of the Year, but the owners were ready to make a change. By the beginning of 2019, Tu became an Indian restaurant. Chef Josh Walker explains to us how a dosa in Canada set him and his partners on this path.

“It’s one of those dishes that’s seemingly straight forward,” says Walker. “It looks like a crepe — it’s a bit ubiquitous in the world of Indian cuisine.” However, this humble crispy pancake made a big impression on the chef while traveling with Walker-Li in Toronto, Canada, last year. At one South Indian restaurant, Walker found himself in the kitchen alongside the staff. “I learned so much in a short amount of time,” he says. Walker’s interest in Indian food increased even more and he was more excited about Tu’s latest transition.

“It’s lightly fermented rice and lentils, turned in a batter for a thin, crispy pancake,” says Walker, “I think it’s such a simple food, and I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at what makes a dosa.”

Find the dosa — and much more — on Tu’s new menu.

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