Cheap Eats 2010: Amma Vegetarian Kitchen

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: Even if the cafeteria setting doesn’t quite live up to its name—amma connotes motherly comforts in Southern India—the kitchen’s vegetarian specialties, including excellent dosas, are well executed and generous.

What to get: The two types of dosas: one made with rice and lentil flours, the other a web of semolina, both stuffed with slightly sweet potatoes; puri, a balloon of fried dough served with spicy, potato-studded broth; cinnamon-heavy chickpea stew sprinkled with red onion; raita—a yogurt condiment—with cumin seeds; mango lassi; samiya payasam, a thick, milky dessert with vermicelli.

Best for: Those looking for interesting vegetarian cooking.

Insider tip: Two people could make a meal—and taste much of the menu—by ordering a dosa and the $8.29 Amma’s Feast, which includes pappadam, rice, chappathi (a flatbread), a vegetable curry, and other small bites.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here  

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.