Neighborhood Kitchens

Meet Dosa Temple Chef Siva Kumar

By Margarita Martinez

siva kumar
Dosa Temple's chef Siva Kumar (Patricia Alvarado/WGBH)
Siva Kumar was born in the farmlands that surround Chennai, India. He grew up milking cows and helping his parents care for their crops. His mother was known in their community as a wonderful cook with a keen sense of hospitality. She was often feeding neighbors and cooking meals for Siva’s classmates. She inspired Siva to become a chef.

In 1997 Siva moved to Chennai to attend culinary school. After graduation he worked for a few years in five-star hotel in the city, the Taj. In 2000 he moved to Bombay, where he continued to work at the Taj. Eager to expand his culinary experience, he moved to the United States in 2004.

In the U.S. Siva had the opportunity to work in a number of cities and learn about different cuisines. He discovered that he has a special passion for vegetarian and vegan foods. He helped start a vegetarian restaurant and he found that he loved combining healthy, local products to create tasty and hearty meals with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free products. When his longtime friend Gopala Krishnan opened Dosa Temple, he called upon Siva to join him. Dosa Temple has been very successful, and Siva is planning to open his own restaurant very soon.


Watch Neighborhood Kitchens online to learn more about Dosa Temple in Somerville's Union Square.

*Since filming, the Union Square restaurant has reopened under new ownership as Dosa N Curry. The Ashland location remains Dosa Temple.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44

About the Author
Margarita Martinez Margarita Martinez
Margarita Martinez grew up in the Bronx, NY and Ossining, NY with a Puerto Rican father and a Franco-American mother. She now calls New England home. Margarita has always had an insatiable appetite for travel and food. She made her first empanada as a teenager visiting Argentina, satisfied her sweet tooth with poffertjes and stroopwafels while studying in Holland, engorged herself on Thai street food for a month in Bangkok, and continues to search for authentic international cuisines in the Northeast. Margarita loves to discover new ingredients, flavors, and cooking approaches that she can bring to her own home kitchen.

On the Go

In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
click on the map to explore

Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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