Fermentation is so hot right now. But it's not a baseless trend — fermented foods are good for the human body, doing battle in your gut against bad critters that might have snuck in there.

And though all things fermented are getting a lot of media coverage right now, fermentation is, essentially, as old as time, and found in all cultures. Including southern India, where ground rice and lentils are mixed with salt, water and perhaps a spice or two to create dosa, crepelike savory and sour flatbreads.

The sour is no joke — a dosa is usually slightly more tangy that your average San Francisco–style sourdough. They're good plain but make an excellent base for any number of dips and toppings, as exemplified at Surati Farsan in Artesia.

This ostensible snack shop doesn't get covered in food media a whole lot, but that clearly doesn't matter: The place is packed. Though the trays of sweets and bins of salty snacks are the focus at Surati Farsan, it does full meals, too, including full thali setups, full of vegetarian bites of stews and curries.

Thali  meal; Credit: James Gordon

Thali meal; Credit: James Gordon

But don't sleep on the dosa, which are comically large and served with a coconut dip and a soup. The stuffed dosa are slightly smaller, folded over and full of, say, cheese and onions or potato masala. There's even a chocolate version. These are all delicious options, but the star will always be dosa, the fermented beauty.

11814 E. 186 St., Artesia. (562) 860-2310, suratifarsan.com.

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