Long time ago, there lived a couple in the village of Yelavathi. Their names were Amravathi and Thiruvillai. They were very poor and had to beg every day for alms. Each night, Thiruvillai would wish to have dosas but it remained nothing more than a luxury for the destitute couple. One day, when Amravathi had gone begging to the sarpanch’s house, they gave her some leftover dosa batter. To her, it felt as though she had been offered elixir.

Amravathi rushed back home and prepared for a feast like she had never done before. She took out the old pan and got ready to make some crispy and delicious dosas for her husband. She prepared spicy chutneys to go with the dosas and patiently waited for her husband to return home.

Thiruvillai had managed to get some rice grains and pulses after a tiring day of begging for alms, but little did he know what surprise awaited him at home. As soon as he entered the house, the aroma of delicious dosas captured his attention. The sight of the golden brown dosas drove him ecstatic.

However, there was one little problem. There was no firewood to cook on. So, Thiruvillai grabbed his axe and went into the jungle to fetch some firewood. On his way back, he heard some rumbling. He thought that it was an earthquake, but it was something much worse. It was a large, hideous demon with one eye in the center. Its eyebrows were made of grass. He looked really ugly and smelled extremely bad.

“How dare you, you mortal being?” yelled the monster. “I am the King of this jungle, and no one… I say… no one takes anything from the King without his permission.”

“Please forgive me, Your Majesty. Please let me go. My wife is waiting for me at home. She is going to make me some dosas tonight,” pleaded Thiruvillai.

“Wait, did you just say dosas? Why didn’t you mention it earlier? Of course, you may leave.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty. Thank you so much,” saying so, Thiruvillai turned around to leave.

“But don’t forget to save ten dosas for me. You may leave now,” said the demon as he walked back into the woods.

Thiruvillai rushed back home and told his wife everything. She thanked Lord Narayana for keeping her husband safe and prepared the dosas. They had a great time savoring the dosas. Thiruvillai forgot about his promise to the demon and finished off the last dosa.

However, the demon was hungry and was eagerly waiting for the dosas. He soon reached Thiruvillai’s house to claim his share of ten dosas.

“Come out, dear friend. I’ve come to collect my dosas,” shouted the demon.

“Oh, no! The batter is finished. What do we do now,” exclaimed Amravathi.

“You go inside. I will handle this,” said Thiruvillai as he grabbed a box of chili powder in his hands.

“Come in, Your Majesty. Your dosas are in this steel box. Please take a look at them,” said Thiruvillai to the demon.

As the demon opened the box, Thiruvillai shoved the box into the demon’s face, spilling the chili powder into his eyes. The demon clutched his eyes and ran away back into the forest, never to return again.

“That’s the list time I’ll ever want dosas!” a relieved Thiruvillai promised himself as he saw the demon disappear into the woods.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya Susarla

Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Feel free to email her at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from KidsGen.