Posts Tagged ‘porotta’

Indulging the Malayalee – a la gastronomique

December 15, 2009 9 comments
Malayalees are everywhere. It is said that when Tenzing and Hillary reached the pinnacle of Everest, they found a tea shop run by a Malayalee. This legendary ubiquitousness of Malayalee can be traced back to the lack of employment opportunities in Kerala and consequent migration all over the world, especially to Middle East. There are a substantial number of Malayalees in Gurgaon as well, as I have discovered over these years. However hard a Malayalee tries to hide his identity, the camouflage is easily betrayed by looks, intonation or pronunciation, providing much food to evergreen Mallu caricatures.
When Malayalees are around, Mallu restaurants cannot be far behind. However, these are so low profile that usually one comes to know of them either by sheer chance or by word of mouth. I had to search far n wide and high n low before I could find the two featured here.

The first one is Maria South India Restaurant near Gurgaon Sadar Bazaar, located next to Federal Bank.

The restaurant does complete justice to Malayalee’s appetite, offering delicious Kappa (Tapioca), Meen Curry (Fish curry), Appam (leavened bread), Kadala, Porotta, Chicken Curry, Chicken Biriyani, the dubious, stealthily whispered, notorious ‘Beef’ and a sumptuous Kerala Thali. The rates are reasonable and cleanliness passable. On Sundays, there is usually much rush around noon time, mostly returning church goers dropping for lunch. Parcels are available. It is better to check in advance for Kappa and beef since these are usually not available.
The second restaurant, Ammu’s is on the lower ground floor of Sushant Shopping Arcade, near Park Plaza. The fare is much the same as Maria and the same comments hold good.

This is the first time in history that the international network of computers (internet) has provided the hapless Mallu’s of Gurgaon a fair means of gastronomic indulgence, true Kerala style. Let us praise the Lord in this moment of joy before digging in..
Maria South Indian Restaurant
Shop No. 18-19, Chandan Deep Complex,
Near Federal Bank, Jail Road, Gurgaon
Contact: Roy, Mobile – 9810379916

Ammu’s Restaurant
LG-23, G-Block, Phase-I,
Sushant Shopping Arcade,
Sushant Lok, Gurgaon
Tel: 0124-4040765
Contact: Pradeep,Mobile – 9810761567

“Simbly South”, the one decent shop in DT Mega Mall which quenched my appetite for Appam and Stew at an exorbitant price has closed down. Let us observe a moment of silence in pretended sorrow over this sad demise.

Coco Palm, the all things South Indian restaurant in Galleria has taken up the mantle of Simply South to provide Malabar Fish curry, again at an unaffordable rate. Auto-da-fé anyone…

Categories: Gastronomique

Weekend foodlog

November 9, 2009 2 comments

Hi Lanka Map Hi Lanka

Friday evening, on a whim, we landed up at Hi Lanka, the newly opened Sri Lankan restaurant in town. Our intent was to sample the Kothu Roti’s advertised in the menu.  Long back, while I was working at a project site in Tamil Nadu, Kothu Porotta used to be my staple dinner. Shredded fluffy porottas cooked with chicken, spices and curry leaves served with a small bowl of chicken gravy, it was a wholesome meal. I hoped to relive that nostalgia.

Hi Lanka was a one room shop front located on Smt. Santosh Yadav Marg, near NH8, bordering Sector-31. Our hearts sank when we saw a “government approved” drinking place next door. However, having come such a long way, we decided to proceed with dinner.

There was a plastic table for 3 in the open. Inside, the Sri Lankan Tamil chef slogged at a shiny, brand new steel kitchen counter. The menu didn’t offer much choice except Kothu Roti and String Hopper (Idiyappam). We ordered vegetarian and non vegetarian Kothu Roti’s and spent 40 minutes watching patrons of the drinking place before dinner was served. Quantity was substantial. The tomato and grated coconut salad tasted nice. Vegetarian Kothu Roti had a tonne of Soya and smelled of egg. Non vegetarian had shredded chicken and finely chopped, cabbage, carrots and beans. It tasted bland. No comparison to the superlative Kothu Porotta of Tamil Nadu, not even a pale shadow if it. A complete letdown.

Visiting restaurants promising exotic cuisine, especially in cosmopolitan cities like Gurgaon is risky. These restaurants have to cater to a motley crowd. The original recipes are therefore tampered with and watered down to produce a fit for all product, which lacks the flavour and aroma of the authentic dish. Something similar seems to have happened in Hi Lanka. The Kothu Roti, although similar in form totally lacked the spice and vigour of the original.

Check out Hi Lanka, only if you must.

To offset the fiasco of Friday evening, we visited the Rajasthani counter at Dilli Haat for lunch. It is completely vegetarian, but have countless choices. The food is supposedly authentic. We took Special Rajasthani Thali which came with Bajra and Missi roti, dal-baati, churma ki laddu, ker-sangri, gatte ki sabzi, rice, kadhi, side dishes and achaar, all for Rs.150.00. The makki ki roti and sarson ka saag cost us Rs.50.00. Drowned it all with kulhad chai (Rs.20.00). The radiance of a satiated belly shone brightly on our faces.

Dilli Haat, as I indicated in a previous blog, is an exhibition centre showcasing arts and crafts from different states of India. Apart from the close to 200 stalls devoted to handicrafts, utensils, paintings and clothes, it also has 20 odd counters serving regional cuisine from different parts of India. This time around, we spotted counters of Awadh and Orissa. A repeat performance? maybe later.

Categories: Gastronomique