“Jaisa ann vaisa mann- You are what you eat.”
The other way to look at it is, the times when you wish you had wings to fly and your favorite chocolate pie just adds to that moment of happiness, or the worst of the times when you just want to be left alone, a simple cuppa refreshes your mood and these are just few of the many.
Coming back to my first point, was recently invited to try out an interesting meal- Divinely Saatvik- The Traditional Food Festival hosted by Southindies.
This place is located next to Central mall, Ganeshkind road and the festival will continue till July 9, 2017. Some snaps to take you through the place and an interesting artwork captured in the process.
My first reaction when I received the invite was- it’s different! and this made me research more about it.
As per Ayurveda, there are three types of food- Satvik, Tamasic and Rajasic, our area of focus is Satvik food which is vegetables only in raw and natural form.
The entire meal curated for this festival is pure vegetarian without the usage of onions and garlic- yes, I visited this place with my parents and we enjoyed the meal.
Let’s start this different (read my experience to know why I call it unique) yet a happy experience:
We were served with curd atom bomb this is vanilla ice-cream scoop with dates, shev and tamarind chutney. This was served at the beginning as it’s good for digestion.
Next on the table was tarkari (vegetables) paal soup- veggies cooked with coconut milk- relief for my sore throat.
Mocktails ordered were peach paradise mint minus crushed ice, sweetness overpowered the freshness of mint.
Mum asked for Barman’s special mocktail this had fresh fruit juices with a vanilla ice-cream – great way to start the meal.
For starters, beetroot podi toast idly was the first dish- it was nicely tossed with podi (gunpowder) and tasted good with coconut chutney.
Cuppa semiya was fryums playing hide and seek with rice cups, shev.
Veg kurkure was average crispy spring rolls, next was something interesting and loved by many paccha payar paniyaram-no, no it’s not paneer. It’s aapka and mera aape- soft, crispy paddus made in green moong dal and rice instead of the regular urad dal and rice combination. Perfectly cooked with cheese and pickled mayo.
Hot and steamy food was right in front of us- pineapple chuttadu was loved by mum, this was pineapple pieces grilled with chatapata masala
Unique dish made from jackfruit amazed us- crisp fritters made from ripe jackfruit, one of the tricky element which can either be a big hit or a disastrous, the lady loved it. I prefer having the fruit form.
Whiissshhhhhh whiissshhhhh was heard again- hot and perfectly grilled bhutta with red chilly masala was the next item- I love bhutta (sweet corn ) in any form.
Ended the starters sabudana cheese wada – crunchy sago patties made us move to the next course of the meal- MAINS.
We were quite contented after having these unique tasty starters, decided to elect and select from the buffet.
Bad throat, but curd rice was looking at me and I just couldn’t turn my eyes off- We looked at each other and took a very small portion. Loads of pickles to sum it up – there’s amala, tomato, ginger- miss the feeling of having this meal in a traditional way.
Took a bowl of kadamaba sambar which is a specialty from Tamil Nadu and here it’s made up of 9 ingredients, those are drumstick, country cucumber, brinjal, carrot, beans, beetroot, potato, radish with salt, cumin seeds, turmeric and sambar masala.
Loved this one with the staple- podi dosa prepared in the live kitchen, appam- lacy rice pancake, veeshalakshi roti- similar to kerala porotha- you can have unlimited servings of these cripsy, soft dosas and appams- This was the moment of the day for me!
Happiness continued as we tried Madurai Dry fruit pulao- basmati rice with assorted dry fruits, flavored with saffron with parappu podi (gunpowder chutney) karuevepali podi ( curry leafy chutney), and the array of green chilly, fried chilly, red chilly pickles- aur kya chaihye life mein!
Well, you may say some veggies- so, next was Srilankan Pineapple Paneer Curry- Disappointment- tasted like paneer butter masala cooked in tomato gravy.
Looked at one of my fav green veggie- bhendi and looked at the name-it read bendakay palya, knew it was bhendi cooked with curry leaves and groundnut- liked this one with porotha.
Tried a spoon of mirpakaya patani curry- this was jalapenos with green peas, cashews cooked in chettinad style- meaning whole garam masala.
Moving around the buffet counter, had already committed to the beautiful, inviting gulab jamuns- Shankar our host for the afternoon was generous to serve all of the desserts in a single plate.
To start with, gulab jamuns were soft, but woh baat thodi kam thi- they felt more of khoya variant. Immediately tried sheer korma( hot version) of condensed milk- loved it, one bowl down and happily moved to try a chilled variety- elaneer payasaam, this was coconut milk with condensed milk and sugar, prefer the sheer korma. This was too sweet for my taste bud.
This was followed by fruit alaska, it’s mixed fruit pulp with whipped cream- average!
Moved to Chocolate DBC, they tried to play with a sinful ingredient like chocolate and was disappointed with the attempt. This was hard sponge cake coated with chocolate.
Aanth bhala toh sab bhala- Hyderabadi Malai Phirni proved this for us, it’s broken rice with milk pudding- liked this one.
Mum was happy eating fresh fruits and dad settled with his hot kapi which was quite refreshing.
Overall, kudos to the concept and simplicity in terms of food ingredients.
What does Anu’s meter say?
Service- Spot On.
Hospitality – Excellent.
Staff and Chef- Interacted with Chef Munirasu who is a resident of Tamil Nadu and has immense knowledge about his food, Shankar our host was very well informed about the menu, process and the ingredients used in each this was impressive!
Food quality- Good.
Starters were the highlight of the meal.
Ambience- Pleasant with a good view.
VFM- Yes, buffet cost is Rs 595 all inclusive for adults and Rs 300 for kids.
Suggestions/ Areas of improvement:
Adding mocktails which could be served using the nariyal pani covering (coconut shell), twist with different fruits could be explored.
Missed having the food served in traditional way – this can be in terms of seating and food presentation.
Rassam and papadams were not seen!
There was a ‘ Make your own chaat’ which was under utilized.
A small chat with the customers explaining more about the festival can help foodies know more about the concept and spread awareness.
Lastly, focus more on regional items- catering to larger audience is indeed an objective, but niche can be certainly achieved.
It’s a new experience and we loved it- Thank you for hosting us!
If you love South Indian food with the staple like dosa and different as jackfruit fritters, you should try this festival which concludes on July 9, 2017.
*This review is completely based on my experience*.
Contributing Writer: Anu Banerjii
Anu is a Bong by genes,Punekar by birth, Media professional by choice and Foodie by heart. Food Blogging for her is not being a critic, but it’s all about relishing the flavours to the fullest, thereby share experience.
Apart from work, Anu is an ardent King Khan Fan who spends her productive time by doing warli painting, practicing tarot and the food exploration continues.
Follow Anu’s food journey here- www.anubanerjii.com
Drooling photographs on Instagram handle: anu_ka_adda