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Thursday 10 February 2022

The Most Instagram-Worthy Indira Nagar Restaurants


Whether your are in the mood for some excellent food or punchy cocktails, the interiors of a place add so much to the overall dine-in experience. So many Michelin-starred places around the world tailor the entire ambiance to their food so that it is one integrated experience. That being said, if all you are looking for are places to get uber-cool Instagram snaps, this list is for you. Indira Nagar continues to be one of Bengaluru's most loved food hotspots and here is a list of some of the most Instagram-Worthy restaurants in Indira Nagar.

1. Secret Stories: One of the most Instagram-worth places in my opinion, this place has tonnes of gorgeous spots to get that perfect click. From a towering bar, to funky little spots all over the place, this place is as gorgeous, as it is quirky.

2. Nevermind: The dine-in experience at Nevermind starts as soon as you cross the threshold of the entrance. You are immediately transported into an eclectic, futuristic scene with a beautiful greenish open-bar setup and cozy, secluded spots all over the place. Nevermind's interiors are modern and elegant. (Catch the full review here)

3. Indira Nagar Social: This outlet of the ever-popular Social's chain from Impressario boasts of interiors straight out of the plan out a well-appointed Bungalow. It is in fact, housed in a repurposed bungalow. The entire space is divided into spaces based on a room in the house. This place has a casual setting on the lower levels, with a dining, living and library space. On the first floor lies a major crowd-puller: SOCIAL’s first-ever speakeasy-inspired bar. And lastly, the second floor is almost like a movie set from different eras, each with a story waiting to be told. Instagrammable? Check. Quirky? Check. 

4. Hopshaus Tropical Taproom & Kitchen: This is their second outlet in the city after their Whitefield one. Located on the second floor above the ever-popular Sanchez and Sriracha, this outlet continues the botanical theme. The place is dotted with plants all around, and the bar here is one of my fav. spots. Complete with a neon-sign, with an Insta-worthy tropical mural, the perfect background for all your pictures after a good time here. 

5. Daddy's: With a name like that, you have got to visit this place to take in all of it's quirkiness. This place has a unique flip bar counter that is one of a kind in the country. It has super-quirky spots and one of my favs. is the super-eclectic private dining room with quirky, full-length portraits of Hitler, Napoleon and the like, adorning one side of the room.The terrace ambience is also pretty special and Bengaluru's weather makes it even better. 

6. Bhola and Blonde: Another fairly new entrant to Indira Nagar, the plush interiors of Bhola and Blonde are beautiful and opulent.. The gorgeous interiors of Bhola & Blonde are a depiction of the exotic east with heritage Indian design elements and peacock motifs all over. It is almost like a scene out of a painting with peacock blue tones, muted greens, ethnic bird cages & old-world tungsten lamps. Definitely on the list of quirky and Instagram-ready Indira Nagar spots. 

Find the original article on EazyDiner at:

Bangalore's Most Insta-worthy Restaurants

Monday 29 March 2021

Northwest -> The Final Food Frontier?

The food at Northwest Kebabs and Curryhouse is predominantly influenced by the cuisine of the Mughals, Turks and Tughlaqs who made their way to the Indian Plate via travelers and conquerors from Persia,  down to India traveling over Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were all part of one empire, and the food of this region is popularly known as Northwest Frontier Cuisine.

The food at Northwest focuses on genuine recipes sourced by Chef Sanjay Tyagi whose inspiration comes in the form of recipes from old-time hotel cooks of Royal families along with meticulous research from the food of this region. Interestingly, this place has a spotless open kitchen unlike most Indian places and shows their confidence in delivering a top-notch experience to its customers. Here is what we had over a lunch on a rather sunny afternoon:

The session started off with refreshing Aam Panna, a staple in the North of India to ward off the ill effects of the tempestuous afternoon loos. And Chef assured us that no sweeteners added, which is a refreshing change from sugar-hopped drinks served at a lot of places.


1. Murgh Ke Chaanp: So, these were chicken drumsticks evidently marinated in yoghurt to give it an unmistakable lusciousness in every bite. This was indeed a surprise hit with everyone at the table, and the spice level being mild, is a sure shot winner every time.

2. Mutton Behari: Tender escalopes of mutton leg slow cooked to perfection with a rich blend of spices, this was like a cross between a Boti kebab and a chapli that is popular in the by lanes of Lucknow.

3.Dahi Ke Kebab: A dish popular among vegetarians across India, there are as many different variations of this one. The version here at Northwest was beautifully made with the filling taking on an almost khoya like sweetness, and elevating this dish to the next level. It was less sour than I expected it to be and definitely a variation I would recommend 


1.  Bharwa Bataer(Quail) Musallam and Mirchi Parantha: One of the centerpieces of Awadhi cooking, and the very acme of culinary refinement practiced in that culture, a whole bird (musallam means “whole”) would be cleaned out, stuffed with nuts and dried fruit, and then roasted, cooked in some jus, and there would be a spiced gravy usually poured over it all. It is a complicated recipe. The dish was served up by the Lucknowi elite. And now that that age has passed, it is one of those heritage “wow” dishes in danger of being lost This rendition of Bharwa Bater Musallam by Chef Sanjay Tyagi takes me back to my spent time in Lucknow, chasing classic Awadhi dishes that have gained a cult following. A rich gravy of fragrant spices, butter and cream, this left us wowed. Paired with the slightly spicy mirchi parantha, this was heavenly!

2. Nargisi Kofta and Ulta Tawa Parantha: Another popular facet of Awadhi cuisine was multiple levels of stuffing, if you get what I mean! And did you know, this is what inspired the famous scotch eggs? IKofta is a classic mughlai recipe, where marinated mutton keema is wrapped on hard boil eggs and braised into rich yogurt gravy. Pairing this with the beautiful tawa paranthas just leaves you gasping for more.

3. Afghani Gosht Pulao: It would be amiss if I did not mention this one. Fragrant, Yellow basmati rich cooked to perfection in a mutton broth to give it a slight edge, this comes as a relief against some of those heavier main courses. And as Chef repeatedly pointed out, this is NOT biryani, so any comparisons would be unfair.

At this point, while already slipping into a slow but steady food coma, we had space left for one last dessert, the Husn E Ara, similar to a double ka meetha, where bread slices are deep fried and soaked in hot milk flavoured with myriad spices such as saffron and cardamom. This version had a pineapple stuffed between the bread and was topped with generous amounts of rabri. Delicious!

Northwest Kebab & Curryhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoOverall, an unforgettable experience in the heart of Koramangala, and one that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who wants to try Mughlai cuisine, or someone like me who relishes food from this region.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Frozen and Healthy - TKC Foods

Like most discoveries, the technique of flash-freezing food to keep it fresh was discovered by accident. Clarence Birdseye is credited with inventing the techniques which lay the foundation for modern freezing techniques in the 1920s. But the popularity of the heat-n-serve format of frozen foods started with the now famous, Swanson TV Dinner concept in 1954. It promised a dinner in 25 minutes with "hearty slices of moist tender Swanson turkey, with whipped sweet potatoes and golden Swanson butter."  

Fast-Forward to today where we have innumerable brands and varieties of dishes to chose from, but the question remains, how healthy is frozen food? TKC Foods aims to change that perception with products that have healthy ingredients and calorie counts to help you eat right, while not compromising on the taste. I received a package from them with a sample of some of their products and here is the review.

1. Fudge Brownie Delish: There is nothing to beat the smell of freshly cookies/brownies being baked, and eating them straight out of the oven. With these chocolatey brownie bookies, you can do just that. Pop the frozen cookie dough into your oven for 10-12 minutes and Voila! Fudgy, chocolatey and the crunch of walnuts, simply delicious. Highly recommend this one.

2. Thin Crust Whole Wheat Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza: Having made various variations of pizza at home, with both store brought pizza bases, and even doughs from scratch, I wasn't expecting much. But the thin crust pizza from TKC Foods is definitely my favorite item from their entire lineup, simply because it tastes as almost good as a freshly-baked wood-fired pizza. Have a look at the picture and tell me if you feel it looks anything like those horrible, thick-based wheat monstrosities in the name of pizzas we are used to getting at stores across the country. This one is a must try!

3. Desi Tandoori Vegetarian Patty: Frozen Patties is a segment most companies get right, and while this version here has healthy ingredients such as Jackfruit, broken wheat, carrots, etc, i t is ultimately deep-fried which kind of tones down the overall health quotient of it. I would say that it delivers what it promises, but isn't as good as I thought it would be. I should probably try their non-veg version too to get a better picture. They also sent 2 large multi-grain burger buns which were absolutely gorgeous.

I also tried their Italian herbs chunky pesto as a dressing for my salad and also with some spaghetti, and it tasted great with both. 

Having tried several variations of frozen food over the years across brands and countries, I would say that this is a brand I would closely follow, as they expand their products across categories. Apart from tasting really good, their products focus on the health aspect of it and good quality ingredients which is a definite plus and I am definitely stocking up on some of their items for days when I don't feel like cooking or ordering in.

For more details, you can order in or pickup items from their nearest store at the link here : TKC Foods

Thursday 17 September 2020

Exclusive Pottery For the Urban Indian

Indian Pottery, Handmade, Pottery

When was the last time you stopped to think about the origin of that the cup of tea you are sipping from or the lovely ceramic plate that you had your lunch on? COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways, but it has also given me time to introspect on things such as the environment, eating healthy, art and the resilience of human nature. One profound impact this had on me was to try source products locally as much as possible and encourage local artisans. 

I have always felt that anything that you buy for your home should have connection with you. Maybe, a childhood memory, designs inspired from a series you like, a color or pattern that you can associate with or something, that is so whimsical that it appeals to the child in you. And, often, those patterns are closer home than you might think. 

Pottery in particular has been dying a slow death in India due to lack of support from the general population and the government. Have you heard of Gujarat's Khavda whose origins date as far back as the Indus Valley civilization, or Nizamabad's Black Pottery which uses smoke fired with rice husks in enclosed kilns with the resulting soot giving the pottery its distinct shiny black surface? These regionalized techniques are just a few examples of the myriad pottery traditions that are prevalent across India, but are thoroughly underappreciated.

I have curated a series of cups, mugs and plates from ExclusiveLane which are made in collaboration with artists from all over the country. With intricate designs and vibrant hand-painted colors,these pieces are just exquisite. And whats more, each piece is unique because they are hand-made and has variations based on the artisan who worked on it. Check out these lovely collections.

Cups, Saucers, Handcrafted, Handpainted, Blue Pottery
Moroccan Blossoms:

InspirationAlso known as Morocco's Blue City, Chefchaouen, situated in the North-West of Morocco in the Rif Mountains, was built as fortress in the 15th Century. Architecture enthusiasts will marvel at the Jewish-inspired blue-tinted buildings, octagonal mosques and Spanish ruins. Blue and White cobbled streets lined with vibrant pots with lush green plants and colorful flowers are another unmistakable feature of this city.
Dominant Color : Blue and White
Should Appeal To: Travelers, History Buffs, People who love Blue
Symbolism: Blue is a calming color that symbolizes stability, inspiration, wisdom and serenity. The floral patterns embedded in a hierarchical structure represent the architecture and flowers of the blue city of Chefchaouen.  

Banyan, Dodda Alada Mara, Ramohalli

Banyan Marvels:

Inspiration: Situated around 25 kms from Bangalore, in the Ramohalli village, 'Dodda Alada Mara' (loosely translates to 'Big Banyan Tree') is a single Banyan tree that is spread over 3 acres of land and is more than 400 hundred years old. The Banyan (bargad) is a highly venerated tree in Hinduism due to its ability to survive and grow for centuries. This tree symbolizes the creator 'Brahma', as it represents longevity and eternal life. It is also called Kalpaka Vriksha or the wish full filling tree, in the Atharva Veda. It is also said that Lord Buddha gained his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
Dominant Color: Tea Green
Should Appeal To: People fascinated with Hindusim/Buddism, People who like green
Symbolism: The leaf of the banyan tree is said to be the resting place for Lord Krishna. The Banyan tree itself represents immortality and also symbolizes the Holy Trinity or Trimurti (Bark:Lord Vishnu, Roots:Lord Brahma, Branches:Lord Shiva). The color green also represents safety, harmony, freshness, growth and endurance.

Huts, Fishing Village, Pottery, Hand painted, quirky, vibrantplates, ceramic plates
The Hut Collection:

Inspiration: Depiction of a fishing village in Pondicherry. It is just another day in the village with the sun beating down on the rows of huts with triangular roofs and symmetrical windows,   with the palm tree providing some respite from the heat. The markets are abuzz with vendors selling their fresh catch while the areas are lined with fish being dried to be made into pickles and dried fish. 
Dominant Color: Multicolored
Should Appeal To: Those who like quirky things, appeals to your inner child
Symbolism: The vivid colors, the bold brushstrokes and the typical huts that we used to draw during our younger days remind us of the playfulness of our youth. It represents a time when things were simpler, and indeed the rustic nature of the art appeals to your inner child.

Please note that all products shown above are made in collaboration with artisans from all over India and are hand-painted with hand glazed studio pottery which is fired at 1200 degree Celsius. To know more, visit their website at ExclusiveLane or their Instagram page here.

About ExclusiveLane: ExclusiveLane was born out of a love of Indian Handicrafts in 2012 with the goal of bringing exclusive handicraft products to the urban consumer. By introducing and promoting these products in the domestic and international market, ExclusiveLane aims to uplift the economic condition of artisans who work hard to preserve the heritage of the Indian handicrafts industry.

Monday 6 July 2020

Hao Chi - Asian Food Home Delivered!

Meal from Hao-Chi, BangaloreThe current pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, some major and some more subtle, some for the better and maybe a few for the worse. As a person who enjoys eating out immensely, COVID-19 has made me transition to ordering food online more frequently. Pan-Asian is one of those cuisines that has such a broad connotation and while many restaurants don the 'Pan-Asian' hat, few can deliver on it, and even fewer on the home delivery front. I recently ordered in from Hao-Chi and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, the packaging and the overall VFM aspect.
Dimsum Platter

The first few images that flash across in my mind's eye when someone says Pan Asian food, are piping hot ramen bowls, fragrant Thai curries, freshly steamed Dimsums, paper-thin rice paper rolls....and then I start feeling hungry. Bear in mind though that Asia has nearly 50 countries the fare in most of these places is limited to the popular few countries including Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia and Singapore. Here are some of the items that we ordered in, and while I missed the formality of dining out, being served each course and a personal touch with the Chef talking about his experiences, it is hard to beat eating out on your sofa while watching your favorite series on Netflix.

1. The Non-Veg. Dimsum Platter- For me, an Asian meal is incomplete with Dimsums. While in traditional Cantonese cuisine, Dimsums are typically served with tea, I love eating these bite-sized delights to stimulate my taste buds at the start of the meal. The Dimsums I liked from Hao Chi were the Prawn Hargao and the Chicken Siu Mai. Beautiful translucent skin, expertly folded and a flavor bomb in your mouth, each one of them. 

Seafood Salad

2. Seafood Salad: Shrimps, crab sticks and other assorted seafood bits and veggies tossed in a fragrant dressing of sesame oil, lemongrass and a few other herbs. While it not sound like much, this was a refreshingly light salad and added a much needed freshness to the meal.  

3. Lamb Rendang: Rendang is one of Indonesia’s(origin is a fierce debate between Malaysia and Indonesia) most popular dishes and the array of flavors from this dish actually gets better as it ages. Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime, Toasted Coconuts, Cinnamon, Red Chilies, Galangal are just some of the spices that go into making this delightful slow-simmered concoction, and my mouth starts to water as I think of the dish. The Hao Chi version of the Rendang was immensely flavorful and is a meal on its own with some steamed or jasmine rice. Perhaps the best home delivered Rendang I have had. 

Vanilla Pannacotta

4. Vanilla Pannacotta: A word of mention of the dessert because you have to taste it to know how good it was. While I could do without the sprinkles, the pannacotta was creamy, light and yet held its shape despite travelling with a delivery executive on a bike for some distance. 

Also, worth mentioning that their Wasabi Prawns and Drums of Heaven were also pretty good! 

Drums Of Heaven

Verdict: Superb Taste, great packaging and excellent VFM, Hao Chi is the full package. If you are a fan of pan-Asian food, like I am, order in from the Hao Chi nearest to you (They currently have outlets in HBR Layout, Bellandur and New BEL Road). Overall, a meal I thoroughly enjoyed and will be definitely ordering in to satisfy my Asian food cravings.

Hao Chi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday 5 April 2020

Choco-Banana Halwa Barfi

Banana Halwa, Barfi, Chocolate

This is an adaptation of the banana halwa that is made during Navratris in North India, to break fasts(vrats). The recipe is fairly simple and several variations can be made depending on ingredients you have in the pantry. Skip the cocoa powder and you have a traditional banana halwa. This can be had hot as well like a regular halwa. Nuts to be used depending on availability, though I find that walnuts and cashew nuts go particularly well in this recipe. This recipe makes about 250 gms of the sweet.

List of Ingredients

1 Cup Chopped Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Grated Khoya(200 gms)
1/2 Cup Coarsely ground nuts(Walnuts, Cashews)
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
Ghee for greasing

End of Step 3 - Mixture Turns BrownStep 1: Grease a small 6 x 8 straight edged pan with ghee, to be used for setting the barfi. Skip this if you want to have it hot.

Step 2: Heat a tbsp of ghee in a thick bottomed non-stick vessel. Add in the entire quantity of Banana and Khoya and cook on low-medium heat, till ghee oozes out from the mixture. Stir constantly to prevent scorching of the bottom layer. This should take around 5-7 minutes apprx.

Step 3: Add Sugar and coarsely-ground nuts and mix well. Continue to cook and stir for another 10-12 minutes, till the mixture turns brown.

Choco-Banana Halwa BarfiStep 4: Add the milk and cocoa powder and cook till it starts leaving the side of the pan.

Step 5: Transfer the contents into the greased pan from Step 1, level it and allow it to cool. Cut into desired shapes and serve. The consistency will be slightly gooey/fudgy when hot.

Thursday 26 March 2020

Chanar Payesh (Angoori Rasmalai) Recipe

Chanaar Payesh is a popular Bengali dessert that is easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Chanaar means ‘Made of Paneer’(Cottage Cheese) and Payesh roughly translates to milk-pudding. There are several variations to this dish, including using grated Cottage Cheese instead of round dumplings, or the use of condensed milk to speed things up. This recipe however is closer to the traditional way of making Channar Payesh. It is pretty similar to Angoori Rasmalai.


·       Full Cream Milk 1.5 litres
·       Lemon juice 1 1/2 tablespoon
·       Sugar 1/2 cup
·       Rose Water 1 Tsp
·       Corn Flour or Rice Flour: 1 Tsp
·       Saffron (kesar) a few strands
·       Cardamom Powder  ½ Tsp
·       Almonds blanched and chopped 5-6
·       Pistachios blanched and chopped 7-8

Step 1: Making Paneer/Cottage Cheese(If you have paneer at home, skip to step 3)
Boil 500ml of milk. When it starts boiling, add lemon juice and keep stirring till all the milk curdles.

Step 2: Making Paneer/Cottage Cheese
Strain the whey and tie up the residue(chenna) in a muslin cloth and dip in ice water till it cools. Squeeze out the excess liquid and set aside.

Step 3:
Mash the paneer from step 2, add a dash of corn flour for better binding, and make small dumplings out of it. You can store these in a fridge for 5-10 mins, to make sure they don’t unravel. Also, make sure the dumplings are very small, else the milk will not get soaked till the center, leaving these hard!

Step 4:
Take 50 ml of milk, add Rose Water, Saffron, Cardamom Powder and mix lightly. Set aside.

Step 5:
Taking the remaining milk(slightly less than a litre) in a thick-bottomed deep vessel. Start boiling it on a medium flame stirring continuous, so that the milk doesn’t get scorched from the bottom. Keep scraping the sides of the vessel and add back into the milk. Keep going till the milk gets creamier and the color changes to off-white. (It took me about 25 minutes, but depends on several factors including quality of milk and vessel surface-area)

Step 6:
Add in sugar and the flavored milk from step 4 and cook for 2-3 minutes, while stirring continuously.

Step 7:
Gently add in the dumplings you made in Step 3 and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Step 8:
Turn off the gas and transfer to a container and let it cool. Refrigerate it for at least an hour, so that the dumplings absorb the milk completely. Garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds

Pro-Tip 1: Quantity of Sugar is indicative and will vary depending on the type of sugar (brown, granulated, powdered) used. Also note that milk when reduced acquires a mild sweet taste due to caramelization, so adjust accordingly.

Pro-Tip 2: Homemade Paneer tends to have a slight sour taste, which is essentially coming from lemon. You can used vinegar as well to avoid it. Also, make sure to squeeze out as much of the whey as possible and pour over cold water when straining the paneer.

Monday 9 March 2020

WFM - Working From Merak

Merak, JW Marriott Bangalore, Co Working, Cowork,Pool Side
Being a part of the IT Industry, a lot of us have the flexibility of working remotely, and I recently worked from Merak, JW Marriott's co-working space, and it is hands down, the coolest place I have worked from yet. And how often have we complained about bland and unappetizing cafeteria food? None of that here with bespoke cocktails and excellent food! 

The Best Part: Pay only for food and drinks that you order; the space and wi-fi is complimentary! Here is a review of the food and cocktails at Merak:

Bhel Puri, Bhel, Thai Bhel
BBQ Pork, Barbecued Pork, Pork Belly'Not the Usual Bhel' – A unique twist to the bhel puri, this has Thai herbs and a sweet-chili dressing added to the bhel. It is topped with crispy chicken bits. Honestly, anything is good with fried chicken!

Pork Char Siu -  A Cantonese favorite, these are sticky Chinese barbecued pork belly pieces served with braised pok-choy leaves and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.. If you like pork, you will love this dish.

Cantonese-Style Lobster - Striking presentation aside, this was batter-fried lobster pieces with scallions, soy, ginger and celery. Extremely delicious, though I would have preferred something that brings out the delicate flavor of the lobster.

Creme Brulee, Saffron, Indian Creme Brule
Zaffran Crème Brûlée and Almond Biscotti – An unusual variation to a regular Crème Brûlée, this creamy dessert had saffron infused into the custard instead of vanilla. The end-result was a richer, fragrant and much more satisfying Crème Brûlée.

Gin Garden, Gin Cocktail
Merak has some of the snazziest glassware I have ever seen, and they complement the excellent cocktails that they have here.

Merak Garden - Hendrick's gin infused with Hibiscus Tea, Rose Water, Cucumber and spices on a bed of preserved moss. This is one unforgettable cocktail and one that I would order every single time at Merak. Beautiful herbal notes as you take your initial sips that transforms into something far more complex, with the floral hibiscus and rose notes dominating the body of this cocktail. 

Gin Garden, Gin Cocktail
Martini Gazer - Blue Pea flower decoction, Cointreau, Martini Bianco, Beefeater Gin and a dash of Ginger Ale. This one had lovely herbal notes from the gin complemented by the earthiness of blue-pea flower and sourness from the lemon. 
Abhishek Chatterji
Co-Working Space:

While the food and beverage aspect is well taken care of, the work aspect is also well-thought through. Lots of seating options, like chairs and sofas for personal space, longer tables for community meetings and several cabanas setup well-spaced apart for a private conversation/meeting. Add to that a gorgeous view of the pool and I can easily say that my work-space at Merak is better than yours.
Merak-JW Marriott Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Verdict: Unobtrusive yet efficient service from JW Marriott, superb food and beverage options and a lovely pool-side view, hard to dislike a space like this! Highly recommended!

Saturday 7 March 2020

KCK - To The Roots and Back

Malyali Food, Idli, Kerala
The food of a region not only reflects the local produce, but also the influence of cultures and dynasties that have ruled the place, to innovations of migrants who moved here. Kerala is no exception, and the food from this region is so diverse, it would take several blog articles just to go over their food history! To give some context, here are a few ‘Kerala’ dishes that capture the essence of what I mean:

Kerala Sadhya – An epic feast of vegetarian food and the universal symbol of the food of Kerala, their origins lie with the Namboodhari Brahmins, who associate their immigration from Tamil Nadu with the divine creation of Kerala by Parasurama, hence the name, ’God’s Own Country’.

Beef Ularthiyathu- A slow-roast beef dish made with pepper and curry leaves, this is a dish popularized by the Syrian Christian community.

Alisa/Harees – An Arab origin dish of Broken Wheat and Meat, this dish was brought here by the Mapilla Muslim community
Prawn in Banana Leaf

Kallu Shappu Meen Curry – Toddy or Date Palm Wine or Kallu is a mild, slightly sweet alcoholic beverage, that goes really well with extremely spicy food, sold in Kallu Shops. The Kallu Shappu Fish Curry and Beef fry are legendary Toddy Shop 'Touchings' that are not to be missed when in Kerala.

This is but information relevant when reviewing a place like Kappa Chakka Kandhari (KCK), where not just recipes and ingredients, but also local and home chefs who have been brought in from various parts to Kerala to recreate the magic in Bangalore using traditional methods. Ah Nostalgia! That is the beginning of so many great things; art, architecture and of course, food! Chef Regi Mathew, veteran chef and co-owner at KCK went back to his roots to get recipes that he his mother made for him when he was younger. That was the start of a mammoth journey spread over 3 years where the owners visited over 250 homes and 70 toddy shops, tasting, collecting and mastering recipes and techniques.

Squid Rings, CalamariBy the by, KCK is named after these ingredients, Kappa – Tapioca, Chakka – Jackfruit, Kandhari - Bird’s eye Chilli, which quite brilliantly summarizes the diversity of Malayali Cuisine in three words. That being said, let’s have a look at some of the dishes I had here:

Koonthal Roast: Very much a toddy-shop favorite, these are deep-fried calamari rings with Bird’s Eye Chilli. They very much hit the spot! Like fellow blogger and Keralite Abhilash Mithren (GulpnMunch) jokingly said, this is our version of the Ghee Roast.
Seer Fish, Peppercorn MAsala
Ayikoora Nellika Masala: Seafood is as much a part of Kerala food as coconut and bananas. The inspiration of this dish is from the fisherman who roast fresh catch on the salty shore rocks, with nothing much but pepper and salt. This was a grilled seer fish which had this lovely sour aftertase from the sundried gooseberries and a hit of spice with young peppercorns and chilli.
Beef Cutlet, Cutlet, Syrian Food in Kerala
Irachi Cutlet: Another favorite from the menu, these cutlets are a Syrian lunch specialty and are made with braised and shredded tenderloin chunks coated with egg and no breadcrumbs, which really brings out the taste of the meat. If you are a beef fan, this is priority number one!

Ramassery Idly, Idli, Kerala FoodRamassery Idli : These are nearly flat, similar to a dosa in shape and only about half an inch thick, but the tastiest idlis I have had. The secret to making these delightful idlis lies in the 3-tiered unglazed earthen clay pot structure with the mesh in which these are made. The origin of these idlis can be traced to the Mudaliar community of weavers who migrated from Tamil Nadu and settled down in Ramassery, a village 12 kms from Palakkad, Kerala

Puttu and Kadala CurryPuttu draws its name from the Sanskrit Pishta’ – which means jutting out, referring to the cylinder-like vessel in which it is made. This is generally a combination of Rice Flour, coconut and salt.

Kadala, Black Chickpeas,ChickpeasFish Curry, Toddy Shop Fish Curry, ToddyKadala Curry is a creamy gravy of black channa(kondakadalai), roasted, grated coconut, chilli and other masalas with a tempering of curry leaves. I could have this combination for lunch every-day and not regret it, one bit. Extremely homely and super-delicious!

Shappu Meen Curry: Spicy, Tangy and a fiery red coloured gravy, this toddy-shop style fish curry is everything you can hope for in your main course. Mop it up with idiappams(rice string hoppers) or pathiris(paper-thin rice flour ‘rotis’)
Tender Coconut Pudding. Pudding, Tender Coconut
Desserts: Here are 2 desserts that are a little off-the-beaten path, but with core ingredients from Kerala and deserve a place on this review:

Kandhari Ice-Cream – Truly, one of a kind, this is ice-cream made only with full-fat milk and Bird’s Eye Chilli, and the incredible spice hit as you savor your dessert, and the beautiful creaminess that lulls that initial blow. Unique, beautiful, regional. Just like KCK

Cloud Pudding – A dessert that has quickly become the talk of town, this is a tender-coconut pudding that is light as a cloud, jiggly like a jelly and as tasty as it gets. The best damn tender coconut pudding that I have ever had. Period!

Nannari Sherbet, Sarsapilla
Verdict: This place has a lot in common with the best restaurants in the world, local produce, indigenous cooking techniques, sustainable source and a chef who understands the regional intricacies. KCK and Chef Regi Mathew bring long-forgotten recipes and age-old techniques from Kerala to Bangalore, and the end result is homely, utterly delicious food. A place to watch out for and a definite contender for the India's Top 50 Restaurants in my opinion. Highly recommended!

Kappa Chakka Kandhari Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoP.S. : Fun Fact : The Logo of The Uncliched Blog was inspired by the Nannari Sherbet. Checkout the origin story here.