Enjoy Every morsel of this South Indian Food…only at Eighty-Eight, Hyatt Pune, Kalyani Nagar.
One is of the opinion that South Indian Food is the spiciest of all in India, especially food in Andhra Pradesh. A Generous amount of chilli and tamarind is used…making the food to some palates acerbic at times.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Suvendu the chef of Hyatt Pune, Kalyani Nagar took me on a tour of the spread laid out. I learnt so much about South Indian cuisine that I was ignorant of. Some of the dishes that I had had were the common names one hears of viz idly, vada, sambar and dosa, Chicken Chettinad, and Avial.
We started with the appetizers.
The colorful sight of the chutneys laid out, oh was so inviting! Chutney is one of the specialties of Karnataka and Telangana. The tomato chutney, the raw mango chutney was definitely appealing not just to the eye but also to the taste buds. None was acidic to taste although sour on its own. Chutney lends a support to some of the dishes made. It is especially had with the idli, vada, dosa and the potato vada.
The sesame oil or ghee mixed in the right amount with the podi masala makes it an enjoyable dip for your idli and dosa.
Pappu Rasam another one of the appetizers looked pleasing to the eye. It is drunk as a soup by some.
The stews… oh my God! Ambrosial!
The chicken stew, the potato stew, the vegetable stew …made of coconut juice. Each had its distinct flavor. Coconut is grated, boiled and the juice is extracted.
Kerala is on the coastline. It has coconut trees in abundance. The fruit or you may call it a drupe or even a nut is used extensively. And why not!
Vitamin B1, B3, B5, and B6 is present in coconut, including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. How much more nutritious can it get? It is also lactose-free.
You can have these stews with Malabar Parotta or Kerala Paratha. It is a street food originating in Malabar which is along the coast. It is flaky, light, crispy and melts in the mouth. One certainly needs a technique to make this parotta. And was it made well!
If it was not for tasting, I would have gorged on the stews. I still had a few more dishes to savor.
We walked to the main course.
The coconut rice, a South Indian delicacy and a favorite in the homes of a South Indian. As I took a spoonful to serve myself, the aroma of the coconut and the curry leaves was so alluring I could not wait until I had put a morsel in my mouth.
Besides Iron, Curry leaves are rich in vitamin A, B, and E. They help your heart function better, fight infections, can add that gloss to your hair and glow to your skin.
What I have noticed is that all ingredients used in South Indian food, and the way they are used add a complete nutritional value.
There was dal (yellow lentils) cooked with spinach which lent a different flavor when eaten with the coconut rice. It certainly was palatable.
What I liked the most was the chicken cooked with spinach(Gongura Mamsam) and the mutton cooked with coconut milk(Nariyal Maas).
I happen to be a good cook myself. And I have cooked chicken and mutton with spinach. But let me tell you, both the dishes by the chef were Gustatory.
You could taste the chicken, you could taste the spinach. None overpowered the other. It was flavorsome.
The mutton was cooked for over 5 hours in coconut milk. Choice Meat!
The meat had soaked in the coconut flavor and lent its own to the coconut milk
Another saporous dish for the vegetarian was the Potato Kara Kari. Made with onions and a hint of mustard flavor.
Paneer Spring onion Masala was piquant, a fusion that the chef tried. Certainly agreeably pleasant to taste.
The End to a South Indian Meal
No meal among the South Indians ends without sambar rice or curd rice. Every region in the South has a sambar made differently. The taste is very distinct to the area. Although the basic ingredients are the same. Drumsticks are used according to the time of the day. Few in the morning as one has less time to chew on them and relish them. More at lunch and at night. Vegetables mainly pumpkin and whatever vegetable you may choose is used, and the masala made of 15 spices is the highlight.
All of the delectable, sumptuous dishes were made of spices that were bought from Chennai, Salem, and Kerala. They certainly worked their magic.
Experience the taste of the South at
Until the 27th of January.
From 7:00 p.m. onwards