Sunday, April 25, 2010

From the hearth of CHIKMAGALUR

From the hearth of CHIKMAGALUR
Sagareeka Sham | TNN

Eating out is not a once-in-abluemoon affair anymore, rather, many venture out on the spur of the moment, be it due to a surprise guest or an unlit kitchen fire. For one such gastronomic occasion and those with a palate for variety, Suggi is the place to dig in.
The food here is from the hilly terrain of Chikmagalur, nestled in south-west Karnataka. The kai kadabu, kori rotti, eaten with a veg/nonveg curry, can leave anyone unacquainted with Malnad food quite flummoxed. But a cursory browse of the menu — which also mentions soups, starters, curries, rice items, among others — will help. The effort is worth it as the menu also carries tidbits about Malnad, its culture and food.
“The food we serve is different from coastal Karnataka food, and comes from a place called Mallandur. It is not yet commercially popular in restaurants as it is the kind of stuff made at home,’’ claims Mithun S N, proprietor of Suggi. “It is rare to find any restaurant in Bangalore serving kai kadabu and benne kadabu. It’s our speciality,’’ he adds.
Part of the main fare is kai kadabu (a kind of idli), shavige (rice vermicelli), neer dosa (soft white dosa), kori rotti (crusty, paper-thin roti), ragi mudde (ragi balls), akki rotti (rice roti), which go well with non-veg gravies like nati koli (country chicken) curry, chicken curry, mutton curry and vegetable curries.
Since kori rotti, kai kadabu and ragi mudde fall into the bracket of traditional Karnataka food, it is a good option to try a small helping, as eating these dishes is an art, and also needs an acquired taste.
In spite of the badanekai gojju (brinjal gravy), baby corn chilly and palak, one gets the feeling there is a bigger spread for the non-vegetarian, what with a host of seafood dishes — fish, crabs, prawns and squid.
Among starters, Suggi chicken, which is marinated and then steamed, is a good try. And for those looking for a full meal, there are veg and non-veg thalis, and combos too. Some ragi porridge in the vegetarian thali will surprise people used to soups. The thali itself is an interesting spread of vegetables, rice, sambar... all that will keep a veggie happy.
Digging into one such veg thali, Krishnamurthy M, businessman, said: “Darshini food can put you off at times. I like the food here as it’s less oily and the thali is wholesome.” Chirag S, a student, adds: “The chicken shorba is appetising.”
While you relish the food, don’t miss the decor: it is contemporary but has visible old-world signs, especially the copperware in which the piping hot food is served. May be the service could be a little more professional. So, foodies with a yen for tradition, head to Suggi, where Malnad food is served by topi and silk dhoti-clad waiters.
Basaveshwaranagar Ph: 40907942 BEL Road Ph: 42083291 Timings: 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm


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