Friday, January 13, 2006

Kamat Yatri Nivas

After living on hostel mess food, office cafeteria food and tiffin food, don’t we long to have food that is closely related to our homeland? For e.g., a Tam guy would be desperate for dosas, idly or pongal, a Maharashtrian desperate to have pohe or vada pav when thrown into alien land.

Why am I saying all this? I’m myself currently in this situation. Six months in Bangalore and I’ve been away from misal-pav, vada-pav and most importantly, the jowar bhakri and pithale (made from gram-flour). That is when the restaurant Kamat Yatri Niwas (KYN) came to my rescue. Situated in the heart of the city of Bangalore, this restaurant serves authentic jowar bhakri with brinjal (egg-plant) masala and other vegetables that are close to the Marathi style of cooking. They call it the North Karnataka meals but I find it way close to the Marathi style of cooking. Man, at least for the cooking style, north Karnataka should be merged with Maharashtra. Spacious and well ventilated, situated on the fourth floor of the KYN building, this restaurant is seriously a place where the entire north Kannadigas and Marathi crowd should go for a meal.

Enter the restaurant and you feel you have left Bangalore and literally come to north Karnataka. For the Marathi public, they’ve entered into Maharashtra. Why? The guys who serve the food dress in a white dhoti and brown cotton kurta, a common way of dressing in rural Maharashtra. Once seated, a fresh banana leaf is laid in front of you. And then in the true Indian style of serving food, each item in the menu is served. The serving begins with spring onions and methi, and then moves on to vegetables, curd, buttermilk and brinjal masala. Not to forget the koshimbir (salad mixture) and the chutnees. Once your “plate” is full with these, the star item of the lunch—the jowar bhakri—makes an appearance. The only drawback of the jowar bhakri is that it is rolled by the chapatti roller and not roll pressed by hand. However, considering the demand for the meals, you can accept this drawback. Eat as much as you like, no questions asked. I managed to consume seven bhakris before I felt like stopping. However, do not forget to eat rice, even if you want to eat a little bit. Rice and sambar, along with a generous serving of ghee is the near perfect way of finishing your meal. Finished? Well, if you are done eating, your bill will be presented to you. Not alone, but along with ‘pan’ and a banana. Thus bringing an end to a well-eaten and thoroughly enjoyable meal. Now, the best thing to do is to reach home and go off to sleep. One of the best things you can do on a Sunday afternoon.
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