As we took a seat and geared up for the Dravidian culinary adventure at The Eatery, a quarter plate with a banana leaf, neatly cut to fit the circumference of the plate, was placed before us. Looking at the banana leaf, we felt ready to gorge on the delicacies from the south as we began our food journey at this Dravidian Food Festival.
We settled in and were soon served a large number of starters. We were surprised at the variety of crispy starters that can be light on the stomach. Making our choice, we decided to binge on Yera Kal (a delicious preparation of prawns fried in spicy red spices), Travancore Koli (boneless pieces of chicken marinated and fried with curry leaves), Mamsam Meriyala Vepudau (a smooth lamb preparation which simply melts in your mouth), Meen Varuwal (a two-inch piece of fish fried with various spices which tastes great with a squeeze of lemon), Sakkervarli Kalyang (marinated chunks of sweet potato deep-fried to a perfect crispiness) and mini Coconut and Onion Wadas, which can get a bit bland if you don’t eat it with a spicy red garlic or green chutney.
After the never-ending starters (which left little space for the main course), we indulged in the most amazingly light and crisp Appams we have ever tasted, with a thick vegetable stew. The Appams were as soft as sponge in the centre and crispy on the outer edges, dipped into the thick milky stew, you can’t help but order for another serving of the same.
As we were already stuffed to quite an extent and satisfied with the culinary experience, we walked over to the buffet table with little enthusiasm. But what we saw there not just reignited our enthusiasm but also forced us to try a few more dishes. The spread included specialties from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The Kari Kozambu (tasty mutton curry), Meen Kalwan (generous cuts of pomfret in a tangy gravy) and rich chicken preparation are more than enough to satiate the non-vegetarians. The signature specials such as the red pumpkin delicacy called Kaminikaya Tubalam and bottlegourd preparation called Sunnukaya Kootu, Mix Veg Porial, and Masala Annam, the yummy rice dish concoction cooked with finely chopped tomatoes that lend the red colour and large amounts of curry leaves and mustard seeds that give an appetising aroma, are some of the dishes that will satiate the cravings of the vegetarian lot.
The Malabari Paratha deserves a special mention, as well as a second serving! The flaky round paratha is crushed and served from a live station.
As we progressed to the dessert section, we saw a range of traditional Indian sweets. For all those who have a sweet tooth, the Wheat Payasam, otherwise available only once a year at Onam celebrations, and the Coconut Mousse a classy dessert, must not be missed. To settle everything down, at the end of the meal, one can opt for a refreshing glass of authentic filter coffee, just the way it is served down south (in a small steel glass with a flat bowl). So, drop by to enjoy the Southern experience.
At The Eatery at Four Points by Sheraton, Viman Nagar.
Till May 27
Call 39406699 / 30931031