Archive for Chaat Items

Unde makkalu: feeding the CM and his deputy

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: When H.D. Kumaraswamy and B.S. Yediyurappa decided to do a tango, a roadshow, to promote ‘Coalition dharma’ (pronounced and practiced as ‘Collision drama’), it opened a can of worms hitherto unforeseen  anywhere.

To be sure, there have been many coalition governments in the past pulling their hair in as many directions as the one seen in Delhi now. But, to see partners of the coalition eating, drinking and traveling ‘coalition’,  has driven pundits scurrying to the nearest library for reference of existence of such a case in past.

In Srirampura, Hassan, the Sudugadu Siddharu were racking the brains over the menu for next day for the CM and his Deputy. Additional Chief Secretary Palguni Rajkumar was at hand to plan out the Coalition Menu.

“What will you serve for breakfast for the First Couple of the Karnataka Government,” I asked.

“It will naturally reflect the collision drama. For breakfast, we are making idli, dosa sambhar, chutney, benne muruku, puulangay unde, hurigalu and menthyada kashaya. For lunch I want to serve mavinakayi chitranna, thouvve, nuchhina unde, majjige huli,  Payasa, chopsuey, Chow Fun rice noodles, Yang Chow fried rice topped with Peking Dust dessert.”

“Aren’t you combining items gastronomically poles apart?”

“We are. When you work together despite different ideologies, so is it with menus that are 180 degrees apart. I have combined breakfast and snacks together. For lunch I have combined our traditional items with Chinese menu. There are items which may not mix at all, but I am as eager as you are to see the end result.”

“Why kashaya?”

“This is a request from the Deputy CM to be served till October 2. He wants this served for all his meals. He doesn’t take water at all.”

“Why for CM also?”

“The Deputy wants to remind C.M. of this date every day.”

The Home Secretary was supervising the lunch in the afternoon. He had a measuring tape in his hand. The waiters were cutting the banana leaf after HS marked off the lengths.

He explained, “The C.M. gets 18”X24” leaf whereas the Deputy CM gets one which is 18”X20”. Don’t look at me like that! I am just following Lok Ayukta guidelines. I don’t want any trouble later on.”

“Can Deputy CM get the same helpings as the CM?”

“Yes, except, sweets. He will get one serving less than whatever CM takes. The waiters will keep track of the count. For lunch, they will have cotton candy and pakampoppu as coalition dessert. CM can give his share to his Deputy. That won’t be counted.”

At night Sudugadu Siddharu were making preparations for their VVIP Guests. Palguni Rajkumar was again supervising the scene.

“This is the ticklish part. I have to ensure the couple gets good sleep and at the same time follow Lok Ayukta rulebook. If I err here, it might affect the coalition.”

“That’s true. How are you tackling this?”

“Chescom have put a transformer for the night, so we have electricity. I have put an AC where the CM will sleep on an 18” thick foam bed. He will have two pillows.”

“What about the Deputy?”

“As per BJP tradition, he will sleep on the floor on deer skin over coir mattress. The prescribed thickness for his bed is 10″. We will keep a cooler in his room and give him a cotton pillow. I hope they both sleep well and get recharged by morning.”

“Will they drink anything before they go to sleep?”

“Yes. Jeerige kashaya. Here Deputy CM gets two glasses, whereas the CM gets only one glass. CM reversed Lok Ayukta’s rulebook for this which is to be to be followed till October 2.”

Cross-posted on churumuri

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The sky’s the limit for a mile-high experience

It’s been ranked among the ten most unusual restaurants. A crane takes you and your table 150 feet into the air. You wear seat belts, and you hope your guests do not suffer from vertigo. Or that the waiters do not run out of salt or pepper or something. And you wonder, how much sooner before some genius is inspired enough to go 150 feet deep.

Read the full story: Pie in the sky: the 150 feet high restaurant

Linka via India Uncut

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Why Saravana Bhavan is smarter than Bata

ARVIND SWAMINATHAN wites from Madras: In a country where everybody marvels at the inherent cleverness of the rates of Bata shoe products (Rs 299.95, etc), it’s time somebody looked at the innovative pricing strategy of Saravana Bhavan, the vegetarian restaurant chain with 22 units in India and as many franchises in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, England and the Gulf.

On a recent visit, I noticed the following mystifying price-points:

Curd rice + pickles: Rs 28.75

Idiyappam + side dish: Rs 25.25

Sambaar vadai: Rs 31.75

Ghee dosai: Rs 28.75

Chole poori: Rs 40.75

Bata shoe rates may prevent the much higher and more daunting whole number from registering in the customer’s mind, but Saravana Bhavan manages to deal with the very Indian problem of “loose change” with panache. Because, plus VAT (value added tax), all the items mentioned above add up to a neat round figure that is easier to shell out.

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If veg is so good, why doesn’t it show?

Nary a day passes without somebody or the other, somewhere or the other, extolling the virtues of vegetarianism. Good for the body. No, good for the mind. Wait, good for body and the mind. The debates are raging. But, if vegetarianism is so magical, why, in this largely vegetarian country, have its perceived benefits not been so visible? Why, for example, have we had the worst scourges course through our nation? And, hey, why have we produced just a couple of Nobel laureates?

Read: Meat vs Potatoes

Related link: Vegetable love

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Some like it hot, some like it not

CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY writes: Sunaad Raghuram‘s Ode to the Uddina Vade brings to mind an interlude with YNK, the original connosieur and late editor of Kannada Prabha.

It is one of those evenings at the Bangalore Golf Club. YNK and I, are gossiping, imbibing and balancing (the wobbly bar stools can be a precarious perch), all simultaneously.

The enthusiastic waiter cuts in and says: “Saar olle uddina vade idhe, tarlaa?”

YNK: “Nimma kitchen seree ella, avarge yenu madakbarolla.”

Probably not wanting to disappoint the waiter, YNK says: “Ok. Aithuu . Aadhre vade-alli swalpaa taste erali. Kothambari swalpa haki, bisi erali, chenagirali.

After sometime, the waiter brings in two plates of steaming hot vade—insipid and tasteless just what YNK did not want them to be—but we wash them down with our ‘smalls’, nevertheless.

The conversation between us continues… until the eager-to-please waiter suddenly appears and says: “Saar, heng ithuu bisi uddina vade?

YNK (straight faced and in an instant replies): “Vade aav vade …elli bandhidhu bari yerrad plate bisi ashtae…vade yelli?”

This was the kothambari of the evening.

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The CSR of the average Bangalore darshini

PALINI R. SWAMY writes: Every weekday morning, I go past Gandhi Bazaar in Bangalore on the way to work, and every morning I am at once pleased and startled to see a couple of hearses parked near the petrol bunk on K.R. Road.

Pleased, because the hearses have been donated by a wellknown “darshini” in the area, corporate social responsibility and all that. But I am also startled because there is something morbid, methinks, about a restaurant (“We also do outside catering”) underwriting vans to carry the dead, some of whom could very well have been its customers.

Is the “darshini” doing paschataapa for the stuff it dishes out by being part of a patron’s last lap? Or is there some devious trick here: like do they give a 10 per cent discount on “tithi vades” for families who use their hearses? And, when the vans are not being used for the purpose they were meant, is some cost-conscious manager employing them to transport hittu, pudi and tarkari?

I wonder, but with tongue firmly locked in sambaar-stained cheek.

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Lunch time lessons for doctors

S.S. PRASANNA writes: I was at the 13th day ceremony of a friend’s mother this afternoon. They had laid out a gorgeous spread, and the invitees were leaving no plantain leaf unturned to ensure that the good lady reached whereever these ceremonies were supposed to take her.

There was a rich, imposing-looking man sitting next to me at the table. All through the meal he had not uttered a word. But just when we commenced slurping the rasam, we were brutally interrupted by the shrill scream of a cell phone.

It was my neighbour’s.

Without a second thought, our man pulled out his slinky instrument and bellowed loudly, “Yenu illa. Nanna patient Vaikunta Samaradhanege bandidde.…”

I wondered.

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