It is a well-known fact that south Indian food is hot and spicy - especially flavours from down south. To bring out the best of south Indian cuisine and initiate people into Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi food, one of the popular hotels in the city, Savera, is conducting a food fest at the famous restaurant Malgudi. It serves Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi dishes in an authentic way.
Malgudi restaurant, with its soothing décor and ambience, reflects the southern Indian customs and came into existence in 1988.
Restaurant manager Sukumar said they normally serve authentic culinary delights from the four southern states of India. Chefs from all the four southern states are roped in to prepare the culinary delights.
That apart, the restaurant also dishes out authentic, traditional food every year in the month of April by conducting a south Indian food fest.
Since we went as a group to enjoy their latest food festival, featuring Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi cuisine, each one of us tried a different soup. There were interesting vegetarian soups like vegetarian stew, kaaikari–pattani soup. parangikkai–kollu soups – yes, that’s right – there was kollu in the soup!
In the non-vegetarian section, there was pepper paya soup, maar elumbu soup and kozhi soup, which were spicy.
Vegetarian starters were vazhaikkai masala kaara boli, vazhapoo masala vadai, kapakizhangu–nelakadalai masala samosa, which are all delights from Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari. Vazhakkai masala kara boli tasted heavenly and the main ingredient vazhakkai was mashed into a soft ball and only after the chef said it was vazhakkai did we realise that it was plantain. Vazapoo masala vadai, though a little sour, was crispy and tasty.
Non-vegetarian starters were kadal nandu puttu, poricha keluthi meen, arabi kadal katla meen, boti porial, aateeral poriyal and paal yeraa poriyal.
The main courses in the vegetarian section with butter beans koottu and pacha payar curry went very well with seppankizhangu puli kuzhambu and plain rice. Since we had kollu soup in the beginning, we decided to eat like a glutton as kollu has the power to reduce body weight.
The non–vegetarian dishes were yeraa thokku, thokku kari urundia kozhambu, paya, Nagarcoil kothu kozhi and kathamba kari kootu
We binged on the delicious desserts comprising athirasam, Tirunelveli halwa, jil jil jigarthanda and porul velangaa urundai. After gulping jigirthanda, which is a Madurai special, we waited for some time to taste the world famous Tirunelveli halwa. Jigirthanda had everything under the sun in the huge cup. Who can forget the ethereal Tiruneveli halwa soaked in pure ghee. It slipped down our throat easily.
But that is not the end of the story: Chef Malgudi Kavitha says the restaurant is the only place which serves varieties of briyani and she gently insisted that we taste all the varieties of briyani. And we didn’t have the heart to say ‘no’!