BASAVANGUDI: Gandhi Bazaar, for many food freaks, conjures up images of its famous masala dosa joints. But a modest little shop on the main road stands out with its fresh north Karnataka food. Standing up and eating off the bustling pavement are the least of the worries for customers as they relish the hot jowar rotis and chapattis with the iconic ennegai (brinjal in gravy), lentil curry and vegetable curry at U K Foods. The shop stocks a whole lot of sweets and savouries and shows the variety that the north Karnataka region has to offer and is a change from the standard south Bengaluru fare.
In 1999, Timmanna Hosur, who hails from Jamkhandi in Bagalkot district, came up with the idea of serving these specialties to homesick north Karnataka people in the city who are missing their staple food. “The idea was to offer dishes that are associated with certain places. Customers ask for sweets like the Gokak kardant, the Belagavi kunda and Dharwad peda. The jowar rotis, methi rotis and the accompaniments give customers from the northern districts a taste of home food,” says Hosur, who now runs a chain of north Karnataka food outlets across the city with branches in Rajajinagar, Malleswaram, Vasanthnagar, Basaveshwaranagar and Jayanagar besides the one in Gandhi Bazaar.
While most of his outlets go by the name U K Foods, he has appealed to customers with names like the Moodalamane in Malleswaram and Bayalumane in Vasanthnagar.
His kitchen at Rajajinagar employs around a dozen chefs from north Karnataka, who send out the hot dishes to Hosur’s outlets across the city. Customers wait outside the Gandhi Bazaar outlet by 12 noon, as the autorickshaw unloads its hot, tasty cargo.
“We make it the way it’s done traditionally. The galagali peda or the kandi peda is a famous Bagalkot sweet and we make it with buffalo milk like it’s done there. Holiges are made fresh and there are varieties like the dal, dry fruit, peanut, date and coconut holiges to choose from,” says Hosur, who also stocks a whole lot of condiments from the region like the shenga pudi (a spicy peanut, red chilli powder), pickles, fries, chaklis, kodbales, spiced puffed rice, mixtures.
Hosur also caters to customers who wish to host north Karnataka lunches by offering the complete spread that is traditionally served.